Top Youth Motivational Speaker Rocks 32nd Annual Teen Showcase On Thursday, March 30, top youth motivational speaker Jeff Yalden arrived at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, Ill., to deliver a keynote address at the 32nd annual Teen Showcase – an event that aims to empower youth to make the right choices and to embrace a healthy lifestyle – avoiding drugs, alcohol and tobacco, goal setting and more. Teen Showcase is presented by a collective of regional mental health, medical and educational organizations in Illinois – North Central Behavioral Health Systems, LaSalle County Health Department, Bureau-Putnam County Health Department, Community Partners Against Substance Abuse [CPASA], Illinois Valley Community Hospital, St. Margaret’s Health, and Illinois Valley Community College. “This coalition is comprised of some pretty prominent people on the board, but what is great is that they are very, very supportive of youth programs: mental health, drugs – helping youth make good decisions and believe in themselves,” he said, adding that he teamed up with CPASA for a similar event the week before in Princeton, Ill. “They brought me in again today, but this was called Teen Showcase – where I was the opening general sessions speaker to about 620 high school and middle school students – representing 11 different schools in the area,” he said. Yalden focused on teen motivation, and he said the turnout was outstanding. Later, He received emails and messages on social media from young people, letting him know that his words inspired and helped them. “I guess I was a pretty big hit – and that’s a good feeling,” he said. Yalden is not a big fan of waiting to go onstage because he is usually naturally amped-up (he doesn’t normally drink coffee or energy drinks). To get in the zone, he sent up a prayer, did some mindful breathing and listened to some Jason Aldean – and in ten minutes, he was, as he would say, good to go. He covered a lot of ground in nearly 90 minutes, and started out with a question: “Who is the hardest person to get to know? Ourselves,” he said. He spent some time driving home the fact the world owes us nothing, and that he feels that, collectively, we are getting dumber and dumber. “We don’t think anymore,” he said. “We go home and we watch stupid reality television, and over five million [8.6m on Instagram] people are following [Danielle Bregoli] “Cash Me Outside, How Bow Dah.” He said that teachers start by teaching a subject to young people, but when you touch the heart, the mind will follow. Yalden stressed the importance of staying “in purpose.” “Something might take you out of purpose for a day, a week – a couple of weeks – but then there comes that point where you are like, ‘you know what – I’ve got to get up, man.’” He also said that that when you look in the mirror and you don’t like the reflection that looks back – don’t blame it on the mirror. “You have to embrace the process in life. Embrace it as much as it sucks. Embrace it because it’s the process that shapes us,” he said. To find out why Jeff Yalden is North America’s number one youth motivational speaker and to learn more about his programs, visit www.jeffyalden.com. Book Jeff now for your school, organization or event by calling 800-948-9289.
Jeff Yalden Inspires Merrimack Middle School and Endicott College On Tuesday, March 28, North America’s number one youth motivational speaker inspired seventh and eighth graders at Merrimack Middle School in Merrimack, New Hampshire. “This is probably the only program where I ever had cancellations because of snow – and then finally on the third attempt, it worked,” said Jeff Yalden. Having grown up just outside Merrimack, Jeff was happy to be back in his old stomping grounds. “A lot of my friends went to this school or lived in the community. I felt like it was good to be back. I loved the administration and the teachers, and we had a really great time.” He electrified an assembly of 600 kids and later presented an in-service program for the teachers, with a focus on validating who they are and the importance of their work. He also worked with 13 at-risk kids.
[Above: Merrimack Middle School Assembly]Yalden talked about the value of a plan, and told the kids that it wasn’t too early to have a plan for their lives. He said that life will never be fair, but stressed the importance of resiliency. He spoke of trust and the human imperative of helping others. “You know what I think good people do? When we see our peers down-and-out and when we see that our peers need help, we help them out, right?” His teacher in-service program was well-attended, and Yalden pointed out that this was not mandatory for teachers to attend. Yalden’s mantra – Take Time to Think – resonated with Merrimack Middle School Principal Adam Caragher. “I said it in the p.m. announcements today, and it’s something I want to make sure kids are doing – taking time to think,” he said. Assistant principal Shawna D’Amour was pleased with the day as well, and impressed with the number of students who wanted to meet Yalden after he spoke. And a couple of Yalden’s talking points hit home for D’Amour. “Something I really loved is when [Jeff] talked about the Law of Attraction and if you are going to be a victim or a victor, and also – if you look in the mirror, is the person inside as beautiful as the person on the outside. I think that resonated with some of the kids,” she said. As soon as he was finished in Merrimack, Yalden drove 60 miles to Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., where he presented fun program that night called Real Talk for Real Men. Although he said he was expecting to see perhaps 30 students, more than 120 showed up “Quite a few women came out too, and it was awesome,” he said. “I love college students because you can be real and you get to talk the way you want to. After his talk, Yalden was surprised that probably 50 students lined up to shake his hand. Some of them said he was the best speaker they heard in their four years on campus. To discover more about Jeff’s programs, visit www.jeffyalden.com. Jeff’s speaking calendar fills up fast. To book him now, call 800-948-9289.