Ashton Smith

Speakers Selected Topics:
• Save the Children: Drowning Prevention Education
• You Can Make It, No Matter How You Are Different
• When People Use Their Own Voices, Their Impact Endures Over Time
• Ignoring Homelessness and Human Needs of Your Clients Is Not Accidental: It Requires Intentional Effort
• Never Settle
• What Does It Mean to Swim Upstream?

Many things stick out in my journey from hometown hero to homeless, world-class gold medalist despite having a limiting disability. My road to greatness started when I was nine years old. As a “Differently Abled” person, I found myself being left out of events, overlooked, and under picked. To say it caused inner trauma would be putting it mild. I learned to cope by escaping into swimming, which can be a team sport or an individual one. I found myself at the YMCA in Waxahachie almost daily. Once I discovered the water, I was naturally drawn to it. Once the staff at the Y saw I loved to swim, they encouraged, empowered, and enabled me to train and blossom into that youth capable enough to capture a spot on the Special Olympics team. There are varying levels of competitiveness involved, and one of the underlying reasons for their existence is to assist athletes that are disadvantaged for any number of reasons. My blindness afforded me the opportunity of competing as a swimmer for the organization.
I’ve had the privilege of competing in the World Games, Dubai and in Seattle, at a National US Games. It is a unique honor and I am truly blessed to have accomplished that feat, which is especially amazing since I am a legally blind African-American female. I just published a book called Swimming UPSTREAM. I host my Keep Swimming With Ashton podcast and join as a guest on many other shows and podcasts. I’m currently seeking opportunities as a public speaker.