Youth Motivational Speaker Danny Duval – Dead at 57 Years Old

I am saddened today to the news of one of the best Youth Motivational Speakers I have ever had the pleasure of hearing speak.  Danny Duval is dead at only 57 years old.  Read his article in today’s Union Leader now:

Danny Duval Passing in the Union Leader

I started my speaking career when I was living in New Hampshire and every spring many New Hampshire schools would host a program called Project Safeguard.  This was a teen leadership event where a lot of middle schools kids would get to see different youth speakers from the area speak on their area of expertise.  Danny Duval, Ed Gerety, and myself, along with some other great youth motivational speakers also presented.  Today, Ed Gerety and I, are two of the top Youth Motivational Speakers in all of North America.  Two natives of New Hampshire and we are proud to say we got our start with Project Safeguard Programs.

Danny Duval was different though.  Danny worked another job with the city of Manchester, New Hampshire.  He was very influential in the sports scene and drug scene.  His purpose was making the city of Manchester a better place to live and keeping kids safe and drug free.  Danny was the kind of guy that any hour of the night if you needed someone to talk, Danny would make himself available.  He would take the shirt off his back and help someone he didn’t know.  He wanted to give you what he had and what he knew.

If you knew Danny’s story or ever heard him speak you would understand.  Danny may have done some national speaking engagements, but he didn’t care to branch out and become a professional youth speaker like I did or some of the other awesome teen speakers.  Danny wasn’t about ego.  He was genuine and wanted to help his community.  Danny was one of the best ever, but was comfortable staying close to home and doing his thing in the local community and just doing local speaking engagements for youth.

One of the greatest athletes in all of New Hampshire history.  They say he was easily one of the top 10 New Hampshire Athletes of all time.  Then, Danny got caught up with alcohol and drugs that nearly took his life.  When Danny spoke, he wasn’t afraid to tell his story.  He wanted people to know that drugs and alcohol could kill you.  He was riveting in his delivery, real in his mannerisms, and he never cared if he was too strong in his message.  He was intense and that is why I fell in love with him as a speaker.

I was a young teen or youth motivational speaker at the time.  I wanted to be somebody and I was finding myself in the process.  When I listened to Danny speak, I was mesmerized that he could captivate a teen audience the way he did.  I would say that he was probably one of the first teen motivational speakers that inspired me to be a teen motivational speaker on a national level.  The other youth speaker was Ed Gerety too.  He was just as awesome and through the years, I’ve watched Ed blossom into one of the top teen motivational speakers in the world.  What I like about Danny and Ed when I started out is that they were authentic and you could tell they were in it for the right reasons.  Teens inspired them and I think I learned from the best.

I sit here after hearing the passing of Danny and I am saddened that we lost a great role model and inspiration to the youth of the northeast.  Danny is going to be missed by hundreds of thousands of people.  I pray for Danny’s wife, his friends, and all the people that have known Danny throughout the years.

I also sit here and I am grateful that I got to learn from him.  I got to hear him speak and I have had several conversations with Danny over the years.  I hope that Danny rests in peace and will promise to continue giving everything I have in hopes that I can continue his legacy.

Thanks Danny for teaching me and inspiring me to be real.  You are an icon and you will be terribly missed.

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Author:Jeff Yalden, Youth Motivational Speaker

Youth Motivational Speaker & Teen Life Coach. Since 1992, Jeff Yalden has been mesmerizing audiences with his engaging style and passion. Jeff is a story-teller that every where he speaks, he guarantees he is real and in the moment, perfect for every audience. He is one of a kind. He's interactive and nobody pours as much energy and passion into their programs that Jeff does. Guaranteed, Jeff will be a defining moment and a highlight of your students lives.

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