As a youth motivational speaker, I sometimes wonder if the presentation has a lasting impact on the audience. I travel from one community to another giving motivational presentations and spending but a few hours at one site. I seldom get a chance to see if there is any fruit to my labor. But on rare occasions, I see the impact of my message come back around.
I recently gave a teacher in-service training to a small school district just south of Fresno, California. It was a two-hour seminar on diversity. After the presentation, I met with a young man in his early twenties who had recently been hired. He was eager to tell me that this was his third time experiencing the presentation and that each time he took something different from the message.
His first experience was during his middle school years. At this point in his life, he was involved in a gang, constantly in trouble with teachers as well as other students and not doing well in school. I gave a school assembly on gang awareness and prevention. He related to something in my message, which inspired him to try harder and do better.
The second time was during a high school assembly where I presented “The Winner Within”, a presentation designed to help high school students reflect on their future. Because he had endured many difficulties through out his school experience, he was unsure of his future. After hearing the message again, he came away believing in his potential and decided to go to college. He recently completed his AA degree.
Now, he is a school employee for an elementary school district and receiving yet another dose of my message during a staff development. This time, however, he views it from the lens of an educator. He now understands how important a role he plays at having a positive influence on the students he serves.
His words struck a cord in me. It was inspiring to hear his story and even more to see that this young man who underwent several life changing experiences is now making a difference for other youth. Seldom do I present to someone three different times and at three different periods in life. I felt honored and can see that my message, educational, motivational and inspiring, does come back around.