I was so impressed by the quality and poise of the student presentations and found the presentations both informative and inspirational. Not only did I find the delivery of each speaker to be exceptional, but I was blown away by the content, the structure, the humor and the writing behind their words. My husband and I were so pleased that our son had the opportunity to deliver a speech that he had written to a live audience, and we were so proud of him. More important than us, HE felt so good about himself, having worked hard to write his talk and rehearse it endlessly over the last few weeks. I just want you to know how impactful and impressive this day was for me, as a mom who wants her kids to step outside their comfort zones and reach and stretch and grow from new experiences, and as a woman who really enjoyed listening to and learning from the stories that were told. Thank you for a commitment to opening new worlds for our kids in and out of the classroom.
- Mother of 7th grader who presented his speech to the school community and ultimately as his TEdx talk at our event licensed by TEDX

Dr. James--

I wanted to take a moment to send you a note of congratulations on a tremendously successful soulstory curriculum that culminated in a TEDx program. Learning opportunities like this make us as parents proud. We are so fortunate to have educators and programs that guide and shape our students as they navigate towards their future. By stepping outside the bounds of traditional education, programs like this and teachers like you, encourage our students to question the "norm", challenge "conventional" and shape a new future. You helped our daughter find her voice and gave her the confidence to deliver a wonderful message. I promise you that the impact you made on her will last throughout her lifetime.
-Father of 7th grade presenter who participated in the soul story curriculum

I feel [the soulstory curriculum and the TEDX experience] provided my son another level or confidence and a real feeling of accomplishment. He could have said "forget it" but what I like is he had the drive to not quit and as a result I think he feels more confident in himself!
-7th grade parent.

I think the assignment actually helped my son to think on a much deeper level. It also was empowering to be a seventh grade presenter in such a well-known & world-wide event! I believe the assignment not only inspired my son but also gave him a sense of achievement that he had never encountered before. I was inspired just by attending and watching all of the speakers!
-7th grade parent

I have learned that if I put my mind to something I can achieve it. I have learned that my teachers are willing to help me and THAT my classmates can put their mind to it and achieve it. I worked hard because I wanted to spread my message to the world and accomplished something like this, to make my parents proud and me proud. At first I did not really care for it, but as it went on It became more exciting to do this in front of many people and spread my ideas, and right before it I got butterflies in my stomach but went I went on it was not nerve racking.
- 7th grade presenter, Matt

I felt better after doing this assignment because I got to say what I was feeling without being judged. Most of the students’ soul stories were personal, so from listening to as many as I could I learned what kind of challenge everyone had to go through. It allowed me to say what I wanted to say without being judged and I felt like I got a lot of freedom doing this project
-7th grader, Ignas

I worked so hard for this because I will not get another opportunity like this and i feel people should know the importance of my talk. Being a kid, people do not always take you seriously and this was the time where people would. Being a kid, I also have great ideas and messages from a child's point of view. I am very proud of myself for working this hard. I would definitely like to do this again because although it took a lot of effort and time I have a great sense of accomplishment, I gained confidence, and I deeply feel I spread a message that wouldn't have been spread without my talk.
-7th grader Sydney

I learned that it takes a lot of work to do something great.
-7th grader John-Vincent

I learned to take just one step at a time.
-7th grader Teresa

I learned that I can do anything that I set my mind to, and that I should have more confidence in myself. I also learned some interesting facts about my classmates and some experiences they have gone through. I would do this again because it is a great opportunity to be apart of something special.
- 7th grader Madi