(WTNH) — He has only begun to write his story…”the most important thing about being a human is how you treat other humans”
From his finger tips the words just flow. The challenge?
“The thing about having a speech impediment is it follows you everywhere,” Patrick Rosetti explained. He knows what he wants to say– saying it is the hard part.
“It’s a very frustrating thing to have all these ideas and thoughts in my head and not being able to share them the way that I want to.”
Answering questions in class, ordering at a restaurant, talking on the phone…Roadblocks he’s faced his whole life, but ones his football coach Augie Tieri says Rosetti hasn’t let define him.
Tieri explained, “He’s been kind of an example for everyone going through that as far as how to overcome that and not use it as a crutch or disadvantage, but use it as fuel for his fire as far as what he’s able to achieve and overcome in every aspect of his life.”
Words seem like the only thing that don’t come easy for Rosetti.
The rest, thanks to an endless amount of determination and dedication, seems effortless.
On the field, he became one of Danbury High’s starting quarterbacks. In the classroom, he’s an honors student in his senior year. A weighted 4.5 GPA, over 1,300 on the SAT, and juggling a loaded schedule. He even takes college-level medical courses.
“It’s a goal to become a general surgeon,” Rosetti said. “And like having the motivation to help people for occupation.”
Tieri: “I almost feel he’s taken this situation and applied it to every aspect of his life. Like ‘if I can get through and I can overcome this there is no obstacle that can stand in my way.’…He’s very hard on himself, puts a lot of pressure on himself to be successful on anything he does.”
Rosetti tells us he was inspired to play football by watching Tom Brady.
“I began playing football in eighth grade,” Rosetti explained. “And because I’m a New England Patriots fan and I wanted to be like Tom Brady.”
“The thing about a speech impediment is it follows you everywhere,” Rosetti said.
The first day he walked down the halls of his high school in Danbury Rosetti felt at ease.
“I couldn’t have imagined coming into high school having a more successful environment,” he told us.
A place like high school can be cruel– especially for a kid with a speech impediment.
“I know that having a speech impediment it’s easy to make jokes about it and laugh at it but I haven’t heard that since coming to Danbury high,” he said.
Rosetti’s best friend, DJ Donovan, is also his teammate and one of his biggest supporters.
“I’ve never seen a kid be cruel to him or make fun of him or anything like that. And I think cause just how nice of a kid he is he treats others the way he wants to be treated and he gets that treatment back.”
Rosetti: “Football has been amazing for my growth as a person; it taught me to be mentally tough, to always have perseverance.”
Tieri: “You can see as he went along he became more confident. He realized we were all going to embrace him and support him, that we love and care about him. And once he realized that, it became easier for him to become himself.”
“Along the way it has taught me to value teamwork and loving other people around you,” Rosetti said. “All those things I had no idea I would learn from football coming into it.”
“If that’s the thing football gave him,” Coach Tieri said, “that’s as good as anything we do here.”
Next season, he will continue playing football. He’s committed to Wesleyan University with his eyes on being a general surgeon and making a new group of believers.
Tieri: “We preach and tale about mental toughness but what greater example of mental toughness than to overcome.”
Donovan: “I’m proud of him; I’m proud of him for never giving up.”
Rosetti: “I want to tell all of the people who face a disability to never allow it to dictate who they are as a person.”