Obama highlights journey of Missouri church member
Anderson, 18, attends the 26th and Connecticut Church of Christ, where his father served as a deacon. Quinton’s parents, Bill and Sarah, were among the 161 people who died.
“In a lot of ways, Quinton’s journey has been Joplin’s journey,” Obama said in a May 21 commencement address at Joplin High School.
“When the tornado struck, Quinton was thrown across the street from his house,” the president said. “The young man who found him couldn’t imagine that Quinton would survive such injuries. Quinton woke up in a hospital bed three days later. It was then that his sister, Grace, told him that both their parents had been lost to the storm.”
Obama described how Quinton faced five weeks of treatment, including emergency surgery, but left the hospital determined to carry on his life and be there for his sister.
“Over the past year, he’s been a football captain who cheered from the sidelines when he wasn’t able to play,” Obama said. “He worked that much harder so he could be ready for baseball in the spring. He won a national scholarship as a finalist for the High School Football Rudy Awards, and he plans to study molecular biology at Harding University this fall.
“Quinton has said that his motto in life is, ‘Always take that extra step,”’ the president added, urging Quinton and all of Joplin to pursue their dreams.