Heritage students listened, and in some cases, met motivational speaker Mike Smith on August 22.
Smith is a self-proclaimed ‘professional teenager’ and creator of the Harbor, an educational video series that helps kids and teens alike develop character. An avid skater, Smith also founded two skate related non-profits, the BAY, a youth outreach program and skate park, and Skate For Change which encourages kids to help the homeless by incorporating skateboarding.
Smith discussed the hardships of growing up in Nebraska. The discovery of striving for self-improvement came after realizing that his parents and other loved ones were not impressed by his behavior. Later his father developed cancer, something that strongly affected Smith
“My mother told me ‘I thought we had raised you better,” says Smith as he addresses Heritage students, “I don’t care how tough of a kid you think you are. When you hear that from your mom, that really hurts,” he says.
After Smith’s presentation students and staff members of Heritage crowded around Smith, where he met them with hugs and handed out stickers to students.
“After hearing his presentation, I felt the overwhelming need to talk to him, because he was finally someone I knew I could talk to and he would understand.” says Eryca Hamblen ’17.
Her father was lost to cancer, something that has affected her strongly over the years. Many students addressed Smith personally with their own struggles, thanked him for coming and discussed their own future plans with him.
“Speak for the silent, stand for the broken is my motto,” says Smith.by