Dr. Adolph Brown and his Dream Team of Jazz, Meghan Shandley, and Javier Trejo visited Kimmons to open up students’ eyes with their motivational speeches and performances. Teens felt empathy, laughed, and shouted, “We are better together!” They also shined their cellphone flashlights along with Jazz’s singing.
Ms. Shandley, a former Miss America contestant, talked about how each little step and chance you take leads to something better. She sang “I Am Light” as she encouraged teens to step outside of their comfort zones and hang out with people different from themselves.
Mr. Trejo, an immigrant from Mexico and a U.S. citizen, spoke in English and Spanish as he told about how he nearly drowned when trying to get to the United States. He asked students to have respect for their teachers, make good grades, and not give up on their dreams.
Mason Medlock, 7th, appreciated the diversity of the presenters told and how their stories appealed to the different types of people at Kimmons.
“I believe that being yourself was the most important message because many kids go against what they are just to fit in,” Mason said.
Yovana Araujo, 9th, enjoyed the stories Dr. Brown told about the struggles he went through.
“Dr. Brown did not let all that affect him at all,” Yovana said. “The important message I learned is that whatever you go through, don’t let that bring you down and keep your head up no matter what is bothering you and follow the right path.”
Elizabeth Ounpraseuth, 7th, preferred Dr. Brown’s creativity with the music and changing his appearance.
“It was so funny and inspirational!” Elizabeth said. “The most important message I learned was you can change over time.”
Calyna Nguyen, 9th, enjoyed Dr. Brown’s entertainment.
“My favorite part was the vocals or just being there and listening to the music,” Calyna said. “The most important message I learned was to not judge a book by its cover. Everyone has been through something to become the people they are today.”
Chris Perez, 9th, liked the positive message.
“I learned to never give up because giving up gets you nowhere,” Chris said.
Daniela de La Fuente, 8th, liked how the speakers wanted everyone to get along, even through tough times.
“The most important message I learned from Dr. Brown’s presentation has to be ‘We’re better together’ because this shows that if we work together, the world would be a better place,” Daniela said.
Lexus Williams, 8th, formed a personal connection to Dr. Brown’s experience of not giving up and not letting anything get to you.
“When he talked about how he lost his brother and grew up poor, I could relate because I lost my sister and my family don’t have much money,” Lexus said. “The most important message was to not judge someone because everyone is different, and we are like a box of crayons — some broken, dull, sharp, but still color.”
Whitney, 8th, enjoyed the way Dr. Brown presented himself.
“I liked that Dr. Brown was hype about everything,” Whitney said. “He was kind, talked like he meant it, and shared his story. He said that no matter what, you have friends that will always be there. You are better together. No matter what, people do forgive and forget. When people are mean, you have people to help you through it.”
In his sparkling jacket, Jazz, an actor from Vampire Diaries, discussed how he was raised by his grandmother since his mom was on crack. He made the audience know that they can’t be anyone but themselves and inspired them to master the art of being unique and different. He encouraged them to repeat, “I am worthy of my dreams” as he emphasized that they can live better lives. Jazz wanted teens to protect who and what they are.
Kimberly Nolin, 8th, loved seeing her favorite actor from Vampire Diaries.
“It made me lose my mind!” Kimberly said. “After hearing how Jazz changed over time, I knew that I have to keep pushing through the hard times. we should continue to live our lives and never give up.”
Marcello Morales, 7th, appreciated how Dr. Brown explained how he became who he is today.
“How he did it and what we should do to all of these thing told me that we can do better in the future than the past,” Marcello said.