Voigt uses adversity as motivation


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Vatte, Voigt 24, of Virginia uses his life's trials and tribulations as motivation to become a more profound leader and remain solid in his faith of God.

Isaiah Herard, Courier Staff

expressive, outgoing and command a room through their intense vernacular delivery. Other more soft-spoken individuals like Vattel Voigt lead by example.

 Voigt, a current graduate student at Western Illinois University, exemplified his leadership skills during his time on Team USA football team as he competed in the World University Championships. He isn’t normally the center of attention, but Voigt will allure your attention in other ways. He is kind in the way he speaks, and has a strong outward demeanor. Speaking up is very important to him because he believes men of great character should always have a voice in the eye of adversity.

 “I define and carry myself as a leader who is real, selfless, understanding, encouraging, confident, inspiring, hardworking and fun,” Voigt said.

 Voigt’s mother and father are of Haitian descent. His mother is from Cap Haitian and his dad is from Fort Liberte. He said growing up in a Haitian household instilled the value of education and hard work in him.

 “Haitians really push us to work hard in school because of the opportunities that are given with education,” Voigt said. “A lot of Haitians come to America and do not have the resources and opportunities to go to school and pursue their dreams.”

 Throughout his lifetime, Voigt experienced pain, but he didn’t allow the pain to defeat his spirit. Voigt’s lifetime of pain molded him into the leader he is today. His father was absent throughout his adolescence; he struggled academically and dealt with legality issues before his collegiate debut.

 Voigt faced allegations of hitting a girl at a party while attending Erie Community College. The charges were dropped which allowed Voigt to resume the pursuit of his dream: football. 

 “After the accusations I learned never take anything for granted,” Voigt said. “I just made the football team and that quickly got taken away from me. Also, I learned the importance of second chances and seizing opportunities. A quote I like to tie this experience to is ‘It’s not about how your start is, but rather how you finish.’ Afterward, I changed my life around and got closer to God.”

 After the charges were dropped, Voigt was allowed back on Erie’s football team. However, he faced more adversity and decided to transfer to MacMurray College.

 Voigt surpassed expectations during his career at MacMurray where he became one of their best players. His 137 career tackles is ninth best in school history.

 Not only is he leader on the field, Voigt is a leader within his community. He participated in a vigil for the Charleston, S.C. victims last summer.

 “I felt the pain for the individuals who lost their lives and their families who were affecting by the loss,” Voigt said. “Looking at the bigger picture, God was still at work. And the family members of those people forgave him (Dylan Roof)”

 Voight has aspirations to one day make it to the NFL, but even if it doesn’t achieve his ultimate goal he will sustain the principles instilled in him and uphold his Christian faith. 

 “I plan on keep the principles I learned here and apply it to my life and work to impact others,” Voigt said. “I let my actions speak louder than my words. If God doesn’t want me to go that route, I’m going to continue my education and get my master’s in kinesiology and open up my own facility for young athletes to help them mature physically, mentally and spiritually.”