Here is an article I just read on the internet and I am dumbfounded that a school district would pay this amount of money to “A Celebrity” to speak to their students.
Read Article by Atlantic City Schools . . . Click Here!
I’m disturbed. For 20 years I have traveled all over the country speaking to high schools, middle schools, colleges and universities. Let me give you my assumption on Professional Youth Speakers that spend their time leaving their families and inspiring teens because they have a message that resonates with young people, more so that hiring a celebrity.
Listen, when I am invited to speak to teens, middle school assemblies, or high school assemblies, the client isn’t hiring me to come and speak. They are hiring me to provide “That Defining Moment”, or “The Jeff Yalden Experience” that I have been known for. My message changes school climate and improves school morale. I, along with many other great youth speakers are professionals and as professionals we don’t get paid nearly what Atlantic City Schools paid Ashanti.
Ashanti was paid $20,000 for one program. Do you really think her message resonated with the teens more so that a professional youth speaker that really connects with the hearts and minds of teens? Do you think Ashanti had the ability to control a difficult audience? Do you think she was able to make them think, feel, and/or want to change their lives? I think bringing Ashanti to any school is more about the “Presence” of a well known artist than changing the lives and attitudes of some of our teens.
I would be embarrassed that the school board of Atlantic City, New Jersey and the administration thought that bringing in Ashanti was worth $20,000 when they could have hired a Professional Youth Motivational Speaker that would have made a bigger difference in the lives of educating our teens.
This is just my thought, but I think $20,000 for a person who doesn’t know how to connect with teens is a big slap in the face to the youth motivational speakers that do it for far less, and who do it for a career.
I don’t know about other youth motivational speakers, but I will tell you that my fees at $3,500 – $5,000 are for a high school or middle school assembly, a youth leadership workshop, speaking to teachers, parents, and hanging out for the football game inspiring the kids on the sidelines. I am far less than $20,000 paid to Ashanti and my message have changed lives and saved lives.
School budgets are tight and those that manage the budgets should be more selective in getting value our of their money than thinking about marketing.
Again . . . Just my thought!