Crichfield flips over Wilhelm


Matt Wilhelm, former BMX National Champion and America’s Got Talent Semi-Finalist, rode his way into Crichfield Tuesday bringing with him a message of empowerment, empathy, and perseverance.

Wilhelm, after achieving incredible success in the BMX world, decided to take his talents from the track to the halls and share his story with students from around the country. According to his website, his intention is “empowering kids to be confident, caring, and kind.”

The assembly moved seamlessly between showstopping BMX tricks that left kids speechless to Wilhelm’s touching story of being bullied as a child. He detailed instances of bullies making fun of his appearance and the teasing even getting physical until one hero, a boy named Glen, stepped in to stick up for Wilhelm.

“’Be somebody’s hero’ was a great message for students to help them realize everyone can be a hero. I like how Matt told us about his hero and how that helped him accomplish great things in his life. Being somebody’s hero is about doing what’s right, helping others and being kind. We want our students to learn these lessons now so they can be amazing and make a difference throughout their lives,” Mrs. Wilson, school counselor, said.

Wilhelm also spoke at length about never giving up, even when times get hard. While he may have 2x National Champion next to his name, Wilhelm finished in last place at his first BMX competition, leaving him dejected and unsure if he wanted to continue to pursue his dream. Instead, he went home, regrouped, and worked even harder, catapulting him to the top. It was a message that resonated with Crichfield students and staff.

“It was a great assembly and message! The students were engaged and could relate to him and what he was saying. He delivered his message in such a fun way,” Mrs. Nash, third grade teacher, said.

Wilhelm found his confidence on a BMX bike, learning tricks and skills that took him to the highest levels of competition. His talent was on display in the Crichfield Gym as he spun, jumped, balanced, and maneuvered his bike in ways that would impress anyone. At one point, he called up two student volunteers and had them perform a trick on his bike in front of the entire crowd. He even ended his assembly by jumping over two teachers who were lying on the floor.

His message was delivered loud and clear through all the tricks and fun. Cougar students and staff left with a new sense of purpose and focus.

“Tuesday’s BMX Anti-Bullying assembly was fantastic! The kids were in awe of Matt’s abilities and his positive message. They learned about perseverance and how to stick up for others. They left inspired and excited about their futures,” Mrs. Capusan, kindergarten teacher, said.

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