It's been a few years since I've been in the Pennsylvania area. The last time I was in the area was back in 2013 where I did a pretty big speaking tour for an organization out there. So needless to say, it was good to be going back to a spot known as a hot area for the opioid epidemic our country is facing. This time I would be going to the Milford area by way of Hope 4 Pike, a non-profit organization that is helping bring awareness to the opioid epidemic and offering parent groups for those parents who have addicts that are suffering from addiction.
I really gotta say this.. What a wonderful group of people at Hope 4 Pike. I would not even call it a group, a 'Small-Army' is probably better suited for this group. I say that because they have a slew of people involved and boy are they ready to do work in the community. They held a community night presentation before I presented two times to the students the following day and the turnout was exceptional. It really sent a message of how affected the community has been but also how proactive the members of the community are when it comes to the opioid epidemic. The speech for the evening went extremely well and I think we did at least 30 minutes of Q&A, it might have been more. I literally wasn't keeping track of the time because the questions kept coming and they were good!
My motivational speeches the following day were set bright and early and I always prefer it in the morning because the kids seem to be more attentive. Meeting the school staff gave me a good indication that the students would be extremely respectful. I can always tell when the staff carry a since of pride for their job and the outcomes of their students, this really shines through during presentations. These kids are under great leadership, no doubt.
Both presentations went very well! The kids were glued and man, they really had some deep questions afterwards. I'm always so amazed when kids are courageous enough to ask questions about suicide, depression or anxiety in front of their peers. To me it really shows how connected they felt to my presentation. My favorite part is hearing all the kids say, we thought you were going to be just like all the other substance abuse speakers or drug speakers but you were so much different. I'm different because I never wanted to listen to those speakers when they came to my school either, I don't ever wanna be that "speaker." Hope 4 Pike, thank you so much for your hospitality and passion to make a difference!