Mental Health Speakers for youth | Sydney | Luke S. Kennedy
Organising this event was different to most. Usually when leading up to my mental health speakers for schools event, I'm liaising with a teacher, principal, or school well-being coordinator, to plan my visit.
This time, I was first contacted through LinkedIn (I no longer have social media including LinkedIn) by a student of Xavier College Llandio, whose name was Mia. Her professional and confident message really impressed me.
Mia's year 11 class had won a competition held by Western Sydney Uni, and as a result was rewarded a grant. This grant enabled the students to organise a mini careers day and have a guest mental health speakers for youth (me!!!).
While organising the talk, I gave my speakers price plus travel. Mia negotiated this to fit into her budget, and I was happy to adjust things considering it was for a group of students who were planning it all themselves.
When it was all booked in and ready to go, Mia passed me on to a teacher, Bridget Mazzalla to finalise the timing and room for my talk.
Bridget was another beautiful soul to deal with, and with teachers like her on the front line there's no wonder the students are so amazing.
After my big motivational speakers for schools tour recently in Victoria and Sydney, I then had a few days in Emerald (read about that visit HERE) where I spoke at the Emerald Educators' Conference to over 500 teachers. I returned home for one night before flying to Sydney to speak at Xavier College. It's been a big few weeks.
Leaving early on Thursday morning, I was due to speak at Xavier on the Friday. Flying into Sydney early allowed me to just in my hire car, cruise to Cronulla, pick up a friend and go to the beach.
We got to train as well, and after dinner, I got to my spot to sleep.
I had to be at Xavier by 8:20am on the Friday, and Xavier college was 1 hour and 15 min from where I was staying. Waking up early (as always), there was no mucking around. I got ready, made my coffee with coconut oil (digests slower into the liver that way), and jumped in my hire car to head out Western Sydney.
I love when I'm on tours and non stop speaking to spot after spot. This time was nice though because I only had the one gig. Having one gig with nothing before or after it, allows me to be more present (I still am at other spots!) and have time to chat to the students afterwards.
Arriving at the college, I rocked into the office and signed in while waiting for Bridgett (or is it Ms Marrazalla?). Waiting for Bridgett, a student noticed..
"Aww you're Mr Kennedy. I'm ... (sorry forgot the name). Have you been looked after? I can take you to the room to set up."
How's that for confidence from a young lady!
I told her thanks heaps but I was waiting for Ms Marrazalla to come and get me. She smiled and told me she was looking forward to my talk.
Ms Marrazalla (Or is it Bridgett?) then walked in to the office and introduced herself. I know... I know I've said it a lot, but I'm big on energies and sensitive to those around me. Meeting Ms Marrazalla, I could instantly feel her wholesome and caring energy. It always excites me when I meet a teacher like this before my guest speakers for schools talks, because having teachers like this, it means their students pick up on, and mirror, their demeanour.
We walked into the room I was speaking, I met the Deputy principal, and was ready to rock and roll. A few other students came up and introduced themselves, and then I finally got to meet my homegirl Mia! After chatting with her and organising things, I was excited to finally meet her. She had a bright and beautiful smile and we both thanked each other for the day. I promised I wouldn't make her look bad for trusting me. I was then introduced, and then I spoke.
Before my mental health speakers for schools talk, Ms Marrazalla informed me that the students of this particular year group were all high performers. What I've found over the many years I've been working with our youth, and even adults for that matter, that regardless of the outside circumstances, whether they're top performers, happy, sad, loving, or whatever place they've found themselves in... there's still always a deep underlying feeling that they're not good enough or what they've achieved is never good enough.
This can mean that even if they top their class or job role, it still never feels like they've done good enough.
This feeling of not good enough could be the result of a simple comment a parent made when they were younger, or they went to speak in front of the class in primary school and made a little mistake so the i the kids laughed, or something incredibly "minor" took place, but now there's a deeply ingrained negative belief about themselves.
So knowing this, and knowing that these students, on the outside were labeled top performers, I went in to my talk with this in mind, and knew how to angle my talk for this.
I really dig deep when it came to this section of my talk, and I could see the students going deep in themselves and reflecting.
Not a single set of eyes left me during the 70 minutes I spoke, and at the end, there was a big round of applause and nodding heads.
After the talk, there was a line of students waiting to chat, and a few of them really opened up to me. Having the trust in me to open up, is always a humbling feeling for me. It shows that we are aligned and obviously connected during my talk.
We took a few photos, and then I was quickly interviewed and filmed by another student.
Afterwards I thanked everyone, and was then escorted out by my little homie, Mia. We got to have deep chat on the way to the office, and I left with a warm heart.
Thank you Xavier College Liando for such an inspiring experience for me.
You're the best x
Do you have a group of kids that need a push in the right direction? Let Luke inspire your kids.