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Leading Teen Motivational Speaker Inspires in Canada

Jeff Yalden at Lakes District Secondary School

By Roger Yale for Jeff Yalden, Youth Motivational Speaker

The second leg of teen motivational speaker Jeff Yalden’s trip to British Columbia found him in the Village of Burns Lake, which is touted as the gateway to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, a protected area encompassing a jaw-dropping 3,790 square miles of Western Canadian splendor.

“One of the things I really enjoy about what I do is having the opportunity to look out the windshield and see beautiful country in different parts of the world,” he said.

Yalden was brought in by an organization called the Nechako area Children and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative [CYMHSU], which is in place to provide mental health and substance abuse support to individuals and families in British Columbia.

He spoke to an assembly of grades 8-12 at Lakes District Secondary School on Thursday, February 23.

“This was a very intimate session with about 500 kids. We spoke for two hours about mental health, dealing with anger, perseverance, anxiety, how to deal with your emotions, and self-esteem,” he said.

Jeff was impressed with the positive vibe as soon as he arrived.

“My favorite part of walking into a school is when you see the positive inspiration that surrounds them every day. I think it’s important to dress up the school and make it a home – and environment that fosters learning, love and caring – perseverance and overcoming challenges. I love it.”

School staffers cited high stress levels in the 12th graders from factors like academics and peer pressure, and Yalden drew on tried-and-true topics from his motivational toolbox – including transition, resilience and mental health.

“The best way to build self-esteem is to be challenged with something and to be able to work your way through it,” he said.

He also urged students who felt overwhelmed to find adults that they trust and respect – and whose opinions they value – and don’t be afraid to go to them.

“If you ask me, overnight success takes 15 to 20 years,” he said.

He asked the students what they were willing to work hard to accomplish, and placed the responsibility directly on their shoulders.

“As parents, we do the best we can but we are not perfect. Sometimes we want to give you our wisdom and experience – but ultimately this is your life. This is your dream. This is your world.”

Yalden told them to be sure to write down their dreams, turn them into plans and back up those plans with consistent action.

Of course, many things can threaten to take a person out of purpose – but we can get back on track by asking better questions.

“Many of us deal with abuse. We deal with alcoholism, blended families, divorce and financial struggles. I get it. But I want every one of you to understand that through the struggles – the trials and tribulations – you still have a purpose and a life to live. Start at the beginning, and value yourself,” he said.

Jeff Yalden has addressed more than 4000 teen audiences in all 50 states, every province in Canada and 49 countries. Find out more at

Jeff’s speaking calendar fills up fast. Book him now by calling 800-948-9289.

TAGS: British Columbia, Jeff Yalden, Teen Motivational Speaker, Burns Lake, Lakes District Secondary School, Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, Children and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative, Youth Motivational Speaker, Suicide Prevention Speaker, Parenting, Responsibility, Canada, Mental Health Awareness, Secondary School Speaker, School Assembly Speaker, Canadian Mental Health, Teen Mental Health Speaker

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