The students and staff of the Red Oak High School (Red Oak, Iowa) were blessed and fortunate to have Tony Hoffman with us on Friday, March 16, 2018. Tony was unlike any other speaker I have heard in my twenty five years in education. He had the students’ attention from the very beginning. Tony captured their hearts with his story. He educated them on the lifelong impact of a single initial choice. Tony communicated with students after the assembly as well to let them know they matter. He left our school having brought tears to the eyes of some and smiles on the faces of others as they learned the struggles one can face in life. Tony Hoffman was the most genuine speaker I have had the opportunity to meet and his passion to help people who face the demons of addiction was visible to everyone in attendance.
— Tom Messinger- Superintendent- Red Oak School District

Not long ago I was in Ames, Iowa, presenting to Iowa State athletes. This time around I was heading to Red Oak, Iowa. Prior to this trip I had no information about the small city of Red Oak. I had recently begun to learn about the state of Iowa because of my trip to Iowa State University. The superintendent picked me up for this event and it was great to sit in the car for a little bit during our ride to Red Oak from Omaha, Nebraska, and get to know each other a little bit. You can always get a since for people's care when you get to spend a little time with them. As a substance abuse speaker or motivational speaker this can give you a sense of what the community/youth are facing as well. I like to know my audience as best as possible because not every talk is the same. 

The cold/rainy morning of my presentation I set off to the high school campus. The auditorium was the perfect size for the amount of students who attended. The entire time the students were locked in and thoroughly enjoying my presentation. During the Q & A, one of the students questions stuck out to me. He was in tears as he asked, was it painful having to drop all your friends for your new life? This question struck me as interesting because clearly this young man had connected with my story and it was clear where the war would begin for him to break free from the chains holding him back. I try to explain to audiences that they must understand the effort it takes to turn a life completely around or change the habits we've developed as humans, it's not easy and it will require discipline and internal pain before you reach the other side. 

It was great to be back in Iowa and I hope that I get a chance to return, both times i've been have been exceptional! Thank you so much tho those who played a role in my visit! 

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