CHADRON – A former participant in the CBS reality show “Survivor: Nicaragua,” Holly Hoffman, will speak at Chadron State College Thursday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. Hoffman will be signing her 2013 book “Your Winner Within,” following the program that is free and open to the public.
Hoffman, from Eureka, a northcentral South Dakota community of less than 900, was one of 100,000 applicants for Survivor in 2010.
Until the day she received her final casting call, she was tempted to cancel.
"I was going to back out from fear of the unknown. How many times in your life do you let fear hold you back? We need to face our fears and keep moving forward,” Hoffman said in a promotional video she recorded for CSC.
When the 39-day show concluded, she was the last remaining member over 40 and the last woman in the cast.
Since “Survivor,” Hoffman has become a motivational speaker, sharing lessons she learned from the show and life.
Surviving the reality show was not her only hardship. She grew up in a home with an alcoholic father, until her parents’ divorce, then she and her brothers worked to help with household expenses. In 1996, her three children were injured in a roll-over accident. These and other experiences are from Hoffman’s 2013 book, “Your Inner Winner.”
“Don’t walk away, don’t give up. Nobody can go back and start their life over, but everybody can go forward and make a new ending to their story,” Hoffman said. “When we step out of our comfort zone, that’s when we discover who we really are. That’s when you challenge yourself. When we are tested, we find out what we are truly made of.”
Hoffman’s appearance was organized by students enrolled in Survival Skills 101 (FYI 169x) taught by Dr. Kim Madsen during the spring 2017 semester. The program is co-sponsored by the Family and Consumer Science department, the Education department, Student Senate, Internship and Career Services, and Student Affairs.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator