Alex Otis

"Even if someone has a disability like me, they are actually able to do anything."
Alex Otis is like most kids. He enjoys being with friends, playing fetch with his dog Bailey and going on school field trips. But unlike some 14 year olds, Alex is overcoming a few challenges that have helped him develop a strong vision for life.

Meeting Rick Hansen

Alex uses a wheelchair, but since meeting Rick Hansen some years ago has not let his disability stop him from achieving any of his dreams.

“Rick sat and talked to Alex and told him he could accomplish great things,” says Marilyn, Alex’s mother. “Alex just sucked in every word that he said, and it changed his life.”

Being a difference maker at school

Since then, Alex has played a very active role in his school and community. He was deeply involved with the leadership group at school and after three years of hard work the group had raised enough money to buy a bus for school activities. The bus arrived just before Alex graduated to high school.

“He’s been a great role model for the students here because they see all the things that he can take part in because of his determination,” says Robin Baird, Principal at Sussex Middle School. Other teachers say that what Alex has done, not only for the school but also the community, is just unbelievable. “His passion, his dedication to make a difference, just blow us away,” says Madame LeBlanc, one of Alex’s teachers.

Anything is possible

“Rick told me that anything is possible even if you’re in a chair, and that really inspired me,” says Alex. “Even if someone has a disability like me, they actually are able to do anything. I am a very lucky guy. I really want to make a difference in the world, to raise awareness that people with disabilities are able to do anything.”

We congratulate Alex on his determination and achievements, and wish him every success in achieving his dreams in the future.

The Rick Hansen Difference Maker Program empowers young people to make positive change in their communities. Click here to find out more about the Program.

Read more stories of inspirational young Difference Makers here.