Most of us, especially young people, feel pressured to conform. We are presented constantly with images and opinions on how we should look and how we should behave. But when it comes right down to it, the best person to make decisions about how you live your life is YOU. This presentation addresses how outside forces influence your choices, the importance of putting your own needs first, and how attitude affects perception and outlook. Through her personal stories and challenges, Dawn conveys how the choices we make determine our identity, including how we are seen by others. Accepting your uniqueness, understanding your value, and worrying less about what others think builds resilience and develops a stronger self-image, which helps prevent abusive relationships and combats the effects of bullying.
Appropriate for Grades 6 Through College Level.
In her TEDx talk, Dawn explores what ultimately makes us attractive…or ugly – our choices and our behavior.
We've got students who face challenges here. Having Dawn come and speak to our young people about what she's faced and the challenges she's had to overcome has been really empowering for them.
Dawn used personal examples that were completely relatable. My kids leaned in to what she was saying. She gave our kids powerful messages that they've retained.
No matter what happened, she could always push through it, and it makes me feel like no matter what happens, I can push through it.
Making a difference in the world takes a strong voice and a powerful presence. By speaking from her heart and building a connection with my students, Dawn was able to impart a very powerful message to them- Accept yourself for who you are.
My goal in inviting Dawn was to help students develop understanding for and appreciation about people with differences instead of making fun of them. The nature of Dawn’s presentation made this a complete success. She was able to share in such a deep, personal way that the students could relate to her on a personal level. Instead of seeing someone who is different, they saw someone who is the same.
Her speech taught us how we are the only people who can really change our life through the way we see life.
Dawn incorporated specific stories from throughout her life, and then related them to learnable outcomes from a bigger picture that everyone could relate to.