Jeff Yalden Visits Fairview!

Here is an excellent article by Zachary Harmon about his Jeff Yalden experience! Zachary is a student at Fairview High School in Pennsylvania, where Jeff Yalden spoke last Monday.  He published this article on The Tiger Roar Newspaper, the student newspaper of Fairview High School.

“There have been many assemblies that have altered the status quo of Fairview High School, but there was nothing as drastic as Rachel’s Challenge. In 2009, Craig Scott approached our district with an open heart, a horrible tale, and a positive outlook. Scott told the story of how his sister, Rachel, had been murdered in the Columbine High School Massacre that occurred in the spring of 1999. The story itself was horrendous, but it was Scott’s view on the situation that gave it a positive connotation. The moral was to act as a motivator and to treat everyone you encounter with the upmost kindness, like Rachel Scott had done her entire life.

After Craig had spoken to the district, the feeling of the school had changed dramatically. It had felt as if all of the air had rushed out of the room as we filed out of the auditorium. As we departed, tears could be seen rolling down the cheeks of the entire student body. Students who had never spoken to one another were suddenly the best of friends, teachers had a new appreciation for their students, and sons and daughters were calling and texting their parents to express the love they had felt at that moment. The students were even allotted time to congregate with their peers before they had to return to their respective classes.

Rachel’s Challenge left a huge impact on our school, and the aftermath was just as life changing. The assembly sparked action within the community with the induction of the Friends of Rachel club. The school also seemed eerily pleasant and peaceful in the time following Craig’s visit. Over time, the feelings that were inspired by Rachel’s Challenge had worn off, and it was obvious that the students needed another dose of realization. Because of this, it was understandable as to why Superintendent Kincade yearned to motivate the students once more. He decided to call upon his old friend Jeff Yalden.

On October 22nd, 2012, Yalden visited our school and was very well received by the student body. On the outside, he is viewed as an overweight, bald Harley-Davidson rider. Although this may be true, Jeff is more than that; he is a hilarious and compassionate source of inspiration. His message is encompassed by his saying, “Take Time to Think”, which challenges students to compete with themselves to be the best that they can possibly be every day.  This message was spawned by all of the barriers that Jeff has had to overcome over his life.

During his speech, Yalden covered most aspects of life; growing up, earning respect, being yourself, enjoying time with loved ones, relationships in one’s life, and coping with the crippling fact that eventually, we die. Segments of his speech were tear-jerking to say the least, but that was coupled with his immense capacity of humor and his ability to keep us involved within his rants. His delivery was effortless because his story did not come from a piece of paper, but from deep inside his heart.

“I’d love for you to date my daughter,” was the first thing that Jeff had said to me after I shook his hand. He then proceeded to question me about my personal life in the presence of half of the entire district. His intention was to embarrass me, but what his questioning actually showed me was that I did not have to be embarrassed of who I am, but rather to be proud because of everything I am today. The magnitude of his speech brought me to my breaking point and forced tears to roll down my cheeks, but at the same time, it brought about uncontrollable, gut-wrenching laughter. In my personal opinion, this man’s words alone can motivate, but it is the challenge that he posses to the listener that changes lives.”


Here is the link to the original article:


If you would like to bring Jeff Yalden to your school, please visit for more info.


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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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