LB - Grand Canyon Rail

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Opinions | Obituaries | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | GrandCanyonTourGuide.com
Williams News | Williams, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news May 24, 2016


1/29/2013 10:22:00 AM
Motivational speaker Jeff Yalden gets real with Williams Middle School and High School students during Jan. 24 assembly
Top: Motivational speaker Jeff Yalden talks about life, choices and consequences with Williams High School and Middle School students Jan. 24 at Williams High School. Below, Yalden gives the bleachers a try. Ryan Williams/WGCN
Top: Motivational speaker Jeff Yalden talks about life, choices and consequences with Williams High School and Middle School students Jan. 24 at Williams High School. Below, Yalden gives the bleachers a try. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Marissa Freireich
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter


How do you get a gym full of middle school and high school students to pay attention?

All it takes is some authenticity and humor, according to motivational speaker Jeff Yalden.

Yalden has both of these qualities. When he spoke to Williams sixth through 12th graders Jan. 24, he held their full attention.

"Teenagers appreciate you telling them what their parents tell you but that you just do it at their level," he said. "Teenagers want you to be real, and when you are real and they know you care about them, they're going to be like, 'oh tell me more.'"

Before he became a motivational speaker, Yalden was a teacher and a coach. He found that the curriculum wasn't for him.

"I think curriculum's good, I think it's important," he said. "But my greatest education came from real life."

So Yalden said he developed his own curriculum.

"I wanted to teach kids my class-real life, choices, attitude," he said. "I wanted to be an encouragement in their life."

Yalden said he grew up with a learning disability, stutter and twitch and graduated 128th out of 133 in his high school class.

"I stand here 42 years old, and I'll tell you, there's two things that have made a difference in my life, and none of them have anything to do with a gift and none of them have anything to do with intelligence."

The first is choices. Yalden wears a bracelet with the four Ts written on it: Take Time To Think. The bracelet reminds him to make good choices, because choices can lead to opportunities or consequences.

The second is attitude. Yalden said although he suffers from depression and anxiety, he maintains a positive attitude.

"I smile every day because I'm grateful," he said.

Through sometimes humorous and other times serious anecdotes, Yalden spoke about the importance of not judging other people, respecting others, not taking relationships for granted and spending time with loved ones.

Because of this range of topics, Yalden said his presentation could affect students in different ways.

"I hope that they heard the message that their heart needed to hear," he said.

Lisa Rodriguez, a senior at Williams High School, said she enjoyed Yalden's speech.

"I think it was pretty inspirational," she said, adding that Yalden "touched us with his life stories." Rodriguez said after hearing the speech she'll have a more positive attitude.

Yalden, who has been a motivational speaker for 20 years, said he feels fortunate and honored to get to speak to students for a living.

"I love the impact that you can have when you think about how vulnerable kids are. The fact that I have that ability to be able to say something that so many years down the road they'll always remember," he said. "It doesn't get much better than this."






    Recently Commented     Most Viewed
Editorial: Commenting to move to Facebook
New maintenance coordinator at Williams Airport
Williams School Board Candidates face off in candidate forum
Hunters shoot prairie dogs at Williams Elementary-Middle School
Composer Ted Nichols, known for his Scooby Doo and Flintstones scores, continues his varied musical career from his home in Williams


Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: Nikki Harris

This is so true. Gratitude is abundance and complaint is poverty. What a nice man. We need more people like him. When we forget ourselves and help others, life is worth living. It's true happiness.



Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. The email and phone info you provide will not be visible to the public.Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to 1300 characters or less. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit your comment entries to five(5) per day.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Williams, AZ
Click for weather forecast






Find It Features Blogs Milestones Submit Extras Other Publications
Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Opinions | Obituaries | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | Site Map
LB - Superior Propane

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® Williams-Grand Canyon News is the information source for Williams, Arizona and surrounding communities. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Williams GC Newspapers Inc. Williams News Online is a service of Williams GC Newspapers Inc. By using the Site, williamsnews.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Williams News Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved