Brooke Ellison has lived her life by that idea, and has worked to instill it those she meets. Brooke grew up on Long Island, and for the first 11 years of her life, was involved in so many of the activities that characterize childhood. She studied dance and karate. She sang in the church choir and played the cello. She played little league baseball and soccer. But all of that changed on Sept. 4th of 1990 when she was hit by a car while she was on her way home from school. The accident left her paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a ventilator. Despite her physical situation, Brooke was determined to continue with her life, and continue to make a difference. After spending nearly one year in the hospital, recovering from her injuries and adjusting to her new life, Brooke returned home and focused on her education.
When Brooke returned to school, she was welcomed by friends she had missed and found an environment that allowed her to thrive. In 2000, ten years after her accident, Brooke graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. Brooke graduated with an A- average in cognitive neuroscience, a combined major of psychology and biology. She gave a commencement address for her Harvard graduation in June of 2000.
In January of 2002, Brooke and her mother, Jean Ellison, published a book entitled The Brooke Ellison Story, which documents their family's experiences from the day of Brooke's accident until Brooke's graduation from Harvard in 2000. Their book subsequently was made into a movie, directed by Christopher Reeve, which first aired on A&E on Oct. 25th of 2004. Brooke has continued her education by graduating from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government with a Masters degree in Public Policy.
Since her graduation from Harvard in 2000, Brooke has worked as a public speaker, delivering the message of hope and motivation, and strength in the face of obstacles. Her audiences have been many and diverse, as she has spoken to members of the medical community, business corporations, politicians, community members, students, and nonprofit organizations, traveling across the country to do so. Brooke's recent and most notable engagements have included such opportunities as delivering a congressional briefing, serving as commencement speaker, and participation in Bob Benia's "Smart Talk" Women's Speaker Series. Although the specific message differs from audience to audience, Brooke focuses her attention on hope and motivation, using her own experiences as a vehicle to convey the message.
In November of 2006, Brooke ran for New York State Senate, focusing her attention on the issues of health care, education, and housing. Just as Brooke had overcome challenges in her life, she sought to help the state of New York overcome its challenges. Brooke based her campaign on restoring a sense of hope to politics, with the belief that government has an important and problem-solving role in our lives. Click here for more information about Brooke's state Senate campaign.
The details of Brooke's life have been widely covered in such publications as The New York Times, People Magazine, USA Today, Newsday, Biography Magazine, and The International Herald Tribune, as well as, such programs as Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, and Larry King Live. In each of these appearances, Brooke has expressed her desire to have an impact on the world, stating "wherever there is a condition of discouragement or inopportunity, that's where I hope to be".
All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Brooke Ellison for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Brooke Ellison speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Brooke Ellison for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Brooke Ellison speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
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