The Power of One

“"Manuel's is an against-the-odds story of immeasurable courage, strength and determination overcoming extreme adversity. His testimonial leaves audiences not only awed and inspired, but also moved towards change. No one who hears Manuel will ever be the same."”

Masie Bross

Director of Whiz Kids, Inc.

Be Reminded of Your Why

People entered education because they wanted to make a positive difference in the world, but many of them are tired. They are tired of having their self-worth tied to a score on a test; tired of politics, tired of being under-resourced, tired of being blamed for problems they didn’t cause; tired of being overworked, unappreciated, and underpaid. Many of them are starting to wonder whether they matter, whether their work matters, whether they are even making a difference. With tired, heavy hearts, many of them are seriously thinking about walking away from education.

I believe I am called to remind them of their "Why?" so in my Power of One keynote, I remind listeners that:

  • Their work is not in vain.
  • They have the power to change someone's life.
  • Even on their worst day, they can still be a student's best hope!  

I am living proof that one act of kindness, one word of encouragement, or one gesture of genuine love can literally change the trajectory of a student’s life. 

This message is so personal for me because when I was going through the most difficult moments of my life; when I was so sad that I used to cry myself to sleep at night, drenching my pillows (or the floors of homeless shelters) with tears and hoping that my eyes would not open the next morning; when I was in those dark places, it was loving adults—teachers, coaches, a lunch lady, an assistant principal, a man struggling with an addiction to drugs, and others—who, despite all that was wrong in the world, lovingly met me at my point of need and helped me overcome so many seemingly insurmountable obstacles in my life. They helped me go from being a high school dropout to the man I am today—living my dreams as an author, a husband, father, pilot, and public servant.

Benefits & Outcomes

  • Get a powerful reminder of your "Why?"
  • Acquire a new lens through which to see youth, their families, and their neighborhoods.
  • Develop the kind of self-awareness that allows you to build bridges into the lives of those you serve.
  • A renewed heart with which to serve.

Event Details

  • 60-90 minute presentation.
  • Ideal for groups who work with underperforming youth, and those who serve vulnerable populations.
  • Ideal for convocations, conferences, professional development days.