Horatio Alger Success Stories
A Personal Biography of Tyler Dohlman
Normal is the goal of everyone - not being excluded, being wanted - being the average person that gets treated the same as everyone else. That specific goal changed for me at age seven when I lost my foot in a grain auger accident. It changed my “normal” to “abnormal.” I didn’t know what to do or how to feel. I felt completely helpless and worried what people would think of me.
With the help of my family, especially my father, I was able to accept what happened and to realize that there is nowhere else to go but forward. My father always said that the past was there for a reason; for you to learn, not for you to dwell on or to feel sorry for yourself. That statement impacted me more than anything else, because after going through my accident, I lost my father in a grain bin accident at age twelve. Going through those two huge experiences changed my life. I learned a lot of things quickly. You cannot do anything about the past. Life can come and go in an instant, so dream and dream big. Work hard for those dreams, for that is what people will remember about you.
A quote I have lived by is “there is pleasure in life, in doing what people say you cannot do.” I was often told that things were impossible, or not reality, or unreachable. I was told that I would not be as fast as other kids, that Wrightsville High School, with a graduating class of 31, would never produce a D-1 football player, and that getting into veterinary school after two years of undergraduate courses was impossible and that I would probably fail if I tried it.
I’m just going to tell you: I’ll race anyone, any time, any day. I was on the Ohio State University football team as the second-string snapper in 2004, and I am now in my third year of vet school after completing two years of undergraduate classes. So, just remember that nothing is impossible or unreachable.
The Horatio Alger Association has had a monumental impact on my success. They provided me with financial assistance for getting through school as a Horatio Alger National Scholar, and more recently provided a Dennis Washington Achievement scholarship for my post-graduate studies. The Association has confirmed that giving back truly is the American Dream. They believe that adversity will strengthen rather than hinder you. There is no way I can show how much I appreciate the Horatio Alger Association, but to remind people to dream and dream big – you never know where it may lead.