WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - An entrepreneur is sharing his story in hopes that it inspires others.
Cory Wrisborne is competing in the Toastmasters International speech contest.
He won two rounds and hopes to make it to the World Championship of Public Speaking.
“I talk about growing up on the Northside of Wilmington, rough area, and all the obstacles that came with that, losing close friends to the system and to the grave,” he said. “One day, I received a phone call to come and start TRU Colors, to bring gang members together to start a business and decrease gang violence. Throughout my time at TRU Colors, I developed a skill, that skill was digital marketing. From there I launched my own digital marketing agency, Dinero Digital Marketing.”
Wrisborne, who also lost his mother to when he was a teenager, thought his story may give others hope that they can overcome obstacles in their lives.
That led him to Toastmasters International, a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. He began telling his story there and winning competitions in the process.
He said he thinks his story resonates with others because everyone faces difficulty at some point in their lives.
"Where you are at is not where you have to be," he said. "No matter what you’ve seen, no matter what’s going on around you, you can change your life. It’s not going to be easy. It's going to be tough but if you really want it, go get it."
Wrisborne recommends that those who are out of work due to the economic downturn associated with COVID-19 use this time for self-improvement.
"It’s affecting so many people and so many different ways but one thing that I can say is we do have a lot of time on our hands right now and there are a lot of ways that you can go and develop a skill and use this time to work on yourself so that whenever this thing is over you can come out better and stronger," he said.
For the first time, Toastmasters International’s public speaking competition is virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Toastmasters World Championship was supposed to happen in Paris later this year. Right now, it’s unclear if that event will happen in person or be a virtual one.
Wrisborne hopes to make it there, one way or another.