Last week went really well! I received great feedback, as usual, from the principals and people at our dinner. In fact, we had a person who is addicted to heroin in our dinner audience. His sister brought him to hear Chris's message and I got their story when I sold her seats. I told Chris their story before the dinner and after his presentation he asked to meet with them. They all met for 20 minutes. I followed up with the family afterwards and it sounds like that conversation with Chris has given her and her brother more hope and direction for his recovery. In fact, Chris offered to send him to a rehab in Chicago which was extremely generous.
I love the way Chris changed his presentation to the students, making it more about them than about his story. One high school senior said, "Drinking and a lot of stuff is a huge part of college, or what people make it seem like, and his presentation impacted the way I'm going to approach it." One high school junior athlete said, "He had all those schools looking at him and he just kinda threw it all away, he could have been a really good player but it just sticks with me...just stay focused and stay away from that stuff and like he said you don't need drugs or alcohol to be yourself." A high school junior said, "The entire time, it was like he was speaking to each individual rather than one large group. He spoke about things we could all relate to on some level, not just substance abuse."
Here are a couple of quotes from parents whose children listened to his message:
"Both of my girls came home and discussed his message with me. They very much enjoyed hearing Chris speak and it gave us an opportunity to have a very meaningful conversation about addiction. Their grandfather is a recovering alcoholic and we are very open about this with the girls so even though they are familiar with the disease it was good for them to hear the story from another person’s point of view."
"This was very well received by my daughter who spontaneously brought up the topic last evening and shared highlights from his presentation. In her words, 'Mom, you could have heard a pin drop. Everyone was listening'.”
-La Crosse Area Family YMCA
Chris was an amazing! A lot of great feedback and chatter on social last night and this morning. You could have heard a pin drop in that gym when he was speaking. Super friendly, great guy. We are lucky to have had him come share his message.
- Marketing Communications, Fox Communities Credit Union
It was by far, in my 18 years, the strongest, most powerful presentation I have ever heard. Chris was an inspiration to many.
-Northumberland County (PA) Drug & Alcohol Program
Words cannot express how good Chris Herren was! He was amazing. He was so kind to every student that wanted to talk to him. The parents, teachers, and students that attended are still buzzing about it. My hope and prayer is that a life or two was forever changed. Thank you for everything!
Thank you so much. We're already getting amazing feedback from the Tam High students who heard you yesterday. Powerful talk. You were so real, and kids can always sense that. There were over 1,400 people in the gym and it was quiet. You opened up your heart, shared your brutal battles, gave the kids good reasons to be themselves and like themselves, and shared the huge risks of starting what could easily become an addiction that could destroy your life. We're forever grateful that you came to share your message.
Here is feedback from one student, who I’m sure speaks for many who were there yesterday: “My son had great feedback and said Chris was really impactful. He described in great detail how Chris' addiction began and he felt that the kids were really moved by the presentation.
He was also struck by Chris saying that his goal in doing this is to save one kid each time from going down this road.”
Chris spoke three times last weekend and each presentation was perfectly geared to the audience before him. We have heard nothing but praise and thanks for bringing Chris here to speak, and many students have contacted their guidance departments asking for help. This is one contrite, grateful-to-be-here young man who should be very proud of what his "second act" is providing for many people all over the country.
-Moreken Drug & Alcohol Treatment Fund, Inc.
I have been in education for fourteen years now. Subsequently, I have witnessed approximately 60 assemblies and guest speakers’ presentations. Chris’s story and presence is by far the most moving and genuine.
-Principal, Mount Sinai School
Having Chris Herren talk to our student-athletes was both truly inspiring and eye-opening. His fall to the depths and rise back to prominence are impactful lessons for student-athletes. If he reached one person in the audience to help them make the right choice, the night was a success.
I told you I was gonna email you when I was 100 days clean of self-harm. I never did though. Not because I didn’t make it but because it didn’t satisfy me enough. However I’m now 184 days clean. When you talked at our school months ago you definitely left an impact on me.
– High School Student
Just wanted to say WOW!! That was a powerful message!! He certainly had those kids’ attention—you could hear a pin drop! As a parent you pray that you never have to face that situation. Thanks for working to get him to the school. I'm sure that all the board members who attended today will agree that it was money well spent! Thanks for having us.
