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

This event was setup early in the summer time of this year. I have been to New Jersey several times and every time it has gone really well and really opened up some great doors for me for future events. This year I would be working with a group called Common Ground Speaks. They are a wonderful group of leaders that have a speaker series and for one of the speaking events this year substance abuse was the topic as well as a parenting piece about allowing students to party at the home while parents are there.

This was an absolutely beautiful school, one of the nicest campuses i’ve been on. The cafeteria was not your typical cafeteria. I had meatballs that you don’t find at a school for lunch, they were delicious. I got to stay in their carriage house which was an awesome home off the campus back in the woods. Deer would play in the meadow right outside my door, just to try and give you a visual.

My student presentation went as they usually do, 7-12 graders glued to my words! They gave me a chance to hang out in a meeting room after my speech and allowed students to come and speak with me in groups or privately if needed. I really liked that they did that because it gives me an opportunity to really get personal with the students and build a deeper bond with them. That is always a goal of mine.

My evening presentation, I was thoroughly impressed with the turnout. Easily 300+ people in attendance and that is not easy to pull off when it comes to parents coming to schools after hours, especially when we know drugs are being talked about. The parent presentation went equally as well and Q & A was filled with questions! I really enjoyed my time in New Jersey and want to give a big thank you to Common Ground Speaks for sponsoring my stay, you guys are amazing. Thank you!