We had an amazing two-week school tour with Reggie Dabbs, with a grand-total of 44 assemblies in 11 school districts. Reggie’s unique approach with students and staff is unrivaled. We received an overwhelming response from the community and the schools. Below are some pictures along with some principal and teacher feedback.
See this and other events at www.sjya.com or www.theyouthalliance.com.
Thank you so much for the great student assembly that you and Mr. Dabbs provided in December of 2010. Our staff and students enjoyed this up to date performance of this most serious subject. As you know peer pressure, making wrong choices and addictions plague our school setting. The message of hope and planning for the future is one that our students can benefit from and you provided a positive view about these problems. Thanks again for bringing this message to or students. You are welcome back at any time!
Albert Johnson, Principal
I had the pleasure of sitting through your assembly today at our High School in Millville, NJ. As a counselor in a school-based services program within the school, I know that our students experience so much pain, sadness, and hurt. Our goal is to reach out to as many students that we can and spread the message of love and family. After hearing you speak today, I felt compelled to reach out to you and thank you for your inspirational and motivational words. I am confident that the students at Millville heard your message and that no one that heard you left that room feeling alone. Thank you again for sharing your story. My commitment to you is that I will be sure to do my part to keep spreading your message. I got your back, bro!! God bless you and your family.
Tim Callahan,School Counselor
On behalf of Lakeside Middle School I would like to sincerely thank you for coming to our school and spending time with our students and parents on Thursday, December 2, 2010. The personal stories and life experiences that you shared with our kids were very well received and the students continued to talk about your presentation for several days afterwards. You had the complete and full attention of 1,100 students. 1,100 students! Words cannot describe how powerful that is. You touched many lives that day with your positive and powerful message of peace and unity.
Several staff members contacted me after the assembly to tell me that the program was the best student assembly that we have had in years. They expressed a desire to talk about the issues that you discussed and help the students build on the assembly. I have also received several phone calls from parents who attended the evening program with their children on Thursday, December 2, 2010. The parents conveyed the same message of positivity that the students did earlier in the day. Your presentation was outstanding, you related to the students and parents in a positive way. I was proud of our school for hosting you, and look forward to working with you again to help our students.
Stephen M. Wilchensky
Lakeside Middle School
I would like to thank you for bringing Mr. Reggie Dabbs to Success as a guest speaker. Our students responded very well after the program and asked when he was returning for another visit. This is now the 3rd time that I have seen Reggie speak and he gets better each time I see him. Once again thank you for taking the time out of your day and spending it with our students. Our students look forward to having you back again in the future. Please let me know when the next speaker can attend and we will arrange the time.
I would like to formally thank you again for the marvelous performance given by The Youth Alliance Family. My children were enamored by the talent and charisma of the performers. My Staff is still laughing at their own performance. We were pleased, entertained, excited and just plain happy to have an important message delivered with enthusiasm and talent. May all of you have a joyous holiday and continue to bring your inspirational message as far as possible in the coming year. God Bless.
Sylvia W. Stewart, Principal, New Jersey Avenue School
I am following up with you regarding the Reggie Dabbs presentation given today at MSHS. From an administrative standpoint, his presentation is excellent. The positive message conveyed by Mr. Dabbs truly opens the hearts and minds of our students. Many students walked through the halls once they exited the auditorium with smiles on their faces and a bounce in their step. Also, many students approached me to say positive things and to tell me that “they had my back”. Being an administrator and being in charge of discipline, students don’t usually want to freely speak with me because it usually isn’t positive. Today, for at least a while, they will.
All of the administration and staff thoroughly enjoyed his messages and stories. Mr. Dabbs attitude and demeanor conveys positive messages and allows for a brief time, all of the boundaries in our school, lives and jobs to be broken down. Our staff loved his presence today in the building and we can only hope that we can have him here in the future.
It is my hope that what I have just relayed to you through this e-mail is the response you were looking to receive by reaching out to me today. If there is anything I can do for you in the future, please let me know.
Mr. Volovar , Vice Principal
“hey reggie, you came to my school, lakeside middle school in millville new jersey. you truly inspired me with your stories and jokes. i can tell you inspired others because they were crying. so was I. my homeroom teachers eyes were watering. you really made my day that day you came, so hopefully you could come again. <I GOTCHO BACK!!!>”
Born to an unwed teenager who at one time considered abortion as a viable option for solving her “problem,” Reggie Dabbs considers himself fortunate to be alive. With no place to go, the pregnant teenager ended up living in a chicken coop in Tennessee. It was there she remembered a former school teacher, Mrs. Dabbs, who had said to her students, “If you ever need anything, call me,” and gave the students her home phone number. The girl called.
Mrs. Dabbs and her husband, whose six children were adults by this time, took the girl into their home and cared for her until after the baby was born. They continued to care for little Reggie as foster parents until he was in the fourth grade, and then they officially adopted him and gave him the Dabbs name.
As the Dabbs’ reared Reggie, they instilled in him strong moral values, for which he is genuinely grateful. They also ingrained in him the fact that in every situation he faced, he had a choice. What he did with those choices was entirely up to him.
In the sixth, Reggie began playing the saxophone and hated it. At the insistence of his parents he continued to practice and to play. Not until his freshman year in college did he actually enjoy the instrument, and today, he plays with fervor and expertise.
After graduating from college, Reggie began his public speaking. During one speaking engagement, his host asked if he would be interested in addressing a high school assembly. From that small beginning in 1987, Reggie has become a popular public school speaker.