Last year I received a call from a teacher who worked at the Donahies Community School, we had a great conversation and she told me that the students saw my video and they they were inspired by my story and they asked her to contact me to as me to speak at their school. I was absolutely Honoured to have been invited in, unfortunately last year I did not get to speak at the school but I was determined to get in and speak at the school at some stage as I knew the students wanted me too.
I contacted the teacher again and told her that I was eager to come in and chat with the students – it seemed I got in touch at the perfect time because they students were working on their YSI project and the subject they chose was Domestic Violence, I was delighted they chose this important subject.
They were hosting a coffee morning and invited me in to talk, this was perfect, the timing was perfect.
When I walked into the school I honestly have to say I did not have one nerve in my body, I felt so welcomed by the students & teachers, the students were excited to hear me speak, which kept me calm, seeing the excitement in their faces, them all coming unto me saying hello, making eye contact – it was such a good vibe! A vibe that left a positive mark on me.
I began speaking on stage to the students, parents and teachers, I shared a video with them and I began to talk them through my journey over the last 2 years. There was NO noise for the duration of my speech, they were engaged, they listened and they made eye contact with me….. They wanted hear what I had to say and this filled me with such pride, not for myself but for them. Even when I asked for them to participate in an activity they did, they had respect for me, I was truly delighted and honoured to be here speaking in front of them.
When I speak about my children in my talks I always get a lump in my throat, and this time I did again, but it was ok, it felt ok, it was ok to get emotional, I wasn’t being judged, they looked at me with passion in their eyes, nodding their heads and taking in all I had to say.
After my talk we took cool pics, we had laughs, and they presented me with a gift, a gift that will stay with me forever, they painted a “hope tree” where they have positive words on the branches and they framed it for me, I cannot wait to hang this in my kitchen, its beautiful and I will teach my children all about this Hope Tree.
I left the school that day feeling so emotional, but in a good way, I was filled with good vibes, I was honestly so privileged to speak of these students, I was thinking “wow”, I was not this well behaved when I was at school, but then I thought…. we didn’t have speakers talk to us in school about Domestic Violence…….. Then it lead me onto my campaign #BeThatVoice – how important this is????? not for me but for the younger generation??????
The younger generation hold the key to any change, they have the power, it’s the younger generation that can and will make a change. I don’t want my children to grow up keeping their feelings inside, being afraid to talk about their feelings, sweeping things under the carpet, I don’t want my son to think just because he’s a boy that he shouldn’t speak out, that its not cool??? HELL NO, I want them to live a life where they understand equality, they treat everyone equal, they talk about their feelings, they know the difference form right and wrong, they know the boundaries, they know the tactics to be aware of, I want them to have a voice and not be afraid to use it just because of what others might think.
#BeThatVoice is a campaign for schools and colleges, a campaign that I am extremely passionate about and something that the younger generation need.
If you would like me to speak at your school just get in touch with me 🙂
Have a great day