Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

Rayleigh Burke

Rayleigh Burke, TAFE East Coast

Jason Sauer, a young man who has been to “hell and back”, recently came to Gympie TAFE to talk to us and to share his life experience with us. Jason wants to become a motivational speaker. We were the first audience to hear his life-changing story.

Like many young guys on the sunshine coast, he was surfing, snow skiing and partying with his mates and by the time he was sixteen he had a problem with substance abuse. He wasted many of his years moving in and out of re-hab.

Following a fight with his girlfriend on Christmas day 2010 Jason relapsed on heroin. He overdosed on a friend’s floor and was comatose for more than fourteen hours causing a lack of oxygen to his extremities. Jason was fighting for his life. The decision was made to amputate his legs above the knee to save his life. Bouts of depression and further addiction followed. At his lowest point he considered giving up on life. Then salvation in the form of a Facebook friend saved him from hell. Jason connected with the friend who was in an adaptive bobsled driving school in Park City, USA.

Today Jason is fitted with state of the arts microprocessor knees and prosthetic legs, as well as skier and bobsledder gear and he is based at the National Ability Centre, USA.

At the end of the talk he told us that he wasn’t there to tell us not to take drugs. This message was clear, the most important things he told us was not to hurt those who love you, and to chase your dreams. Jason, during the course of his life had lost everything, but his passion for skiing saved him. We came away from the talk with many things to think about.

Jason delivered his talk in a raw, honest and passionate way. He left no stone unturned and was willing to answer even the most sensitive of questions. He made a great motivational speaker and we wish him well with his Olympic career.

He’s definitely someone we won’t forget.

Tutor Perspective: Margaret Khan

This is the story of a motivational speaker who addressed our class and whose resilience inspired our learners.

Rayleigh Burke's Jason Sauer


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