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Huntington North alum shares motivational message

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MT KILIMANJARO: From left are Dusty Breeding and his wife, Cecily, at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in July 2016.
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MOTIVATIONAL TALK: Dusty Breeding, 2004 Huntington North High School graduate, left, speaks to Brendan Buhler, HNHS junior.

By Jennifer Peryam - jperyam@h-ponline.com

Andrews native and 2004 Huntington North High School graduate Dusty Breeding inspired students to continue pursuing their goals no matter what. 

Breeding, 32, spoke to students in the high school’s auditorium about how after graduating from HNHS he moved to Malibu, Calif., and completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in religion at Pepperdine University. He also spoke about reaching his goal of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

In addition to speaking at HNHS Tuesday, Breeding also gave a presentation to fourth- and fifth-graders at Andrews Elementary School.

He currently serves as the campus minister at Pepperdine University and is the advocacy director for Made in the Streets, a nonprofit working with children in the slums of Nairobi. He is the brand ambassador for the international fitness apparel company Lululemon Athletica.

On July 4, 2016, Breeding woke up at 15,000 feet at the base camps of Mt. Kilimanjaro. On July 5, a day later, he reached the top of the mountain with his wife, Cecily.

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa at 19,341 feet. He showed a slideshow that had photos of his journey.

“It was one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life,” Breeding said.

He said his journey in life did not begin by climbing that mountain, but in Andrews, Ind., where he grew up.

He attended Andrews Elementary School, Riverview Middle School and Huntington North.

“My time growing up in Andrews was pivotal to who I am today. Huntington County has a community of people who work hard and that was modeled to me by my teachers,” Breeding said.

He said after he graduated from high school he traveled to East Africa.

“That was an experience that altered my life because I saw there was great need in the world and that I had skills to assist and serve,” Breeding said.

He started a nonprofit to help people in Africa build homes and work with kids who live on the streets of Nairobi.

Breeding then became a campus minister at Pepperdine University, taking several of his students to Nairobi, Kenya.

“One of the things I have learned throughout my journeys is that challenge introduces you to yourself. The moments when I’m exhausted are when I learn the most about myself,” Breeding said.

He said he has learned throughout his journeys is that every discipline has its corresponding freedom.

“Discipline is a practice that leads you to a goal and something you do ritualistically to lead a better life,” Breeding said.

He shared three disciplines with HNHS students, including the discipline of dreaming, goal setting and community.

He said the discipline of dreaming is something that has to be practiced.

“It’s not something you are instantly good at. You have to dream well and think about college, setting goals and dreams and cultivating big ideas,” Breeding said.

The discipline of goal setting is to set short- and long-term goals. He said goals must be measurable, attainable, relevant and have a time frame.

He said the discipline of community is establishing a network of people who will support meeting goals.

“It inspired me to know someone who went to our high school could accomplish these things,” said Huntington North junior Brenden Buhler.

Buhler said his goals are to attend college and get a teaching degree.