Story of a Boy who Interrupted the Whole Assembly
The whole room was silent when he stood up.
It felt as if everyone’s breath had stopped.
He lashed out in anger towards the speaker at the front of the room…
“Everyone goes through this. Why are you even here? You’re no different than the people who have talked to us before. Why are you here? Why do you even care?”
He’s on his feet now… staring at the man at the front of the room straight in the eyes.
When a student breaks in the new millennium it can make national news. This student was breaking — and he was reaching that breaking point in a safe environment…
The man at the front of the room paused his talk and looked back at the student who had stood.
Something powerful was taking place inside of this student, this young man.
The man at the front of the room answered back confidently, with words no one expected to hear…
“Can I come give you a hug?”
Without hesitation, the student replied, “yes.”
How does an auditorium of students respond to anger? How do they respond to breaking corporate decorum? How do they respond to a moment when no one knows how to respond?
The entire auditorium erupted in celebration and cheers.
The man at the front of the room concluded his talk and then sought out this student after the program ended. He asked the young man’s story and discovered what teachers always sense but are never told. The young man has a story filled with scenes of drug addiction and poor choices.
I was in the audience that day, a teacher seeing a Hollywood scene play out in real life. I knew we had just experienced a special moment as an entire school.
Peru High School feels like a safer place since that day. Instead of being one of those breaking points that are reported on the news, this was a story that the country would never hear but everyone in the room would never forget.
When Bobby spoke it opened up our eyes to see the world differently. To change our choices in life and make better decisions. To live every day with intention and awareness of how we treat others.
This was an event where we experienced what we had only hoped for over the years: A guest speaker who ACTUALLY relates to the students and talks with them.
Educators and youth workers anticipate students being on their phones or zoning out during a guest speaker.
That day, all eyes were locked and loaded to hear Bobby’s story. It took hold. It has had a lasting impact on our campus.
The atmosphere was palpable and you knew that something had changed that day. Something that we have all carried with us ever since.
— Teacher, Peru High School, Indiana
Not All Stories Are Created Equal
Educators hope for a moment as Peru High School experienced. You have probably filtered through dozens of ‘acts’ or ‘speakers’ who promise to entertain… but you don’t want entertainment for your students.
You want impact.
Wherever I go my number one hope isn’t whether or not the message will connect — it will.
My top hope is that educators will be ready and willing to take the conversation back to the classroom and allow the impact to last beyond the day…
The story your students need to hear is there to be told.
The question is, are you ready for the impact it will have?
The Next Step
My name is Bobby Jones and as mentioned in the story, I am the man at the front of the stage who had the privilege of being a part of the Peru High School story that day.
If you would like to bring this kind of impact to your student body, I have prepared a short blog of what you need to look for when booking a school assembly.
I would love the privilege of coming alongside and helping you bring in special programs that will make an impact and if you think my program would be a good fit, I would love to discuss that as well.
Thank you for your time — but more importantly — thank you for caring enough about your students that you continue to find new ways to reach them and help them experience their breaking moments and breakthrough moments in an environment that is safe.
They may never provide the thanks you deserve, so I want to thank you on their behalf.
— Bobby Jones