Warsaw Community High School Testimonial


#1 Tiger Lane

Warsaw, IN 46580

February 7, 2013

To whom it may concern:

Good day to you!  As the principal of Warsaw Community High School,  I’m taking a few moments to provide you with my full endorsement of Mr. Jeff Yalden as our Nation’s #1 Teen Motivational Speaker.  What you see is what you get!  This gentleman can simply connect with ALL students.  I know this to be true through the evidence received from my student body of 2,160 students in grades 9-12.   The evidence was provided through news breakouts, casual classroom conversations, newspaper reports, and most notably, social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook.  Our students love Jeff Yalden!

Why would we need a motivational speaker?  We were recently named an Indiana Department of Education “A” school. We have facilities better than anyone could imagine.  Warsaw Community High School has a curriculum that is deep and rich.  We excel in the Fine Arts and Performing Arts.  We are also very proud of our service clubs and organizations.  Across the state, everyone knows of our outstanding Tiger athletics tradition.  However, something appeared to be missing.

You see, our students, staff, and the greater Warsaw community, has been rocked by a number of suicides in recent weeks.  Four victims were teens and one of the four was an outstanding young man from our senior class.  The unthinkable and unexplainable took place when he took his life two days after Christmas.  As the building leader, I knew our student body needed some sort of intervention or process for healing to begin.

As mentioned, our neighboring school districts had issues of their own.  Our happy-go lucky, beautiful county, known as the “Orthopedic Capital of the World” was being turned upside down.  All of the sudden Warsaw and Kosciusko County had become an area filled with unexpected, unprovoked darkness.  Something had to be done.  We needed something that would promote healthy thoughts from our young people.  Our students needed someone other than parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, or friends to make a profound statement to them that “it will be alright!”

Needless to say, I was researching to find the right guest speaker to address our student body.   It was then that my colleague at a neighboring district called me.  He had unfortunately lost two students to suicide within the last six weeks.  He indicated that he knew of a speaker that could come in and restore hope into both communities.  At that time, I made a request to my Superintendent to allow us to partner with my colleague to bring Jeff Yalden in to speak.

Jeff’s message, “Take Time to Think,” is not a message on teen suicide.  However, it is a message about life as a teenager and the struggles and choices our young people have each day.  Jeff gets down to the students level.  He doesn’t speak at them.  He speaks with them.  His talks inspire students of low ability, high ability, and those in between.  Likewise, he speaks to students from all levels of socioeconomic status and those of diversity.

Many things occurred within the three days Jeff and his assistant, Kaylene, spent in our community.  Hearts were opened, wounds exposed, and hearts were healed.  I cannot say enough about the impact that Jeff Yalden made on our student body and the community.  Twitter and Facebook pages are still exploding with positive remarks and comments about Jeff Yalden’s visit.  Jeff is also quick to point out that there are people here, within our high school, equipped with handling the emotional needs of any student.

Jeff is very supportive of our teachers and the public education system.  He challenges students to make good decisions and to always stick to accomplishing the objective at hand rather than getting caught up with unachievable expectations and the disappointment that come with it.

If you are considering someone who can speak the language of today’s youth, then Jeff is your man.  If you want someone who is a “suit and tie guy” telling kids “don’t do this” or “don’t do that,” then that’s a different speaker, and some other convo.  Jeff’s a no nonsense guy with a powerful PG13 message.  Yes, some of his illustrations were a bit edgy; however that’s the beauty of the connection.  That’s what makes Jeff Yalden a “real guy” with a “real message.”

In conclusion, many of my students have said that Jeff Yalden has made a permanent impression on their heart.  My friends, if that is so, there isn’t much more for me to say.  If one young person leaves a convocation feeling this way, then you can find the time, you can find the resources and you can make a difference for your students.  In my twenty seven years in education, I have never witnessed such a strong, positive student reaction to any convocation speaker’s message.  Jeff Yalden is the best!

“Take Time to Think”


With gratitude,


Troy W. Akers

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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