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James Durbin Brings Message of Empowerment and Self-Determination to Those with Disabilities

Tom Flanigan

An American Idol star who went on to sing lead for the band "Quiet Riot" is visiting Tallahassee, but James Durbin is doing a lot more than just performing his music.

Durbin is a dynamic vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. He also has autism and Tourette Syndrome. On Thursday morning (10/26), he connected with some 400 students at Nims Middle School. Then spoke at the FSU College of Medicine.

"Doing stuff like this and speaking definitely helps to connect between whatever my mission is where I've come from," he said, adding that place in the past was often filled with bullying, pain and self-doubt.

Today he works to inspire young people with his example and insisted he learns more from them than they do from him.