Stu Speaks
Stu Speaks

A Message of Leadership and Laughter.

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A full life

Mon, 2010-03-15 02:33

This may seem arrogant. You may call me pompous or full of myself. I’m not though. I swear. I am sitting on the most comfortable couch, with the most relaxing music playing while absorbing the smell of the burning cedar and sound of the crackling fire. I am incredibly rich and successful, but not in dollars and cents.

The fall of ninth grade I was confronted by 5 members of the football team. They told me they wanted to show me something. I was then tackled, forced into a small, cannonball like position and bound using masking and duct tape and made into a human tape ball. They then rolled me into a storage closet and I was left there until the custodians found me many hours later. I hated myself, I wanted to run away, to die. How could I be such a loser that it would become the goal of 5 senior high school students to humiliate me to the point of tears.

As I lied in the closet, hearing the laughing of students and the bells ringing for class changes, I was helpless. I was truly alone. I was was unable to do anything to change my situation. At that moment I felt as if I would never amount to anything in my life. I was not much more then heap of useless crap. I am nothing.

I awake some mornings and walk from my front door, wander through the woods and make my way to the beach. The sun rises over the water. I climb into a kayak and paddle my way through the placid water to make my way to the middle of the lake. I see the warm sun rays cut through the morning mist wafting up from the water. The morning air fills my lungs. I close my eyes and smile to myself. This is mine. My life is blessed. I am more, I have more, I do more then most.

I stood at the back of the gymnasium door, nervous. I was in grade 11. In a few moments I would be called upon to stand in front of 1400 of my fellow school mates. This moment was a double edged sword. Half of me, so passionate about what I believed in, half of me fully aware I would be laughed at, heckled, pointed at and ridiculed. The call comes, I walked out to centre of the floor. Their laughter was clear, piercing. The chants of fag, loser and geek shoot directly to the core of my soul. At that moment, I feel as if my life will never be much, I will never date the popular girl, never have the group of friends that laugh together in the coffee shop. I will, for some reason, fail.

Standing on the stage I finish my speech.I am 39. I feel good. The audience is clapping, cheering and smiling. I acknowledge their acceptance, their emotion, their positive affirmations. As I say thank you, they rise to their feet. A standing ovation. I am a success. I am making a difference. I will be remembered. I get more then I give.

Today I am not alone. I open my wallet to see the shiny and warm faces of my children. I am their hero. I am loved by them. They are inspired.

Today I embrace my best friend, the same one I have had for 20 years. He cried a little last night as I read the card he gave me for my birthday. True friendship.

Today I got an email from a parent that said I changed their daughters life and in turn their families.

Today I thank the universe for my life.

Once I felt as if I was never going to be anything.

Today I feel as if I could do, be or have anything.

What will tomorrow hold? It will be better then today. Hard to believe, but it will.

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  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye