Nickelodeon’s red Power Ranger, William Shewfelt, inspires CSU students to ‘get serious’ about their dreams

Nate Day and Jonny Rhein

William Shewfelt may play a hero on screen, but he became a hero in real life Wednesday night in the LSC. 

Shewfelt, who stars as Brody Romero, also known as the red Power Ranger on Nickelodeon’s “Power Rangers: Ninja Steel,” visited campus yesterday to discuss career aspirations with students.

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A man gives a speech to a crowd
William Shewfelt discussed how he went from a economics student to an actor in less than 2 years during his motivational talk on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. He gave the details on his support network along with how he was able to fully commit to acting. (Josh Schroeder | Collegian)

After pursuing degree in economics, Shewfelt decided that he didn’t want to spend his life working in jobs that didn’t excite him. Instead, he chose to follow his dreams and try acting.

“It was an internal desire that was bubbling up in me from when I was young,” Shewfelt said. “…I realized that through acting, I could be personally fulfilled and I’d have a platform where I could help people.”

As to how he managed to make it big in the industry, Shewfelt recalled his process of “self-motivation, goal setting, and a lot of getting out there, getting out of (his) comfort zone.”

Breaking into the big time wasn’t without it’s challenges however. Shewfelt faced intense food insecurity and racial profiling in casting—and issue that he still struggles with today.

However, despite the challenges he’s faced, Shewfelt maintains a positive attitude about his negative experiences, calling them moments of “failing forward” which inspire personal and professional growth for him.

Shewfelt plans on using his platform to assist people, especially his mother’s home country of Guyana on the northern coast of South America. According to Shewfelt, wealth distribution and corruption are issues in Guyana.

Similarly, he’d like to help out his hometown of Modesto, California, grow beyond its no-opportunities reputation. He’s began that process by speaking at his former schools, reminding students to set goals and to develop career skills to follow their dreams.

During Shewfelt’s talk at CSU, he spoke of his period of soul searching after he decided economics was not something he wanted to pursue. He emphasized the importance of daily goal setting, journaling and reading. At the end, he opened up the floor for questions from the audience.

A man chooses people to answer their questions after his speech.
Actor William Shewfelt answered questions in a Q&A session after his motivational talk on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at the LSC Theater. He answered a variety of questions from anyone in the audience who had something to ask, from life questions to acting questions. (Josh Schroeder | Collegian)

Among the students who asked questions was Nicole Acheampong, a human development and family studies junior at Colorado State University. She came to see Shewfelt speak, because she is interested in becoming an actress. Acheampong said she learned a valuable lesson from Shewfelt.

“I have a lot of work to do,” Acheampong said. “If I truly want to pursue acting, I have to get serious about it. He gave me that motivation about not having to have that really big past or have the money or the connections to pursue something. If you really want to do it, go for it, and don’t look at those obstacles like it’s never going to happen.”

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Acheampong said she was surprised at how personable Shewfelt seemed.

“I think he’s an awesome person, and I don’t think he’s a typical actor,” Acheampong said. “It was interesting to see what his background was, and I thought he was one of those people who had the money. He seems like a normal dude.”

Isabelle Rayburn, an undeclared freshman, came to see Shewfelt as part of the Key Explore program at CSU. Key Explore helps undeclared students find out more about themselves and helps them make decisions in their career paths.

“At first when I walked in here, I didn’t want to be in here because it was for an assignment,” Rayburn said. “As I listened, I realized being in Key Explore is really about exploring and what (Shewfelt) did was explore. He’s kind of in our shoes. He was exploring, and he found his path that he wanted to be on.”

Rayburn gravitated towards Shewfelt’s subject of setting daily goals.

“If you don’t know what you’re trying to do, just set goals daily and you can do them,” Rayburn said. “Believe in yourself and set high goals and you can achieve it.”

Collegian reporter Jonny Rhein can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @jonnyrhein.

Collegian reporter Nate Day can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @NateMDay.