The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I stayed in TEN hotel beds in 12 days and spoke in multiple states from coast to coast. From DC to Los Angeles, three days speaking near Boston, Massachusetts has kept me busy. Still trying to catch my breath in just the last 24 hours I had the privilege to speak to junior high – senior high students at a school in MARYLAND on Wednesday. On Thursday morning spoke to leaders in DELAWARE and then drove another 150 miles to connect with Kerrydale Elementary School in VIRGINIA that same afternoon. Lately it has been planes, trains and automobiles and grateful for the invite to have a meeting with an ambassador at the United Nations in next few weeks.
The public school assembly yesterday in Virginia was tons of FUN and their energy is OFF THE CHARTS! Not only could professional athletes benefit from them but I certainly can too! This generation gives me much HOPE and seeing the students smiles yesterday helps keep me going. I have learned when you go to give often you get blessed in the process. When we go to encourage they often EMPOWER you! Life is a two way street and it is a win-win WHEN we graduate past selfishness and live to give.
Last month, we had another school shooting and this time closer to home in my beloved Maryland. A student was killed and a community is still recovering. I drove to the school on the day of the shooting and I spoke with Maryland State Police seeing if they needed any other caring adults to lend an ear or their heart to offer compassion and counsel. The place was packed with both police, parents and caring strangers. The teachers are truly unsung heroes and my hat is off to all our dedicated educators. I shared a post on Facebook the evening of the shooting and within four days received almost 9,000 views just trying to be an encouragement. Being a student and teenager these days is not easy and trying to be a parent or guardian is perhaps as difficult as ever. We have more technology but not certain if we have better tools to help steer our students to safety and making wise choices.
As another year is winding down before summer break I am convinced that SCHOOL is COOL! My heart echos what other fellow school assembly speakers are saying both on and off the platform that we want to be part of the ANSWER not problem. My friend Marc Mero does an AMAZING job on making healthy decisions and my buddy, Sam Glenn is a jedi when it comes to discussing attitude. We are colleagues not competition and any of us and many more are hoping to speak life and build UP this generation. They are not leaders tomorrow but already leading TODAY and we can truly learn from each other. My friend, Josh Shipp says, “most teens are ONE caring adult away from a totally different life.” Last week, I heard a story that broke my heart. My mother shared a story that hit national news of a student who went to his car to grab something and return to class. While he was in the vehicle his mother’s mini van seat pinned him and the student called 9-11. Trying to describe his location with bated breath the call dropped! He tried to call back and with gasping air noted, “I am dying – please help!” He did his best to describe the location of the parked car on the public school lot and sadly when paramedics arrived it was TOO LATE. More than ever, I am making myself available and some students are doing incredible and others are silently calling for help and together my desire is not arrive after another tragedy. Our mission and message is by instilling HOPE while sharing game changing choices we won’t have to call an emergency number. Help is on the way but we cannot connect with your school if you don’t call our office. Booking a few more dates this year and already for next year! Over the years, twice I have been fortunate to speak to crowds as large as 100,000 in a stadium and scores of school assemblies across America but the biggest number is trying to encourage ONE more. Please don’t delay because lives hang in the balance. Together we can make a WORLD of difference.