Austin Hatch is a survivor. A two-time plane crash survivor, he epitomizes what it means to be resilient. In 2003, at the age of 8, Austin’s mother, sister and brother were tragically killed plane crash. Eight years later, with many hours of hard work, the 6’6” basketball phenom was offered a college scholarship from his dream school, University of Michigan. Just nine days later, Austin would be aboard a plane with his father and “second mother” (he never considered her a step-mom) and this plane too would go down, killing both his parents and leaving Austin in a coma with severe injuries including traumatic brain injury.

Today, I was so honored to speak with Austin and hear him talk about how he made it to the University of Michigan through tireless work, unrelenting positivity that “a miracle is going to happen” and belief that he was truly blessed to have had all of his amazing family members in his life.

We can learn so much from Austin’s outlook as we parent and raise adults about what it means to be optimistic, even in darkest of times and what the belief in yourself and gratitude for the gifts you have been given can do for you.