MANTI—Congressman Burgess Owens, who represents Utah’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. Congress, addressed Manti High School students on Thursday, April 14.
He shared stories of growing up in the segregated South, becoming an NFL player with the Raiders and playing in a Super Bowl winning team.
“I had 12 years of losing (in football)—four years in high school, another four years in college— and then was drafted into the Jets, where I lost some more,” he said.
“We all go through tough times, and we all want to win. In fact, we may all go through a lot of failing before we get to live our dreams, so don’t give up,” he told the students. “In life, you can’t control the scoreboard, but you can control your hustle.”
After retiring from the NFL, he started a business, which failed dramatically, he said. “I lost everything. I ended up cleaning chimneys.”
He then related how he wanted to make a difference and launched a program to help youth. Before long, he was running for Congress.
“As long as you believe in God, this country, and family, you can overcome anything,” he said.
He also fielded questions from students about student choices, culture, gun control, abortion and other issues. Most of the students just wanted a photo with him and his autograph.