Author Hilary Corna shares her message about being a responsible global leader to students on Tuesday. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)
Author Hilary Corna shares her message about being a responsible global leader to students on Jan. 19. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

I dare you.

Those three words were the focus of motivational speaker Hilary Corna’s message to Weber State University students to go out and pursue their dreams.

“I’m gonna use the word ‘dare’ a lot today,” Corna said. “I absolutely love the definition. By definition, ‘dare’ doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful, it just means you have the courage and the willingness to try.”

In front of a small crowd on Jan. 19, Corna told students her story about how she was able to live her dreams of moving to Asia and beginning a career there right out of college. Through her experiences, she told the audience they can do anything so long as they take the chance.

“I realized something really beautiful about the world, which is we are constantly being dared,” Corna said. “Every single day, whether it’s coming to this event, talking to someone at the gym, changing your major. We are constantly being dared, and it’s up to us to take on those dares and act on them.”

Corna came from a single-parent family and was the first in her family to graduate college. After getting her degree from Elon University, Corna moved to Singapore to pursue her dreams of a career abroad and eventually found a job with Toyota as a senior executive officer. During her time working at Toyota, she was the only Caucasian working in her office. After spending several years in Asia, Corna returned home to the United States where she published a book, “One White Face,” about her time and experiences in Asia.

As the audience listened intently, Corna talked about how her experiences made her who she is today. One story she recounted was about how she had an opportunity to begin a career in Japan, but she turned down the offer in order to remain with her boyfriend at the time. She later realized that she truly wanted to follow her dream, so she broke up with her boyfriend and flew to Singapore where she managed to get a job at Toyota.

Over the rest of her talk, Corna told humorous anecdotes about her experiences with the people and locations she was in. She continued to tie those experiences back to her focus of daring students to take themselves out of their comfort zones to follow their dreams.

WSU Student Association Leadership Vice President Bryson Bohman was at the event and said that he felt Corna had a lot of good ideas and good information that college students should take to heart.

“I think what she had to say applies to everyone,” Bohman said. “And it’s especially good information for college students to hear because we’re in a time of our life where we’re trying to make our dreams become reality.”

You can find more information about Corna on her website at

The next speaker to come to Weber State will be Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper, who will be at the Wildcat Theater on Jan. 28 to speak as part of the Student Involvement and Leadership Convocation series.

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