Student advisor at Morningside College and political figure, Alex Watters, gave students insight into his life during a class wide interview in Professor Fuglsang’s Journalism Course.
As a young child, Watters claimed, he has always been interested in politics. He never struggled with speaking to new people. As a child, Watters would tag alongside his father, the Sheriff, anytime information needed to be spread door to door in the community.
Before his accident, a career in politics was not his first choice. Watters wanted to be a golf instructor. He claimed this was his dream job.
Two weeks into his freshman year of college, his life changed forever. At a family reunion on Lake Okoboji, Watters planned on swimming before it got too cold in the upcoming winter season. On his way down the dock, his hat blew off into the water. He dove in after it, head first. However, the water was only 18 inches deep. Watters was left with a spinal cord injury and the inability to move his legs.
Alex finished his education and received his masters after 9 years.
He came back to Sioux City and became one of the first student advisors in the new Krone Advising Center here at Morningside.
In 2016, Alex ran for a spot on Sioux City’s Board of Supervisors. He did not get the spot. However, just a year later, he was placed of the City Council.
Fast forward 3 years, Watters has worked with Michelle Obama, the AAPD, and the US Department of Education. He is a voice for people with disabilities.
Watters claimed he has always been underestimated in power. While not direct, fellow politicians would comment on his inability to walk without even realizing it. However, he knows his worth and preaches it upon his students.
Disabled, yes, but incapable, no. Alex Watters faced tragedy, but now uses it to empower his students. He preaches “you determine your own destiny.” He leads by example. Watters took hardship and turned it into success.