Speaking

826C0840 (1)Motivational speakers have a true purpose in their profession – they motivate and change lives. But the story doesn’t stop there. A speaking engagement is just the beginning of a conversation when it comes to building bridges between kids and communities.

I’ve spoken to thousands of students and people just like you about the importance of positive adult role models in kids’ lives. I have several themed speeches that you may want to bring to your school or community group, but I love to prepare something unique to your school or group. I think it’s so important to start the conversation about kids’ value by talking with them, not at them.

I have several themed speeches that you may want to bring to your school or community group, but I love to prepare something unique to your school or group. I think it’s so important to start the conversation about kids’ value by talking with them, not at them.

Here are my speaking themes and main talking points for schools and community groups:

I Was a Kid Just Like You – Motivational Speech (Appropriate for Jr/Sr High)

In this presentation, I get real with the kids about how hard school was for me. I talk about my divided home life and my drive to get attention no matter what – even if it meant I failed three grades. I was looking for someone to take me aside and tell me that I was important and loved. That story began when I met my mentor. He changed my life. I was heard. I was understood. I found a purpose beyond being a troublemaker. This story is their story.

Students Mentoring Students – A Plan for Starting a Mentoring Club (Appropriate for Sr High)

I’ve helped students start a mentoring club in several local schools. This student-led effort has impacted more than 100 students in our local school system and is one of the best methods for building unity and value in students I’ve found. This presentation will be directed at students ready to make a meaningful impact in their school and community. I will share a high-level look at how we started these programs and how these programs support themselves.

Bridging the Gap – A Talk on How Mental Health & Mentoring Work Together (Appropriate for Staff Development/Conferences)

I am the former director of the AWARE program in our county – one of only 30 school systems selected nationwide – to address the real need of mental health awareness and services in the public school system.

The research is overwhelming that students are suffering from mental health issues and that these issues impact their school performance and their future success. Addressing these issues and helping students realize they are not weird or should be ashamed of themselves is just part of the solution.

Mentoring is one of the single best ways to help bridge the gap between mental health and future success. This talk is a great addition to your teacher and staff professional development. It also makes a great workshop for conferences and continuing education.

How Mentoring Builds Community – An Overview of How Communities Can Foster a Better Future Through Mentoring (Appropriate for Civic/Community Groups)

Communities are dependent on the future generation for sustenance and growth. But we have a generation in turmoil. Schools are packed with children who are not getting their basic needs met. We’re providing meals, backpacks of food, discipline, classroom time, speech and disability services and in some situations clothing and the only parenting a child receives. This is a tall order for an institution that’s designed to give our children an education. Education is obviously more than reading, writing and arithmetic, but it’s not a replacement for what children need most – to feel valued and loved.

The breakdown of the home has left a significant portion of this generation in dire need of acceptance. Until we address this need in these children’s lives, everything else is secondary. But there’s a proven way communities can help. Research shows that mentoring is the single best tool we have to break this cycle of vulnerable children. In this talk, I’ll present how a community helps build the bridge to the next generation.

I’ll share my story and how we’ve successfully changed the lives of thousands of kids with a community-led mentoring program in Lawrence County, Tenn. over the past 10 years.