Travis Roy, former BU hockey player, will speak at three Needham elementary schools next week, with his powerful message of believing in yourself and setting positive goals, regardless of the challenges you face.

Roy achieved his own goal of winning a hockey scholarship to Boston University. But 11 seconds into his first collegiate game in 1995, a crash into the boards broke two vertebrae and severed his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed him from the neck down. With intensive physical rehabilitation, Roy completed his college degree; became an author, motivational speaker and activist; and launched a foundation to fund research on spinal cord injury and to help survivors.

His appearance at Mitchell, Broadmeadow, and Newman schools will kick off those schools’ Disability Awareness Programs for 2012-13. Roy’s powerful presentation at Eliot and Hillside schools last year made such a strong impression that parents and school leaders sought to bring his message to the other elementary schools. Roy’s visit next week is funded by a grant from the Needham Education Foundation (NEF).

“Travis Roy’s message is simple yet powerful: No one is immune from the adversity life hands us, and we all have a choice in how we face these challenges,” said Suzanne Lissy, a Broadmeadow parent who lead the effort to bring Roy to Needham again and chairs the Disability Awareness program at Broadmeadow. “His motivational message mirrors many of the themes threaded throughout our Disability Awareness programs.”

Roy will speak at Mitchell School on Monday, October 22, at Broadmeadow on Thursday, October 25 and at Newman on Friday, October 26.