It's always great to be back in the state of New Jersey, even if Newark is a rat race for a airport! It gets a little colder than I like for my taste but this trip was going to beat the cold but a couple of weeks, which made me pretty excited. Fairfield, the town I would be giving my motivation speech in, was about one hour from Newark airport. To be honest, I don't mind having to travel several hours by car to get to places, I really just enjoy the moment so much that I am overwhelmed with gratitude that i'm getting to do what I get to do. The heroin problem in the state of New Jersey is not a secret, in fact when I gave my substance abuse speech back in 2013 for the government of New Jersey at their heroin crisis summit, Camden County was actually the worst spot in the county. It has since been taken over by places like Maryland and Ohio but it is still quite the issue out here.
Students were taking their pre-SAT test so I would only be speaking to the Freshman class for this assembly. I was kind of bummed to find this out because I thought the entire school would be apart of this event but nonetheless, there was 300 freshman students that were extremely respectable and attentive during my speech. Afterwards, the kids had a lot of questions, some serious questions and some not so serious. Things like how I do my hair, asking about my shoes and details about the sports i've played. I honestly love when kids start connecting to me in this way. Sometimes teachers or staff can get a little worried I may not want them asking about my hair or clothes but to be honest, when kids are asking those types of questions, it means they are really connecting with me and seeing me as one of them and not a person of authority. I really strive to use this ability to create a pathway in which I can share impactful words of wisdom that they will remember forever. Some of the soccer players invited me to their soccer game later in the day and I told them I would love to go check it out! I got to check out the first half and a little of the second half, they were really good! They ended up winning the game 5-2! I think it's those little interactions with the kids that can make the real impact.. You know.. Let them know that I truly care about the wok that I do.
Fairfield Municipal Alliance / North Caldwell Municipal Alliance was behind bringing me out to New Jersey and the women were extremely wonderful! I'm grateful for their work it took to bring me to their community and hope to work with them more extensively in the future on more assemblies. To everyone at FMA/NCMA and West Essex, THANK YOU!