Author of "I Am the Central Park Jogger," A Story of Healing after a Brutal Attack
Trisha Meili’s story is about the capacity of the human body and spirit to heal. It’s a story of hope and possibility. It didn’t begin that way. On April 19, 1989, a young woman went for a run in New York’s Central Park shortly after 9 p.m. Hours later, two men wandering the park found…
Trisha Meili’s story is about the capacity of the human body and spirit to heal. It’s a story of hope and possibility. It didn’t begin that way.
On April 19, 1989, a young woman went for a run in New York’s Central Park shortly after 9 p.m. Hours later, two men wandering the park found her near death from a brutal beating and rape. In a coma, with 75 percent blood loss, a fierce blow to the head and severe exposure, doctors at Metropolitan Hospital worried that this young woman might not survive. The story seized the headlines, not only in New York, but around the world as people contemplated what the savagery of the attack said about our society.
Trisha Meili, known to the world as “The Central Park Jogger,” revealed her amazing story of survival and recovery 14 years later in her best-selling memoir “I Am The Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility.”
Born and raised in Paramus, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh, Trisha was a Phi Beta Kappa economics major at Wellesley College and a double graduate degree recipient (M.B.A. and M.A.) at Yale University. After graduation, she went on to work as an associate at the Wall Street Investment Bank Salomon Brothers, until her life was violently interrupted that terrible night in Central Park.
“I Am The Central Park Jogger” is not a story of an attack, but rather, one of healing. The horror of her attack brought an outpouring of support and love from her family, friends, healthcare workers, co-workers and strangers. As she relearned how to do simple things, such as rolling over, telling time, buttoning her blouse or identifying simple objects, Trisha credits this support as part of the miracle of her recovery.
Trisha gives her time to organizations vital to her healing including The Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI) at Mount Sinai Hospital, Gaylord Hospital, where she did much of her rehabilitation, and the Achilles Track Club that helped her run the New York City Marathon in 1995.
Recently, received the Leadership Award from the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Courage Award from the Courage Center, the Pacesetter Award from New York Hospital Queens, the Spirit of Achievement Award from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Courage Award from Boston’s Magic 106.7 Exceptional Women Program, and was an Olympic Torchbearer in New York City.
Today, Trisha speaks about her journey of recovery and healing to groups, including businesses, universities, brain injury associations, sexual assault centers, and hospitals. With her book and lectures, she offers lessons on how to manage through unpredictable change, whether personal, professional, economic or spiritual. Her story has encouraged people worldwide to overcome life’s obstacles – regardless of what they might be – and get back on the road to life.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Teamwork: The Power of Support
Trisha stresses how outside support was vital to her healing. Family, friends, coworkers, doctors, nurses, and therapists all worked as a team to ensure Trisha’s survival. Additional support came from strangers as an outpouring of thoughts, prayers, and warm messages provided a critical connection for Trisha, reaffirming that she was not alone in her ordeal. Trisha inspires others about the importance of “joining the team,” regardless of the goal.
Leadership: The Power of Self-Knowledge
Self-knowledge is a critical element in any leadership practice. After the attack, Trisha was forced to learn to live in a new body with a new mind, to understand herself in an entirely new way. Becoming more acutely aware of her strengths and weaknesses helped Trisha develop confidence, which lead to setting goals and taking action to improve. Trisha encourages others to tap into the power of self-knowledge, take control and move forward.
Attitude: The Power of Choice
Trisha couldn’t change what happened – the attack – but she realized that she could choose how to respond. Beyond her recovery, Trisha chose to use this adversity to offer hope and possibility to others. In everyday life, we make choices quite causally, even carelessly. But when people choose consciously and with precision – choose as though their life depends on the choice they are making, real power flows. Through her speaking and writing, Trisha inspires listeners to experience the power of making conscious choices.
Personal Growth: The Power of Possibilities
Trisha’s transformation from someone in a wheelchair, who couldn’t walk to once again being a determined athlete capable of completing a New York City Marathon, was the result of concentrating on her possibilities. Focusing on what she could do, rather than on what she couldn’t, motivated her to keep pushing to the edges of what she thought was possible, regardless of the obstacles. As a best selling author and Chairman of a worldwide organization serving those with disabilities, Trisha shows the results of continued pushing and growing.
Mind/Body: The Power of the Present Moment
In the middle of a crisis, it is often difficult to figure out what to do first. When everything had been taken away from Trisha, she realized all she could do to improve her future was to work in the present moment. She offers this as critical insight to all of us who face business and personal challenges.
Peak Performance: The Power of Personal Responsibility
In the darkest days after the attack, Trisha took responsibility for her recovery, realizing that she was an integral part of the healing process. Soon after emerging from the coma when a nurse asked her, “Who’s the captain of this ship?” Trisha replied, “I am.” Taking responsibility in this way led Trisha to set, pursue and achieve goals, and touch thousands in the process. Trisha demonstrates to her audience that taking personal responsibility is the beginning of peak performance.
Trisha Meili, I Am The Central Park Jogger
1 HOUR OR LESS