Skip To Main Content

Schools Panel

Sidebar Container

Sticky call to action buttons

DASD Welcomes Zach Gowen

Downingtown, PA – On April 25th at 6:00 p.m., students, staff and Downingtown Area School District (DASD) community members are invited to virtually attend a one-of-a-kind event. World-renowned athlete and WWE Wrestler, Zach Gowen, will present an interactive zoom session entitled, “Overcoming Adversity.”

After a tumultuous childhood, an 8-year-old Zach Gowen faced the ultimate adversity – cancer. It was a battle that would cost Zach his left leg, but still he refused to be a victim. Just ten years later, Zach would see his childhood dream come true – a career as a world-famous professional wrestler, eventually signing with the global phenomenon World Wrestling Entertainment. However, success was fleeting, and a young, immature, and now unemployed Zach now found himself on a new road – one of self-destruction. Fame and fortune gave way to drugs and alcohol, and it seemed like what was once an inspirational story of hope was destined for a dark and depressing end – death. Had Zach lost his way for good or could he re-discover that light that had guided him through so many perils of his past? For the first time ever, watch in its entirety, the life story of one man who was given everything, before he was ready to handle anything, and who had to lose it all… to find himself. The evening’s conversation will focus on overcoming adversity and disability awareness. Attendees will leave feeling inspired and motivated.

Zach Gowen states, “I'm excited to come and speak with Downingtown school district because it’s never been more important to carry and receive a positive message. I hope people will get an deep understanding that life isn’t about what happens to us, where we’re from, what we look like, or what lies we’ve been taught. Life is about how we respond. And if our responses are rooted in faith, love, service, and self-care then there is a world out there that is indescribably wonderful and available to all of us.”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Director Justin Brown noted, “I’m very excited that Zach agreed to speak with members of our community. As a WWE superstar, he brings awareness to people everywhere. Our district strives to ensure that all students feel that they belong and can see themselves in our schools and community. It is our job to make sure students can be their authentic selves, regardless of their lived background, their ability, their lived experience or how they choose to identify.”

To register, learn more about DASD’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, and to see examples of its program in action, please visit