I've been to several parts of Texas in the years past but i've never been to Houston, so getting the invite out to Houston was exciting for that reason alone. I was actually wondering if this event would continue after the hurricane hit and caused so much devastation. I was quite shocked when I got there that you could hardly even tell that there had been a hurricane there. The crazy part was, my contact for Strake was telling me certain parts of Houston we were driving through were completely under water when the hurricane hit. I've never been through a hurricane so it's hard to imagine having to live through such a frightening event.
Strake was such an amazing campus to be apart of. The campus itself was an all boys private school and I gotta say, it was gigantic! After meeting all the staff it was no wonder the time I had there was so exceptional. Everyone seemed to be so invested into the young mens lives on campus. They wanted to bring in a motivational speaker that could address the issues of substance use and the stigma surrounding it. This meant I would be speaking to the parents in the evening and the following day I would speak to all the guys.
Any time i'm speaking with parents I really try to mold my story into being proactive about mental health issues/concerns that could lead a young person into substance use as a form of self medicating. I think that's the most important piece for parents, recognizing when a child has self-esteem issues, depression, anxiety or other underlining issues that can cause a person to try and change the way they feel through substance use behaviors. The turnout for the parent evening was fantastic and there was plenty of questions from the group that I was happy to give my opinion on!
The following day I got to give my motivational speech to the students and man was it awesome. The energy that the guys had in the room really helped me elevate my delivery. I can feel when groups are extra connected and that's how these guys were without a doubt! The impact made was exhibited afterwards when I plugged into my social media and had over 100 messages from the group of students and several comments on their picture. I can't say enough about Strake's staff and students! Thanks for letting me be apart of your campus!