I think the most important thing I learned is to help others and be myself!
-Grade 5/6 Student
Today we had a guest speaker, his name is Dwayne Peace. He was a police officer who lives in Calgary who now speaks at schools about drugs, suicide, alcohol, and bullying. He touched a really deep place in my heart. I learnt a lot of new things like how to support someone who is having suicidal thoughts. He also told me that he believed in me and that I’m amazing. It has never felt so good to hear those words, they made me believe in myself. My social responsibility is that I feel I want to do that to other people. I want to boost their self confidence . I also want to be as positive as I can. I think the most important thing is that we are all equal. This has been one of the best/emotional days of my life!
–Grade 5/6 student
Dwayne Peace visited my grade 5/6 classroom on a crazy Friday where the power was out, but luckily came on just before classes started. The hectic morning of wondering whether school was on or not really had everyone’s nerves heightened, not to mention it was Friday. When I met Dwayne for the first time, the first thing he said to me was, “your smile looks good on you”. Honestly, I will never forget that or the day i had with him and my grade 5/6 class. Right from the beginning I knew he was what my class needed. He has an empowering way of telling you the truth, lifting you up, and encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone because he believes you are capable of moving mountains, and making the world a better place. It only takes one person to make a change and he proves that with the impact he has left– not only on my students, but me as well. He’s inspired my students to make positive choices and has left the responsibility in their hands. I cannot thank him enough for his time and genuine impact.
–Jesse Sawka, Teacher at Hillmond Central School Grade 5/6
Day you spoke: 11/24/15
Day my life changed: 11/25/15
Thank you for coming to the school and speaking. Thank you as well, for the compliment – I will never forget it nor the fact that everyone has a story. When you put the Kleenex box down, my heart started pounding. I knew I had to go first. I didn’t know I had gotten up until I was out of my seat. You see, I’m a Christian so I believe it was God telling me that I needed to take the lead this time.
Smile, Laugh, Believe
You’re Trustworthy! You’re Helpful! You’re Amazing! You’re Outstanding!
“Never Give Up On A Dream”
You have helped me open my eyes and heart to people more than I have before. I never knew what I wanted to do next year when I’m out of school but you have inspired me beyond belief to speak to people and help. I want to make a change. What happened in the group session opened doors up in my heart and life. So, thank you so very much. I’m so thankful to have met you.
The Dwayne Peace small group session was definitely one of the most powerful and eye-opening experiences I have been through in my teaching career. Being exposed to each student’s personal story was truly an amazing opportunity, which allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. As I enter the school each morning, the small group sessions act as a constant reminder that each and every student has their own story to bring to the table, and as an educator, that recognition, has the potential to move mountains.
The Dwayne Peace presentation was extremely powerful. In the small group sessions, students were given an opportunity to have a voice. They discussed challenges that they were currently facing in life and everyone supported one another. This brought students closer together and gave students a sense of belonging and trust within the small group, which has extended through out the entire school.
I don’t know if you remember me much but I go to the school that you were at yesterday. You haven’t really spoke to me since the last time you were at my school when you did the suicide and eating disorders. Yesterday I was going to stay after the presentation of alcohol and drugs presentation just to tell you that time when I spoke to you in grade 8 about 4 years ago. I was 15. But anyways that day you changed my life. I was about to leave everything, my life, my family, my friends. Until I talked to you. You helped me a lot and I didn’t even tell you my whole story. I just wanted to let you know that you were the reason I stayed. The reason I am still here. I am now 17 and still battling depression but I thank you so much. You are a life changer. Thank you again.
Dwayne, Thank you so much for your efforts, caring and support for GHS. It is always an amazing week with you here. I know that the year will now be off to a good start and that many conflicts are on the way to being resolved. Much has changed here at GHS in the last ten years and it is because of people like you who do all you can to support and appreciate teenagers. Aren’t they truly wonderful beings – exasperating at times too! Please know that your words will live on this year as we get our new group going and have our reminder posters around the school. Do let us know when you are in our area again…we would love a visit and a reminder session! I will definitely remind our administrators of your amazing work.
Know that I so appreciate your positive nature and your optimism. You touch so many lives in such a remarkable way! Thank you for making a difference in all of my passion and efforts at GHS
– Aleeta Ploc, Principal
Our school is a small, special-setting school for students who are struggling with issues such as addictions, family conflicts, damaging peer pressures , and/or a variety of illnesses. During the past ten years, we have invited Mr. Dwayne Peace to speak to our students many times, and his presentations have always had a powerful impact on the youth. he talks to students about their choices and the effect those choices will have on their lives. Dwayne connects effortlessly with students, and they find it easy to listen to Dwayne’s message because of his dynamic and inclusive speaking style. Following a presentation, I frequently hear students around the school or in classrooms cuing each other on behaviour and choices by using some of the very same vocabulary used during the presentations. I am confident that Dwayne has been responsible for positive changes in the lives of many of our youth and that they will remember his words well into adulthood. More
We invited Dwayne Peace to one of our schools in 2012 and in 2013 to speak with our grade 7 to 12 students. The three hour presentation was interactive and thought – provoking. What a positive impact on the students ! On top of that, the small group sessions were professional and solution-focused. The whole process has enabled the staff and students to have more authentic conversations and as a result, we established structures and processes in place to ensure regular student feedback and involvement. Students have demonstrated a higher degree of involvement and commitment to their school life and they are taking ownership of their learning.