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Victoria Arlen’s life drastically changed in 2006 at the tender age of eleven when she developed two rare conditions known as Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis.  This was an incredibly rare scenario and Victoria quickly lost the ability to speak, eat, walk and move.  She slipped into a vegetative state in which doctors had written her off as a lost cause.  Victoria spent nearly four years “locked” inside her own body completely aware of what was going on just unable to move or communicate.  Doctors believed there was little hope of survival and recovery was unlikely.  Victoria, however was not ready to give up.  In 2010 after almost four years she began the nearly impossible fight back to life.  Learning how to speak, eat and move all over again.

Victoria went on to exceedingly defy the odds and not only recovered but has since become an accomplished Motivational Speaker, Actress, Model, and Swimmer.  Her swimming resume includes three Silvers and a Gold medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games as well as multiple World, American and Pan American Records.

In April 2015, Victoria made the transition from professional athlete to sportscaster and joined ESPN as one of the youngest on air talents hired by the company and reports/hosts for various platforms.  More recently Victoria defied yet another odd and after spending nearly a decade in a wheelchair paralyzed from the waist down was able to learn how to walk.  Victoria has become world famous not only for her story and accomplishments but for her message:
Face It, Embrace It, Defy It, Conquer It“.

Victoria Arlen

“Heroes in real life don’t wear masks and capes. Sometimes they don’t stand out at all. But real heroes can save a life or many lives just by answering the call in their heart. In the darkest period of my life, when I couldn’t help myself, my heroes were there. … Sometimes we just need someone to lean over and whisper, ‘You can do it!’

Find more information on her website  ==>

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The African American Briefing for Financial Professionals provides an opportunity for leaders and members of UFSC to learn from lawmakers, regulators, industry experts and government leaders about strategies they are creating to stimulate job growth, promote businesses and revitalize communities.  Participants also learn how to overcome the various challenges currently facing the financial services industry.


African American Briefing for Financial Professionals
April 22 – 25, 2018

Be Engaged, Be Informed and Be Ready

To Advocate for Change

AABFP 2018 collage