I was on the internet in search of a great guest speaker. I was so tired of boring assemblies that are about important stuff but never really address the help our kids today need. As a teacher I am pained by the fact that so many of my 9th graders are open users of substance on a daily basis. They are overwhelmed with stress, anxiety, and social and academic pressure. I many students with ankle bracelets on house arrest. I have AP students willing to do whatever it takes to stay up all night to study. Why is this happening? I’m overwhelmed by prescription drugs all my students are on. How can I help them?

I came across Tony’s website and of course noticed the level of professionalism and reached out. Immediately the communication began and within a month Tony was at our school. Score for Ukiah High. Tony told his story to all students at once in the gym. I would say minimum 95% were listening and attentive the entire time. The students didn’t want to leave the gym when it was over. Tony extended his kindness and care for the students taking as many photos as they wanted, connecting with them on social media immediately. I didn’t hear one bad response to the assembly. 100’s of students thanked me for bringing Tony to our school. The student that inspired me to find Tony took the story so serious. The first thing he said is, “man he made me really think, inspires me to want to quit smoking”.

If you want to reach the kids that struggle with stress, anxiety, social pressures of this modern time, really reach them to their soul and make them questions the decisions they have yet to make, call Tony Hoffman. Let your work as a school begin here. Let it be your platform for addressing the true stress, pressure, and anxiety this generation feels. I don’t think you can find a better speaker. He is gold.
— Jessica Pearson- Ukiah High School- Student Success Coordinator

Well, I gotta admit, I learned a couple things on my trip up to Ukiah High School. One of those lessons was, Ukiah is not right outside of San Francisco, haha. I literally thought to myself, "Oh, it's not that bad of a drive, it looks like it's right above San Fran." WRONG! Man! I got up at 3:45am and left by 4am to drive up to Ukiah to give my presentation and learned really quick, it's not a quick drive and it's a drive that feels like it takes forever. However, the drive was beyond worth it, the students and staff for this presentation were so awesome. 

The closer I got to Ukiah the more I realized this was a very mountainous region of the state, basically I was getting into heavy country/mountain area. It was actually pretty close to two of my friends, i'm bummed I didn't know this soon, I would have invited them! It was nice to be able to present in California, it's not something I can do often, believe it or not. 

The presentation went extremely smooth and the students responded extremely well, they had lots of questions on social media as well as comments for me, I literally can't thank those kids enough for giving me their ears to hear my story. I spent a fair bit of time afterward taking pics and talking to kids, it's my favorite thing to do! Once the speech and time with kids concluded, I hoped back into my car and drove another 5.5hrs to get home to my lady who was leaving the following morning for her vacation in Mexico! 

Thank you Jessica and everyone at Ukiah High School!