Pulse October 2015 - Page 36

Reasons Why You’ll Love Scott Harrison ISPA CONFE REN KEYNO CE TE SPEAKE R WEDNE SDAY, O CT. 21 BY MAE MAÑACAP-JOHNSON s founder of charity:water and this year’s ISPA Conference & Expo General Session Keynote speaker, Scott Harrison has lived a life as inspiring as the stories he tells. Raised in a Christian home, he strayed and lived a worldly life as a nightlife promoter for 10 years before he realized how empty and meaningless his life was. “I was always chasing the wrong things,” he recalls. Lost but committed to finding his way back, he took a leap of faith, gave up his lavish lifestyle and committed one year of his life to service. Little did he know that one year was merely the beginning of a lifetime of commitment to charity and service. With his inspiring journey, there are many more reasons to love Harrison—let us count the ways. 1. He became his mother’s caregiver at a young age. When Harrison was only four years old, his mother—then a journalist—suffered irreparable damage to her immune system due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The family just moved to their new house when the poisonous gas leaked from a tiny crack in a furnace. “I basically watched my mom go from this vibrant woman to an invalid. Anything with chemicals—soap, fragrance or even ink from books—made her sick,” he says. 34 PULSE ■ October 2015 2. He went through and survived a rebellious phase. He grew up very active in church as a young kid, but took a wayward path during his adolescent years. At 18, he moved to New York and was quickly drawn into the nightlife scene, working as a club promoter. He was living large in the company of the rich and beautiful, partying hard and drinking harder. “I was a mess,” he admits, recalling the lifestyle he lived. A decade later, he had a rude awakening: Despite all the status and money, he realized he was emotionally, morally and spiritually bankrupt. It was then he decided to give a year in service as a way to slowly redeem himself for wasting 10 years of his life. 3. He was turned down by every single humanitarian organization he applied for as a volunteer— except Mercy Ships.