Jeff Yalden’s Heart is Touched at West Leyden High School in Northlake, IL

On March 18, 2013 Youth Motivational Speaker Jeff Yalden  shared his message with West Leyden High School in Northlake, Illinois.

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Initially we weren’t sure what the atmosphere would be like, given that West Leyden is a big school in a Chicago suburb. The population is greater than 80% Hispanic. There are a lot of single parent families and many of the parents don’t speak English. West Leyden High School shares an athletic program with East Leyden High School, which we visited the following day.

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From the moment we entered into the school, we were impressed with how warm and welcoming the students were. They were incredibly well mannered and were an awesome, involved, respectful audience. Approximately 1,700 students were divided into two assemblies in the beautiful auditorium.

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As Jeff shared his own personal stories of triumph and tragedy, many students found that they were able to relate to him. Jeff has a gift for connecting with teens. He reaches them on their level and in sharing his heart with theirs, they often will break down the walls they have built.

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During lunch, Jeff and I set up a table in the cafeteria for students to purchase his new book, “Your Life Matters”. In addition, his t-shirts, posters and other products were available while Jeff visited with the students.

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Many of them thanked Jeff for his message and some shared their struggles with him.

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During the afternoon, Jeff held a Leadership Workshop for approximately 75 students in the auditorium. During the workshop, Jeff focused on encouraging the student leaders to live with integrity and make choices that they will be proud of. “Lose the expectations and focus on the objective”, he told them.

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Jeff with student leaders…

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On most days my job makes me smile and I’m left feeling fulfilled and blessed knowing that we helped to teach some life lessons. Occasionally we visit a school that shatters stereotypes and it’s the kids who end up teaching us the lessons. Our visit to West Leyden was one of those days. From the girl who sought help about how to deal with her dad beating mom to the boy who asked Jeff how to tell mom that her alcoholism is breaking his heart and ruining his life…it was a heart wrenching but eye opening day. The kids in West Leyden High School are absolutely incredible. There’s a lot of diversity there. They’re polite, grateful, wise and eager to make awesome lives for themselves and to rise above their parents failures. What an amazing day. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this wonderful school.

 

If you would like Teen Motivational Speaker Jeff Yalden to speak at your High School Assembly, Teen Leadership Workshop or STUCO Conference please visit JeffYalden.com.

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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. www.JeffYalden.com

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