One thing that stands out right away when talking to Morningside Alumn Alex Watters is that he has a passion for helping people. It doesn’t matter if it is during his day job as a Morningside College career development specialist or as a member of the Sioux City council, Alex Watters seems to always be focused on how to improve the lives of the people around him. So it was no surprise to me that he answered the question of what the most fulfilling part of his job at Morningside with “seeing students succeed or seeing them have that realization of what they really want to do with their lives.”
Even before a life-changing accident, that severed Watters’ T5 and T6 vertebrae and left him paralyzed from the chest down during his freshman year at Morningside College, his life was filled with service to others. As a middle and high school student he was active with local political campaigns and worked as a page at the Iowa house of representatives where he helped wherever he could and developed a passion for politics.
This passion was one of the reasons why he took an internship with the department of education in Washington DC during the summer after his senior year. During this internship, he worked with the secretary of education as well as with First Lady Michelle Obama on her initiative “Let’s read, let’s move” wich encouraged kids to read and play more aoutside.
After working as a regional coordinator for Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, where his coordinating efforts earned him a week with the most doors knocked in Iowa, even though he was not able to physically do that himself, he was able to take a position at Morningside as a first-year student advisor, which has no progressed to career development specialist. With such rich experience both in the professional field and in life in general, it does not surprise that he states: “it was mostly Life experience that helps me to advise my students.”
Alex is a man that did not let a Life-changing accident define him and who works tirelessly to enrich not only his life but to touch as many lives as possible in a positive way. He is not only aiming to make the city more accessible for wheelchairs and other forms of personal transportation through his position on the City Council but has bigger visions for healthcare and awareness for disabled members of our society, which he lobbies tirelessly to many of the influential political figures he knows through his engagement with parties and political campaigns alike.
And while he is well aware that some people have it easier in life than others, his advise is “you truly determine your own destiny! It is about how hungry you are!”