It’s official!!! I’ll be returning to Kingston High School and delivering two empowering presentations funded by Benedictine Health Foundation as a part of their mental health related initiatives at KHS.
Kingston High School is the place that I spent countless days facilitating youth workshops and teaching an after school program known as the Nex 2 B Read Club. This was a beautiful collaboration between the Kingston YWCA, Kingston High School, an english teacher called Mr. Obrien, The ReadNex Poetry Squad and an amazing KHS Social Worker called Amy Kapes.
My time working at KHS granted me some of the greatest memories of my life. Watching the young people grow, seeing the passion and dedication of the school’s staff and being able to make a positive impact on these young people’s lives were some of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to hear from Andrea (former Nex 2 B Read Club Member) and learned that she and many of the other Nex 2 B Read Club students are doing well, graduating from college, on route to Grad school, becoming “straight FIRE” poets and much much more. I’m blessed to have heard of these gifts and am grateful to her for sharing that “much of what [they] learned from [me] still helps [them] in [their] lives now”. The entire time we spoke I felt myself fighting back tears as she gave me thanks for the discussions and lessons I led in that after school program. All I could say was “know that I received soooooo much more from all of [them] than I could possibly put into words”.
Now, I get to go back and speak to a group of incoming 9th graders and a group of ESL students. These will both be motivational speaking engagements focused on empowering and educating the students while discussing my path and how I’ve used the performing arts, yoga and writing to shine my differences, combat bullying and stand tall in light of a lifelong battle with mental illness.
Soooooo looking forward to sharing my truth and helping the youth of Kingston High School to create their own.
If you’re interested in bringing me to speak at your school, college, university, organization, etc. contact me via CYT@JuanCarlosOM.com for more details.