St. Petersburg, Florida, 28 July 2016 | 03:00 PM America/Chicago You Matter…I Matter…We Matter! Sharing important lessons for a happier life When someone hurts you, there are two choices: to hold on to that anger or embrace forgiveness and move forward with your life. Looking at Bobby Petrocelli, you would never know a drunk driver crashed through his home, killing his wife and changing his life forever. Rather than choosing anger, Bobby chose to move forward with his life and embrace forgiveness. Bobby didn't blame the driver. Instead, he asked what happened in their life that led them to numb their pain with alcohol. As a high school teacher and coach, Bobby loves teaching youth. This passion inspired him to take his story to high schools, hoping to make a positive influence on students’ lives. At the schools, he shares his story, and hopes after hearing his experiences students will choose a safer path. “We have all gone through struggles and have been in that place where it seems there is no way out,” says Josh Miles, senior in Saint Petersburg, Florida who has seen Bobby speak. “The answer is never to give up on ourselves, because we all have value and deserve equal opportunities. At the end of the day, our physical appearance doesn't define who we really are.” After the crash, Bobby realized life is a constant, never-ending shift between successes and failures. We experience hardship both because of our faults and because of the faults of others. "The greatest gift in this world is to serve others by helping them become who they are meant to be,” Bobby says about his presentations, that are supported by State Farm. “My desire is each student walks away with understanding and empowering their VIP." “I try to accept everyone, no matter what,” shared Kevin Jimenez, senior at Hialeah Gardens High. “I believe we are all the same in one way or another. Unfortunately, I know a lot of people that don’t. I’ve been blessed to have a good past. Bobby made me feel better about how I think. I matter and so does everyone else.” Bobby encourages people to use their life experiences to become stronger, more confident, more resilient individuals. The alternative, he says, is letting those experiences drain all their hope and energy. The choice is theirs. Through raising students’ awareness of this choice, Bobby is making a huge impact on student lives. “By no means was it easy for Bobby to put someone that killed his wife behind him,” says Aundre Fredericks, ShoreCrest Prep School student. “He understood there's a lot of broken people, but that they need to know, as we all need a reminder, that we matter." If there is one message Bobby and his students want you to walk away with, it is that even though you can’t choose whether or not bad things will happen in your life, you have complete control of how it affects you from that point on. To see one of Bobby’s presentations, click here.