In a conservative community in southeast Oklahoma about 30 miles west of Joplin, I was invited to spend two days in Miami, Oklahoma as the keynote speaker for the My Life Conference with over 700 young ladies. Each year they rotate - boys and girls. This year it was the ladies and they came ready, respectful, kind, and fun. What a great visit and incredible people to spend two days with.
Hurricane Florence - New Bern, NC
The Aftermath - While this conference was getting ready to start I was caught up emotionally with Hurricane Florence coming to the area listed as a category 4 hurricane. My wife, mother in law, and friends decided to stay and ride the storm out. I wasn’t on board with that, but I booked a flight home the day before and wanted to be there to help.
My flight was cancelled and I was stuck not knowing where or when I was going somewhere. I ended up in Huntsville, AL with my stepson, Devin, where I stayed for four days before heading to Dallas. My area was spared from the hurricane (thankfully), but my parents in New Bern, NC lost their house, boat, car (Ferrari), and RVs. They actually lost two houses in the floods and one is severely damaged.
Anyway, back to work. I was thankful that I got to keep my mind off what was happening at home by being present with these young ladies and the conference.
In a conservative community, this event used to really focus on abstinence, but it has become more well rounded over the years - life, choices, mental health, attitude, self-esteem, etc. I thought that was great. I was really impressed with the community and how proactive they are for the local teens. They put on an incredible conference and the girls got a lot out of it.
Thank you for having me as a speaker. Your young ladies were respectful, kind, fun, and engaging. Wish you all the best.
Now, I gotta find out when I am going to be able to return home to help my family. Sad time.
Jeff Yalden is a mental health speaker and celebrity life coach who specializes in suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Jeff is also the founder and Executive Director of The Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is to prevent suicide, improve community mental health, and shatter the stigma of mental health by initiating a positive movement to speak up and reach out.
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