Conference proves diversity is more than the color of your skin

The crowd at Indian Hills Community College gathered to hear Matt Stutzman speak.

Diversity is more than the color of your skin, it's all the reasons that make each of us different and unique.

The crowd at Indian Hills Community College saw firsthand Friday that accepting diversity means never judging a book by its cover.

"The main message I want them to know is that if you meet somebody that is different or you see somebody that is different, don't say, oh, that guy's different!" said Matt Stutzman, known to many as the "Armless Archer" and Friday's keynote speaker. "Give that guy a chance or that lady a chance to prove him or herself to you because you never know where it could lead, it could lead to great things."

And Matt Stutzman knows a little bit about achieving great things. After returning home to Iowa from the London Paralympics with a silver medal, he inspires everyone he meets to appreciate the diversity among us.

"Our coach brought us as a team because he really wanted us to see that there are people who have to do other challenges and what he does to overcome those," said Megan Brady, a member of Indian Hills' softball team. "It was really inspirational and especially at the end, when he took off the targets, obviously he knew, but we had no idea, which is really cool and don't judge a book by its cover."

The softball team was able to take many of Matt's life lessons and apply them to working together as a team.

"To me, it was all about not givng up," said team member Jaylinn Tresslar. "Because he had a lot of dreams, he said that, and while he obviously couldn't do some of them, but then he went out and made one of his dreams come true."

"Everybody has something to give to this world and it's really valuing that," said Candice Meisgeier, a member of the crowd, on what diversity means to her.

"If I could sum it all down, I would say diversity means not only are there people of a different color, but you can talk about weight - some people are overweight, some people are super skinny," Stutzman said. "Some people walk with a limp, some people don't walk with a limp. And if you can just see past all that and really get to know who the person is, that's what I believe diversity is all about."