Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives

What if you, facing a game-changing event or decision right now, could see a decade into the future?

Through years of perseverance, purpose, and passion, Hoda Kotb landed a spot with Kathie Lee on the Today show, won numerous journalism awards, and gained valuable life lessons.

Now, fresh off her New York Times bestselling memoir Hoda, she turns to stories about others who’ve undergone personal transformation against great odds.

In Ten Years LaterHoda chronicles six peoples’ stories by identifying game-changing events in their lives…and then revisiting those lives a decade later.

We meet Amy Barnes, who took the leap to escape an abusive relationship, shed 340 pounds, and now encourages women like her to cultivate their mental and physical strength.

There’s also Ron Clifford, a civilian hero of 9/11, who saved the life of a burn victim in the wreckage of the Twin Towers—only to learn the same day that his sister and niece were passengers on Flight 175.

Patrick Weiland, a former network producer who won a Peabody at age 22 and later spiraled into drug addition, demonstrates the power of a second chance.

Here’s Hoda telling her cohost Kathie Lee a little bit about her new book:

In this clip Kotb discusses details of Ten Years Later with the Union League Club of Chicago:

Kotb isn’t one of the six subjects in Ten Years Later, but she knows the impact of game changers. In the following excerpt, she describes one of the biggest in her own life:

In 1987, I was driving around the Southeast in my mom’s car, looking for my first job out of college. I had a degree in communications from Virginia Tech and a twenty-minute videotape résumé. I bought a new green suit for the one interview I so ignorantly assumed it would take to land a television reporting job in Richmond, Virginia. Well, I was off by about six suits and a hundred TV market rankings. Richmond told me no. Memphis said no. Three nos from Birmingham. My résumé tape got ejected from VCR after VCR, and my one day on the road turned into eight, then nine, then ten. “No, sorry.” The maddening cycle of ejection, rejection, and dejection started in Virginia and continued all the way down through the Florida panhandle. A total of twenty-seven news directors told me no. I was devastated. My dream of working in TV news was now looking more like a career in public relations. I turned the car around and headed north back toward Virginia. And then, somewhere in Mississippi, I took a wrong turn. GPS systems and cell phones did not exist; I was officially lost. As I drove around looking for a way to get back on track, I noticed a billboard for WXVT featuring the CBS Eye. The station was located in Greenville, a TV market I hadn’t considered. I figured, What do I have to lose? I drove to Greenville, digging deep for one last shred of hope. That very day, Stan Sandroni was promoted from WXVT’s sports director to news director, and he agreed to see me. In went my résumé tape, and out came the words I so desperately wanted to hear.

“Hoda, I like what I see.”

My wrong turn turned out to be one of the best mistakes I’ve ever made. Stan hired me after nearly thirty other people would not. Gutting out the challenge of rejection paid off. That chance meeting would prove to be a game changer in my life.

Ten Years Later is a firsthand testament to the enduring power of the human spirit. Through inspirational life stories, Hoda shows how adversity can unleash our best qualities: resilience, perseverance, gratitude, empathy, and creativity. This book will inspire you to believe in the future, no matter how dark the present, and tap into the ability to reach your highest potential.