By Raenna Cenni, Arthur Fender, Tessa Kautz, Kayleigh Scharf and Lino Valetta, Journalism I Class
On Friday, November 15th, one of the world’s most requested teen – centered motivational speakers for the past twenty years, Mr. Reggie Dabbs, made a triumphant return to West Geauga High School, informing the students about the, “meaning of life.” There were two key factors he made sure to mention that went into this meaning. The first, even if it did stir a little “controversy,” is that boys and girls are inherently different. The second is that life is a “rollercoaster:” one moment you could be on top of the world and the next lost at the bottom. That is exactly what he took the student body on…an emotional rollercoaster ride.
Mr. Dabbs has become a very influential high school speaker to many students and even some teachers. Why is this? He has become so important because of his story of a harsh past that hits home with many kids and adults, alike. Reggie was born to a South Florida teen mother who didn’t want him. He said he even was called a “mistake.” However, in the mind of his adoptive parents, he was not a mistake.
Dabbs learned he was adopted in eighth grade. The teen “version” of Dabbs was shocked, hurt, and confused. He was, however, helped by his father and mother to get through his pain. Reggie’s dad slept outside his room for a few nights after Reggie learned of his past. Dabbs recalled this being the moment he knew he was going to be alright. This change in his life made him into the person he is today.
Reggie’s website (reggiedabbsonline.com) states, “From being a ‘problem’ to an unwed teenager, Reggie is fast becoming one of the most in-demand speakers who helps teenagers meet their problems head-on and overcome them.” This shows that despite difficulties in his childhood, he has become someone who many look up to and look to for advice. As he had a very harsh and confusing childhood, he has been able to relate to many students. This enables him to connect with students and make a positive change in their lives.
The speech was very moving and affected many students. He started off his program by playing his saxophone to songs like, “Let it Go” and “If I Can’t Have You.” After catching the students’ attentions with his musical talent, he then began to tell his audience that life is a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, emphasizing to never give up. He shared his life story and explained that it is possible to get through tough times. His story impacted many students, as some tears were visible. The speech was influential and touched many students in the drop – dead silent gymnasium.
His way of connecting with kids through words and music was unlike other speakers at West Geauga for many. Senior Peyton Bissler described the speech as, “…a motivational and moving story that captured every student in the room’s attention.” Reggie had eyes all over the place watering as he told his heart-felt and courageous story to the students. Senior Chris Hare added, “It brightened everyone’s mood for the day and made everyone feel a little better about themselves.” After the speech was over, many of the students made their way up to Reggie and conveyed their emotions to him, telling him how much they enjoyed the speech. Overall, there probably were not too many in the room who would say the speech wasn’t both knowledgeable and motivational. Whirlwind advisor, Mr. Joe Marino said, “This is the third or fourth time I have seen Mr. Dabbs speak and he is, easily, one of the best speakers I have ever seen in regards to connecting with kids on an emotional level. He gets it.”
Reggie Dabbs came to West Geauga to inform the students about the meaning of life. He did more than inform them; he moved them. Reggie’s speech touched the students and staff in an emotional way. This was one roller coaster that everyone will benefit from. See more at: https://wgwhirlwind.org/1508/news/a-little-dab-will-do-ya/