On behalf of Common Ground Speaks I thank you for two compelling and inspirational presentations. The student presentation to the Pingry School's middle school and upper school students, as well as their faculty, was impactful, thought provoking, and engaging. As the students filed out of the auditorium I heard repeatedly, "wow, that was an assembly I will remember", and "really, just one choice." The evening presentation to parents, educators, and students was likewise terrific and truly resonated with all of us. Through your personal story you brought forth how important it is for parents to be aware of what our children are doing vs. what we might like to think they are doing, and how we must prepare them by laying the foundation for making good choices as they mature. -Sabrina Lipkind, Co-Chair Common Ground Speaks
Thought-provoking. Inspirational. Hopeful. The power of Tony’s message is unmatched. It is clear that he cares about the lives of students; they are his priority; they could feel it the minute he started talking. We were all impacted by how one choice can make all the difference in the course of your life. Days later our whole campus is still processing all he had to share with us. I would bring him back in a heartbeat to speak to our college students. -Jill Harrison, Counselor, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, MN
Tony Hoffman’s phenomenal presentation was one that not only inspired me but impacted the county. His message of hope, redemption, and change resonated with those in attendance and created a mindset of working together to combat the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our community. It was inspiring to see how Tony’s message resulted in young and old alike coming together to learn more about this epidemic, support and encourage one another, and join this fight as we press toward the road to healing and recovery. Yvette Sterling Cross, Emergency Services Director- Somerset County, Maryland
Tony is able to bring a realism to the issues of drug and alcohol addiction. He has lived the American dream and the American tragedy. His message resonated with our students. Tony hit so many of the exact same points we try to get across to our students. He was an excellent speaker who brought a message of hope to students that may be dealing with their own issues each and every day. He encouraged them to get help and fight anxiety, depression, and addiction.
—Rich Cory, Principal, Westview Jr-Sr High School
Tony-I would like to thank you for sharing your story with our students today. Your presentation was engaging, thought provoking and your brutal honesty about your life choices kept our students wanting to know more. I am sure you could tell by the number of questions asked that our student body really heard your message and I hope they take it to heart. I would also like to thank you for the extended time you spent after the convocation talking to our students individually and posing for pictures as well. Thank you again for coming to Prairie Heights High School and I wish you well on all your future endeavors.
Damon Witherspoon- Assistant Principal -Prairie Heights High School
Greg and I wanted to reach out to thank you for the outstanding job you did with the north country students. Your words were passionate with a honest, no-nonsense approach, a combination that hit home for them. They loved spending time with you after the presentation and we so appreciate you staying to hang out. For us here at the Consortium, the event was particularly special as we watched with amazement as the son of one of our staff members responded to the presentation by asking for help. He has since checked into a residential program and is getting the help he needs. When he left the event that day he told his mom that for the first time in his life he felt normal, and Tony, you made that happen. He told us he was so inspired by you and your journey, inspired enough to admit he wasn’t safe and needed help.
We are sure there were others in that room that were also transformed and at the very least are thinking seriously about their lives and future choices. In addition the adults that came with the students were so impressed and moved.
Truly your trip to NH significantly and positively impacted many, including all of us. We work so hard to move the dial on helping students and your presentation cranked it up!
Annette Carbonneau-Program Manager- North County Health Consortium