SCHOOLS (PUBLIC & PRIVATE)
Suicide, peer pressure, bullying, life-changing decisions, family troubles, relationships...they are all difficulties young people face on a daily basis. They need to know there is hope. They don't have to give up even when faced with seemingly impossible situations. Joshua Goodling has always received ENTHUSIASTIC responses and STANDING OVATIONS when speaking to young people. They hear about a man who was given ZERO chances of survival. Who faced insurmountable obstacles in his life. Who isn't even supposed to be here, and yet he stands before them sharing how inspite of all of the challenges and difficulties, he has made something of his life. He has overcome what doctors said was impossible, bouncing back when his chances were ZERO! And he has come out of all of this determined to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in OTHER PEOPLE'S lives - not feeling sorry for HIMSELF!
Joshua's story of overcoming obstacles and putting others first has had a life-changing effect on young people who sit glued to every word he has to say. Young people often tell Joshua remarks like, "You just changed my life!", "That was the best speech I've ever heard!", and "That was amazing!"
Joshua has spoken at public schools and other youth organizations and events, and the teachers and staff are usually blown away at the excellent response from the young people after Joshua speaks. Joshua formats his messages to these audiences in such a way to inspire and motivate them to overcome the difficulties they face and make a difference in the world around them.
As a terminal cancer survivor, Joshua was always the shortest kid in school growing up, and many young people made fun of him for being short and the other differences he daily lived with as a result of the cancer and treatments. When he speaks about anti-bullying, making choices, and putting others first, he's not just giving his opinion - he's been there and speaks from experience and from his heart.
Here's what a mother of two children who are in schools where Joshua has spoken wrote:
"Our kids are being challenged by more things than we ever experienced in our youth. We don't live in communities where we know all our neighbors and trust their influence on our kids. The digital world has presented our kids with everything at their fingertips. Some of this is positive and some of this has created more challenges like a need to always be connected, a need to be accepted and "liked", and exposure to more we might not always feel our kids are prepared to process. There is pressure and high levels of stress to be a better student, a better athlete, and gain acceptance with peers which can all result in disappointment. We have seen kids in our communities that appear to have all things going for them hurting themselves or taking their lives because the pressures are more than they can handle. It really does "Take a Village" to raise kids in this fast-paced society. Exposing them to as many positive influences as possible is important because they don't always want to hear more from mom and dad. I have known Joshua for nearly 20 years. His positive nature, the connection he makes to youth by sharing his life story and challenges he has faced has literally saved lives. His model of hope, kindness, and facing life's challenges with resilience is a message all our kids can benefit from hearing. I guarantee your children will have a new life perspective once then have heard Joshua's message."
Read a recommendation letter from a Principal here!