Motivational speaker impacts students


The Mirror reporter

With his inspirational words, Jeff Yalden hopes to motivate more young adults for life wherever he goes and that included sophomores and juniors at Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

This in-demand motivational speaker was able to appear thanks to the Portage County Mental Health Coalition and the Portage County Alliance for Youth.

School counselor Val Fetting and motivational speaker Jeff Yalden met before his presentation to SPASH students on Oct. 25. (SPASH Photo)

Yalden’s voice echoed through the SPASH auditorium as he worked his insightful words into the minds of his audience. He shared one of his deepest thoughts with the students listening. “The world owes you nothing,” Yalden said, “if you want something, you have to work to get it.”

Throughout the session, Yalden touched the crowd by sharing past experiences of his own and of friends and family. At one point, his own words brought him to tears.

However, during the course of the presentations he made depression seem like a super power for the reason that it allows people to think of other things to do. Depression, for Yalden, gave him the opportunity to get him out of the slump that it initially put him in.

Quinn Rowe, a junior at SPASH reflected on the praise that Yalden has received. “After watching and listening to him talk, I have no doubts that he is one of the best public speakers out there,” Rowe said.

Maggie Mancl of SPASH came away with some important aspects from the talk.  “It was very motivational for me and it expanded my perspective on life,” Mancl said.

Whenever he speaks, Yalden always has a goal in the back of his mind. His mission is to have teenage students be motivated and inspired about life and all its great adventures. Yalden has been speaking since the early 2000s to over 4000 audiences in 47 countries to be exact. He has received praise over the years for literally saving lives.

Yalden had a rough life early on; dealing with depression and anxiety life was never easy for him. High school was a disaster. He graduated his senior year 128th out of a class of 133. He then joined the Marines in hope to seek out his “purpose.” Everything was going well for Yalden until a failed relationship threw him back to the ground. He came back up and started the most important part of his life.

Arrington Polman, also a student at SPASH said,“I’m not really one that likes to talk about that kind of stuff but it still was interesting to see what is happening in other people’s lives.”

Students stayed in tune with the topic quite well considering it’s not everyone’s top pick for topics to talk about. Many students who attended came out with something important and inspirational. Yalden showed exactly why he is the most in-demand motivational speaker to speak to students.