Last spring I touched down in Houston, Texas for the first time to speak with Strake Jesuit Prep school and that was an amazing experience. To get the call from Travis High School about them looking for a substance abuse speaker that could give a strong message to students as well as the parents, was exciting! Houston doesn't feel like Dallas or San Antonio and especially nothing like Brownwood (nothing will be like that unique place) the three other parts of Texas i've been to. Houston is Houston, and i've enjoyed both times I've been, it's been good to me.
We had hoped to set up a presentation for more students than we got but the gym couldn't hold any more kids than the 1,000 that were in attendance. It was the freshman and sophomore class who were able to hear me tell my story for the student presentation. I was stoked to get such an energetic group of kids, they were all respectful and let me tell my story.
During the beginning of my speech, funny thing happened, some girls were talking and moving around quite a bit.. So I stopped to tell them to stop talking and to not disrespect me, the kids loved it and started clapping! It was fun, I don't do that to embarrass anyone but it's necessary to set the tone for who's controlling the room while I speak, it's me, not them. This tactic goes a long way for keeping everyone focused for the duration of the presentation.
The evening presentation had a really great turnout! The local police department was in attendance and set up a "In plain sight" setup, which shows parents where kids are hiding drugs in their rooms. I've always liked this concept because it gives parents insight on what places to look when they suspect their kids may be using substances. The overall feel of the night was outstanding, the engagement was amazing and so was the panel discussion we had at the end of the evening. I'm always overwhelmed with gratitude when I can make such an impact with a group of community members! Thanks Josten's for making my trip possible!