-Parent & PTO Member, Mount Sinai School
I was in the audience as a baseball player and, though I have spent my entire life sober never having drank or used once, I consider your speech the best I’ve ever heard. What you do is incredible and after hearing you speak it is impossible for one not to reevaluate himself through a new lens.
–Division 1 College Athlete
My silent son came home and said he was the best speaker he ever heard because he actually “put himself into our shoes” and told the story. He never says anything about anything and this is a direct reflection on the capability of the speaker to reach his audience. Kudos to Chris Herren and the administration for making the decision to put him in front of the students.
-High School Parent
I know from 46 years on the job, Chris has impacted our kids like no other program I have ever witnessed.
I would like to just say thank you for having such a great motivational speaker come to the school. My child came home and has been talking about it nonstop. I think our kids go through such trials and tribulations with subjects as drugs and alcohol. I know as far as he is concerned it really was great for him and hit home for him. This is such a tough time in our kids’ lives and every bit counts. I cannot express how grateful I am to you and your team for arranging this motivational speaker. I hope he touched other kids as he did my child!
-High School Parent
‘Be a hero’ was the advice former NBA player and Fall River native Chris Herren gave to more than 300 eighth-grade students. The heroes are the kids at parties that have water or soda, he told the group. When you are confronted with drugs or alcohol, be a hero. Hopefully, students will learn a life lesson from his experience and that choices made at this age can have a lifelong affect.
-Jr. High School Administrator
I have taught in the Catholic system part- and full-time for 38 years. I was at your morning presentation with the students. Your talk was riveting and you touched the hearts and minds of many in such a positive way. For that, I want to thank you so much! Every day I am in “the trenches” with the kids and your message was one of affirmation, courage and hope. In a no-nonsense way, it mirrors the Christian teaching that I try to impart to my students.
–High School Teacher
I am the father of a sophomore who attended your presentation. She is a very good kid who tries hard to do the right thing, and usually does. I just wanted you to know that your words were inspirational to her and made her think. I could never ask for more. You are reaching the right people and making a difference. Thank you.
-High School Parent
Our program went very well and we had a larger than anticipated audience. I believe we were a little under a thousand individuals that evening. The response has been positively overwhelming from and we had a great article published on our athletics web page regarding the event and its impact. Several athletes were quoted with regard to their thoughts and how the evening changed their beliefs regarding drug use. Our Vice President for Student Affairs, who was in attendance that evening, remarked “I don’t know how you will top this next time.”
-Director, Counseling and Psychological Services, Eastern Connecticut State University
It was one of the best presentations I have EVER been to. The video was inspiring, the music was wonderful, and Chris Herren was amazing. Great, great job! I enjoyed every single minute there. Congratulations! I know your feedback on this must have been nothing but rave reviews.
-Kentucky Housing Corporation
Chris Herren was an amazing speaker. The students and faculty were buzzing about him all week and still are. The feedback has been "best speaker we've had” and similarly high praises. In the week after, there were many conversations about drugs and alcohol and a few kids who came into counseling asking for help. We are so pleased with him, his approach, and his ability to reach the kids.
I wanted to thank you for all your help in bringing Chris Herren to our campus last night. It was a great event and he was the best speaker we have had since I’ve been here. I have never seen a group of close to 400 college students sit still, silent, respectful, and captivated for over an hour in my life. I have been to a lot of events like this over the years and I can’t tell you how good Chris was.
-Coordinator of Student-Athlete Affairs, University of Nevada
It was simply amazing. Chris shared his story and the entire arena was blown away. We have had so many calls and emails commenting on the impact Chris' presentation has had on their kids. It was eye opening and riveting. I believe lives were truly changed on Saturday.
-Supreme Court Basketball
Chris connected with the crowd immediately and all were entranced with his story. What makes this program effective is Chris not only talks about substance abuse, but other societal issues such as suicide and bullying. What is further testament to his presentation is that you could hear a pin drop. As a result of his presentation I am aware of at least 5 individuals that sought rehabilitation help. Chris comes off as a genuine person, humble, and passionate about his message.
