Emmanuel’s Gift: Changing Perceptions

Emmanuel’s Gift is a great DVD to show to high school students. It can be shown in a psychology class. The DVD is great to use with motivation, emotion, and perception. It is a great companion to a book called Success for Teens. Emmanuel’s story illustrates what one individual with a little help and how one person can change the minds of an entire nation. It is an awesome video.
The DVD, narrated by Oprah Winfrey, highlights some incredible organizations including, the challenged athletes foundation, the free wheelchair mission and Rudy’s Braveheart Challenge.

Scenes (with notes)

  1. Opening Credits (0:00 – 4:10)
  2. His Own Vision (4:11 – 11:15)
  3. Standing Alone (11:16 – 15:29)
  4. Thinking Big Picture (15:30 – 21:20)
  5. Overcoming Adversity (21:21 – 29:57): Jim McLaren Ivy League Football player. Ran a 3:16 marathon as an amputee. 8 years later: “something amazing is about to happen.” I see the grill of a black van coming into me. The last thing I hear is the driver hitting the accelerator and not the break. The result is a broken neck. The Challenged Athletes Foundation “Somehow I touched this man in Ghana.”
  6. Braving Surgery (29:58 – 37:37): “He had $3 his pocket. 1st time on a plane. “He was simply born without a shin bone.” Rudy Garcia Tolson is another amazing athlete who has excelled because of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (@RudyGTcaf #NoLegsNoLimits) “How much do you earn per day?… $2.00!” “I am going to get my new leg.” 2- hour surgery, rehabilitation “It’s a gift came to my life.” He was walking, swimming, and biking – training for Rudy’s Braveheart Challenge.
  7. Bigger Things to Do (37:38 – ) “I am taken care of but I have people to take care of back home.” There are now 140 applications. We hope to help 2 more. Free Wheel Chair Mission. “You take care of me, I am going to take care of thousands of more just like me.”
  8. Hero’s Welcome (42:47 – 48:18) “I love Emmanuel because of his ability of perseverance.” An inspiration person to so many. (It all started with a typewriter and a request.)
  9. Making Amends (48:19 – 56:18) Village chief has a celebration for Emmanuel. “My father is here. I am so shocked. I am so sad. I can’t believe that. I can’t believe that.” Father disowned him at birth.
  10. Political Action (56:19 – 1:08:59)
  11. Emmanuel’s Impact (1:09:00 – 1:17:23)
  12. Ending Credits (1:17:24 – 1:19:11)

Emmanuel’s Gift Reflection Questions

What a truly amazing story of how one person can make such a difference simply by leading a positive life. In the video we saw three incredible examples of challenged athletes who are not only accomplishing amazing individual feats, but also working to break the boundaries set by society on disabled individuals.
1. Rate the video on a scale of 1 – 10, then write a reaction to the video. Comment on any aspect of the video (the conditions in Ghana, the treatment / attitude towards disabled people in Ghana, overcoming adversity, having a positive attitude, making the best of a situation, etc.)
2. Comment in detail on ONE of the three “challenged athletes” presented in the video.

  • Emmanuel
  • Rudy
  • Jim

Discuss their situation and what they have done to overcome it. What about the person’s story did you find motivational? How did the story impact your thinking about what you may be able to accomplish in your life?
3. How does the movie make you reflect on your own life? Does it inspire you to work harder to achieve your dreams? What is one goal right now that you have and are working on achieving? What steps can you take now to bring you closer to your dreams?
4. Share a personal example (or one you have seen or read about) of an athlete or non-athlete who has overcome adversity.