Four Successful Role Models Who Have Overcome Adversity

Sometimes it can be difficult to spot a future role model because they aren’t necessarily the person you’d expect them to be. Perhaps it’s that young boy growing up in an impoverished area with a family that doesn’t value education, or maybe it’s that teenage girl who ended up befriending the wrong crowd and got involved in an early life of crime. One thing is for sure; it takes a special kind of person with strong moral fiber to successfully transition from at-risk youth to adult role model. Here are four inspiring stores of successful businesspeople who experienced a rocky start in life.

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah is one of the most popular media personalities of all time. Her ability to connect with her audience is unequaled and her charisma is palpable. But Oprah Winfrey’s future wasn’t particularly bright as a young child. She was born in an impoverished area of rural Mississippi to a single, teenage mother. When Oprah was young, she was sexually and physically abused by various family members. Despite her early struggles, she immersed herself in her schoolwork and her faith and went on to have a successful and lengthy career in television. Today, Ms. Winfrey’s net worth is estimated at nearly $3 billion.

Ashley Judd
Ashley Judd is one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood. She has been nominated for several awards for her film roles over the years. But her early life wasn’t so glamorous. Judd, whose parents divorced at an early age, bounced around from school to school as a young child. She went to 13 different schools before entering college. Ms. Judd is also a childhood sexual abuse survivor, which she revealed in her 2011 memoir. Today, Ashley Judd is world-renowned for her prominent roles in popular films.

Aaron A DelSignore
Aaron A DelSignore is one of Nevada’s top investment professionals. He is currently a Vice President of Investments at UBS, and has been working in the finance industry for nearly two decades. But growing up, Aaron A DelSignore didn’t have a bright future. At an early age, he ended up befriending the wrong crowd. Many of his friends wound up involved with drugs and a life of crime. Mr. DelSignore says that he was able to succeed because he avoided drugs and focused on channeling his energy into positive outlets like school and fitness.

Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, came from humble beginnings. He grew up in a working class family just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His family was able to make ends meet, but Mr. Cuban certainly wasn’t wealthy as a child. But he was a born entrepreneur with a keen interest in the business world. He pursued his business degree from the Kelley School of Business, and worked various odd jobs throughout college. Cuban experienced considerable success during the dot com boom of the late 1990s, and he’s well-known for his subsequent business ventures and his involvement with the Dallas Mavericks.

Just because you had a rocky start in life doesn’t mean you cannot achieve your dreams. These four inspiring individuals overcame adversity and became some of the most successful people in their respective industries. Transitioning from at-risk youth to adult role model may seem difficult, but it’s not impossible. If you’re struggling, draw inspiration from Oprah Winfrey, Ashley Judd, Aaron DelSignore, and Mark Cuban to help get started on the path to success.

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