An author says students have an opportunity to make a huge imprint and major impact at Heidelberg University.
They have an opportunity to do much more than just get a diploma, said Adam Shepard, author of "Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream."
Shepard, whose book was required reading material for all Heidelberg University freshmen, spoke in Rickly Chapel Tuesday morning. He said people should get more done than the person next to them.
"You either go 100 percent or zero," he said.
Shepard said his life has been a series of failures.
"You are going to fail, so the question is, 'What are you going to do now?'" he said.
A website about "Scratch Beginnings" gives people a look at the book's introduction.
Shepard wrote he planned to take a tarp, sleeping bag, empty gym bag, $25 and the clothes he was wearing and was going to be dropped off somewhere outside of North Carolina and in the southeastern part of the country.
He gave himself 365 days to become free from homelessness.
He planned to consider his project a success if, after a year, he had a working automobile, lived in a furnished apartment, had $2,500 in cash and was in a position that would enable him either to attend school or start a business.
Shepard wasn't going to allow himself to beg for money, use services unavailable to others or use his previous contacts, college education or credit history.
His journey was successful, according to the book's website.
"This was always an experiment for me," he said.
Shepard's journey started the summer after his freshman year of college. He said he wanted to be on his own and didn't want to get a job that made him work 9 a.m.-5 p.m. He passed around flyers offering to do anything for $10 an hour and worked 100 hours for $1,000.
The woman he worked for also gave him a copy of "Nickle and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America," a book about a woman who went to different cities to see whether she could live the American dream.
"She couldn't make it," he said.
Shepard opted to start his one-year experiment and later published his experiences in "Scratch Beginnings."
"It really is amazing to me what we have the potential to accomplish," he said.