Motivational Speaker Matt Bennet Encourages Students to Really See One Another

Leah Shoemaker, Journalist

Matt Bennett is a motivational speaker that has spoken for over 300 schools and prisons. He came to present to our students on November 12, hoping to encourage students to be more accepting and maintain positive views of their potential.

The assembly began when Bennett “rapped” his introduction, then he started off by asking students to stand up if they watched tv shows or other interests.

Then he got deep into peoples’ issues, asking about family, depression, and suicide. Students courageously stood up to share that a parent was in jail, a loved one had died, they may have contemplated ending their life. And while students shared these intimate truths, the audience was silent and stunned.

“I think there was a benefit, a student’s life is saved from this. It gets people to see things from a different perspective and realize what other people are going through,” said sophomore English teacher Abrianna Wohfeil.

In addition to teachers appreciating the experience, many students agree that this opened their eyes to what is really happening behind closed doors.

FreshmanTy Soukeseum said, “I liked it because he got people to express their inner feelings in front of the school.”

Although other students weren’t affected personally it still surprised them to see who stood up.

“It was inspiring to see what we all have in common and that we’re not alone. It made me realize that how someone acts doesn’t mean that they’re not going through rough times,” said junior Kylee Roe.

Many people think that this is exactly what the school needed.

“It was necessary, it wasn’t meant to be fun; it was meant to get a point across, and he did that,” said sophomore Micah Partee.

And the teachers also recognize the need for speakers like this.

“People needed to see everyone has problems, we’re all unique,” said animal care teacher Tiffany Smeltzer.

Bennett also shared some of his own personal struggles throughout his lifetime such as drug abuse, his own mom being abused, and being homeless as a kid.

“My favorite part was when he made the students stand up for serious issues that he experienced because he made people realize others have serious problems” said Smeltzer.

He can really relate to all these kids struggling, but also make a fun activity out of it that students and teachers enjoyed.

“We all have challenges in life, and it’s good to recognize those challenges. It brought out emotions that have been buried deep in some people, which is a good thing,” said ninth grade science teacher David Corbin.

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