-Brookfield, CT Police Department
Everyone really enjoyed hearing Chris speak. The first hour was with staff and coaches. He was very gracious with all the questions, utilized the whole hour, and we never felt rushed. The second portion, which lasted over an hour, was so well received by the students. You could hear a pin drop while he told his story. Afterwards he stayed around for students to ask questions and he offered help. Both sessions were extremely impactful and I know that our coaches, administrators, and students got a lot out of hearing Chris’ story and insights. I know he will be someone we ask to come back in the future.
-Assistant Director of Athletics, Central Connecticut State University
It was wonderful, he was excellent and an absolute pleasure to work with. He was captivating, intense, commanding, and motivating all in a very positive way. Our students have been in contact with Chris’s organization and are working on various campaigns and initiatives. The students could not and would not stop talking about him; no one did homework that night—they all watched 30 for 30. I have not had feedback this strong about a presenter in the 12 years I have been doing this. The students seemed to absorb his every word. I have only positive things to say and could go on and on.
We would love to have him back in a couple of years to speak again. I would recommend him to all that ask. Thanks so much for being patient with me as we planned this.
-Associate Director of Athletics for Academics, Quinnipiac University
Chris made a huge impact with his presentation. He talked to a packed auditorium with parents and kids and had their attention the entire time. He is an exceptional speaker and his information is on target with youth and their parents. While he is a celebrity, his demeanor is one of humility and openness about his sobriety in life. I would recommend him to anyone.
-Substance Abuse Coalition, CT
It was awesome! We had about 700 people turn out and we had to reject some because we overflowed the main venue and the overflow room. The campus is buzzing about it and Chris was fantastic. People were amazed by his presentation and he was great to everyone who talked to him individually. I can honestly say he exceeded all of my expectations, I never expected an event that was so perfect in every way. It was a highlight of the year for a lot of people. Thank you again for everything!
-Kalamazoo College I’ve never seen 400 athletes sit for an hour and 15 minutes and not want to speak, move, or disengage. [Chris] had an uncanny way of telling his story while also making it applicable to everyone in the room. I know in speaking with my team afterwards that he moved them. You could see and feel every one of his emotions as he relived the story. I would love to see him make a visit to our school every year. -Head Coach, Field Hockey, Quinnipiac University
I wanted to thank you for helping to get Chris Herren to Arizona to speak to our players and staff. He, as I am sure you know, made tremendous impact and delivered a very powerful presentation. Thanks again for all of your help navigating through the system to make it happen.
-Director of Player Development, Kansas City Royals
Chris was amazing. Kids are talking a lot about him today. He was extremely generous with his time and listened to our students afterwards when they had individual questions.
Chris Herren is the best speaker we have had here in my eight years.
-Aaron Rodgers, NFL Quarterback
Chris was the best speaker we’ve ever had. He is genuine and his message is powerful. He stayed to interact with kids and take pictures. He saved some lives that day and I would recommend that he speak at every high school.
-St. Joseph High School
Chris is a great person with an awesome story. He is a very good speaker and has a way to draw in crowds. He continues to reach out to young adults with addiction problems throughout the country. I would recommend him to any community.
-Michigan Department of Corrections
Parents, students, administrators, and teachers were blown away by Chris's presentation both last night and this morning. Although his story is riveting, what impressed me the most was his sincerity and genuine concern for the kids I will never forget when he put his arms around a student and comforted them while they sobbed about their parent’s addiction.
Having Chris here was a huge event for not only the school but for the community as well. The disease of addiction has touched most families in some form. He was real, professional, and extremely accessible to all. His visit was truly a memorable event. Thank you for your help in arranging it.
-Principal, Jordan Rd School
I want to thank you for all of your help in getting Chris to speak on our campus last night. The words people have spoken to me on his appearance are “unreal,” “amazing,” “inspiring,” “heartwarming,” and “fantastic” to name just a few. He touched many lives last night and we are grateful. We are already thinking ahead to another appearance by him in a couple of years. Thank you so much for your assistance.
-University of Minnesota, Crookston
Chris was terrific last night. He engaged the entire audience, and was thoughtful and sincere with his approach to the Q&A setting. He was very inspiring to our students.
-Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Wow, what an event Chris Herren puts on. We had a full house, with 400 students, and they were are all riveted, quiet, and not texting for over an hour – that’s an accomplishment! Chris was warm and accommodating and our students loved him. His messages are important ones, and he reaches this audience effectively. We even have students asking if he is coming back as they had to miss it, and they are hearing all the buzz.
Our event with Chris Herren went perfectly. We had nearly 200 individuals in attendance and Chris touched everyone there. Chris Herren is a kind, humble, true and genuine person. I had the pleasure of driving him around while he was in Colorado and I enjoyed my time with him immensely.
-Colorado Fifth Judicial District Probation Courthouse Annex Thanks for a tough but necessary assembly. I bet a lot of kids will sit around the dinner table and talk to their parents about it tonight.
Everyone loved him. It’s amazing how many have stopped me and remarked that. He has a certain way about him that they relate too. Our staff and many people have sent me emails that are positive.
Chris’s presentation was fantastic. It exceeded all of our expectations and made a significant impact on all of our student-athletes, specifically those we were hoping to reach. I spoke with him again today and we would love to have him back in the future. Thanks again for your help.
-University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Wanted to give you feedback that I am sure you get all the time after Chris speaks. Frankly, he may be the best speaker I have seen at capturing the audience. Gifted. Let me know when he will be back in the area.
-Financial Planner, MassMutual Financial Group
I cannot begin to tell you how incredible the experience was. We are still winding down from last night’s lecture and today’s student assembly. We feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and listen to Chris. He had a profound impact on our audiences, especially our young high school students. He is a special guy with a crazy story and a bottom-line ability to connect with and help people. We are very pleased with the whole experience.
- Severn School
Phenomenal—he is an absolutely amazing speaker and person. I think he touched more students than he realizes. Thanks again [to APB] for being so easy to work with.
- Old Dominion University
Chris Herren’s story is a must hear for those working with college athletes. Our student-athletes continue to talk about his candor and resiliency. Their words: “powerful, deep, moving.”
- Athletic Director, Marquette University
The event was wonderful! Chris did an excellent job; he really seemed to reach a lot of students. He was extremely kind and genuinely cared about our students. I would highly recommend him in the future.
- Scecina Memorial High School
WOW! He absolutely met all of my expectations. The kids were so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. He was extremely professional, generous with his time, sensitive to kids with questions, and a great model to introduce our sports captains to. Very glad he was able to come. Thank you for helping me coordinate this effort!
- Development Coordinator, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
I went to the Chris Herren speaking engagement at Rutland High last night. His presentation was similar of course to when he was on the ESPN special. The message is strong of course, but Herren is also a fantastic public speaker which makes listening to him so easy. It comes across very well on TV, but also more so in person.
- Attendee, Rutland High School Event
Chris was great and his story really hit home with our student-athletes. I appreciate the effort on your behalf to help get him to our campus. Our entire athletics department benefitted greatly from this presentation.
- Assistant Men's Basketball Coach, College of St. Rose
[Everyone] thoroughly enjoyed it. He did a great job. His message to our guys was unbelievable.
I have reviewed, seen, or supported countless programs to deal with decision-making, underage drinking, and substance abuse. Many of them were outstanding and had an immediate impact on students. On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending Chris Herren’s program for members of our junior and senior classes. “Excellent” does not do Chris or his message justice. He was absolutely fantastic. One could tell almost from the start that he connected with his audience and that he spoke from the heart. Rarely have I seen a speaker have such an impact on his audience. The many questions students asked at the end confirmed their attentiveness and interest. One young girl approached me after the presentation and said, “I am going to come clean. That man and his message had a profound impact on so many students who were in the audience. That program was the best and most effective one I have attended in my four years of high school.
- East Greenwich High School
This is an audience familiar with “inspirational” messages but Chris made a distinctive and quite extraordinary impression on our kids. Rarely do our kids jump to their feet for a “standing O” but, en masse, they did this after Chris’s talk. He was direct, personal and appealed to a group of adolescents in an immediate and powerful way that caused some genuine reflection in our whole student body. I would recommend Chris strongly to any group of young people who could benefit from an impassioned “been there, done that, learned the hard-way” message that speaks to the heart.
Chris Herren is an amazing speaker, incredibly honest. You could have heard a pin drop. Jaws were dropped and eyes wide-open. Inspirational.
-Salve Regina University
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