My GTCC Story: Chris Wright

Published on: July 16, 2018
Chris Wright
Overcoming a nearly debilitating back injury has inspired Chris Wright to seek a career in which he can directly serve others.


Over the past few years, Chris Wright has faced more than most do in their lifetime. In 2014, a violent storm brought an oak tree through his home, nearly killing him and leaving the house uninhabitable. His family faced homelessness and had to rely on help from others to get back on their feet. A short time later, a debilitating back injury nearly paralyzed Chris and left him with lingering mobility issues. Through it all, Chris was juggling school, work and helping his family make ends meet. While this would leave most feeling discouraged and overwhelmed, it has only pushed him further toward his ultimate goal: to help others.

Chris is a GTCC student and has participated in Guilford Technical Community College’s Continuing Education programs over the years. He hopes to transfer to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to further his studies in kinesiology, with his career aspiration to become an athletic trainer. Originally planning to study history, it was his injury in 2017 that inspired him to seek a career in which he could directly serve others.

“In the spring of 2017, I had a very bad back injury, which nearly paralyzed me,” he shares. “I was glad that it did not turn out worse, but it motivated me to help others avoid the kind of injury I had.”

But, without the confidence that GTCC’s Continuing Education program brought him, Chris might not have considered such an outward-facing career path. Growing up, he struggled to articulate his thoughts and was saddled with a crippling fear of public speaking. Determined to overcome this fear and improve his speaking skills, he began picking up courses after high school. 

“When I was three years old, I was diagnosed with autism, and people always made fun of how I could not speak my mind or defend myself,” he says. “I wanted to be able to help other people instead of just helping myself, so I enrolled in GTCC’s Continuing Education courses, and I took classes like public speaking to improve myself.”

It was during this program that Chris conquered his fear of public speaking and improved his self-confidence immeasurably. He credits his success to the constant support and attention from his professors. 

Now more comfortable speaking to large groups, Chris hopes to impart some of the life experiences and perspective he has gained over the years to younger students.

“I know what it’s like to work in the real world, and what it’s like to deal with the daily stresses of life,” he says. “I want to share this with the other students because there are a lot of them that go into the world with false expectations, so I want to be a leader for them and help the next generation.”

GTCC Sociology Professor Jacqueline C. Simpson shares that his constant positivity and dynamic classroom involvement have positioned him as a leader and accelerated his success. 

“I see him as a special person and remarkable student,” she says. “Every time I ask a question, Chris is one of the first to raise his hand. This determination is highly regarded not only by me but also his classmates.”

In his future career as a trainer, Chris looks forward to the continued opportunities to help and serve others and hopes to support a wide range of clients.  Back to All Articles