Friday, I was given a wonderful opportunity to speak to students at Bettendorf High School. Students had a choice between three speakers who were all speakers that the students were able to connect with. I was beyond honored that the student council reached out to me to speak. I won't lie, after saying yes I was very nervous. I was not nervous for the sake of giving a talk, but I was nervous because high school students can be a challenge to hold their interest AND I also know there is a chance that the words I speak could make an impact. The whole week the school focused on the theme The Power of One helping students to understand that they matter, their voices matter, and that they can do amazing things if they want to. As I plotted, organized, developed, and practiced my speech over and over I finally was able to connect the dots and make it work. I only had about 23 minutes to deliver my talk which is not a lot of time. My first practice run was over 80 slides and 47 minutes long. Through practice and practice and more practice I was able to get the talk down to under 25 minutes. The other challenge lied in the issue that I needed to deliver a message that they have heard a million times but in a new way. Students are constantly being talked to about failure, growth mindset, achieving your goals, etc. For the first time I brought to life personal stories that I have never shared before to a public audience.