Blackhawk Technical College Hosts 2011 College and Diversity Speaker of the Year

JANESVILLE (WIFR) -- When Marc Elliot was a junior in high school, he got kicked off a Greyhound bus for shouting a racial epithet. Elliot did not blurt out the offensive term intentionally, but he remembers the incident very well and credits it for helping change the course of his life. Diagnosed at age nine with Tourette's syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes him to make involuntary motor and vocal tics, Elliot will present "What Makes Me Tic" at Blackhawk Technical College, on Thursday, March 21, from noon to 1 p.m., in the north commons, within the central campus (6004 S. County Road G, Janesville, WI).

"Marc is one of the most sought after speakers on the college circuit right now," said Stephanie Williams, Student Services Coordinator. "His story is incredibly inspiring and we are really looking forward to hearing about how he uses his life experiences to convey fundamental lessons about the importance of tolerance."

There are many stories of individuals overcoming adversity but not like Elliot's. Born with almost no working intestines, the St. Louis native spent the first four years of his life surviving seven surgeries to beat a rare birth defect called Hirschsprung disease. At nine, he was diagnosed with Tourette's.

After graduating in May of 2008 from Washington University in St. Louis, Elliot decided to embark on a nationwide speaking tour to share his experiences and promote tolerance. Little did he know, his presentation would become one of the most inspiring events on the national and internationally speaker's circuit.

Drawing on his experiences of not fitting in, or not feeling comfortable with others, Elliot's message has been heard across the globe. During the last three years, the 2011 College Speaker and Diversity Artist of the Year has spoken to hundreds of groups, organizations and colleges reaching out to more than 150,000 individuals in the United States and Internationally. Now 26, Elliot has found a way to use his own story to triumph over handicaps while helping individuals around the world find their own path to tolerance - for themselves and others.

"What Makes Me Tic" is open to the general public and is FREE. Following his presentation, Elliot will be available for photos and autographs. For more information about this event, contact Stephanie Williams at or call 608-757-7702.

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