I have goals, I have a future, most importantly I have confidence. I’m not afraid anymore.
You came to my school sometime in April this year. I had recently gotten out of the hospital after a failed suicide attempt, and then a relapse of self harm. When I met you I was a complete mess and that’s an understatement. I found out I was bipolar. I struggled with my road to recovery. The worst was the panic and anxiety attacks, I would hit myself, pull my hair out and scream that I wanted to die.
Looking at me now you wouldn’t think I was the same person. It was February 28th 2016 when I tried to kill myself, it is now August 24th 2016. That’s almost 6 months. I have goals, I have a future, most importantly I have confidence. I`m not afraid anymore.
When I first heard you were speaking at my school I thought “oh great another person hear to preach at me about how I’m worth it, how much I’m loved…. blah blah blah” I`m sorry to say but at first I was not interested at all. But when I met you, I knew something different was going to happen. Throughout your presentation you talked about drinking, drugs, mental illness and self harm. All of these things applied to me (notice I used past tense) I did drink , smoke pot and lets just say I wasn’t the most stable in the mental department. This all changed when I moved into my grandparents house. You also talked about self worth, which again related to me. I wasn’t confident, I constantly wanted to impress others, I wanted to be skinny so guys would pay attention to me, I wanted to be smart so my parents would love me.
You’re presentation set off a spark, I started working harder. Not for the people around me, friends, family, boys, no I was doing it for me. Because finally I discovered my voice, no longer would I let people walk all over me, let my parents judge me and criticize me, or let boys decide my worth on a 1-10 scale. I learned how to stick up for myself and what I believe in, so when people make jokes about mental illness, self harm, the handicapable….I no longer hide with nervous laughter. I stick up for those who don’t have a voice or haven’t found there’s yet.
I believe in myself, I can do anything I put my mind to. My plans for the future change often, but I have found a few that might become a reality.
- go to Vancouver acting school, school creative, study as an actor, give it a year. if nothing works out I will go to cold lake and train in the military from there on become a doctor.
- study in criminal behavior and become a police officer
- become a journalist and work as a professional speaker
- become a counsellor and possibly a psychiatrist
My dreams may be mediocre or average but I don’t care because each one has something I`m passionate about involved. This is my story and I thought since you are one of the most inspirational people I have ever had the pleasure of talking to. You helped me and believed in me when even I didn’t.
After your Presentation, when everyone was gone. I was crying, when I came up to you, you hugged me and told me to stay strong and never give up. Today I live by those words.
I have gotten my life under control. my anxiety is still there of course, and so is my bipolar…..but now I don’t let it control me or the decisions I make.
Thank you so much Mr. peace,
I’ll keep in touch
The girl who was inspired (Grade 11)
Grade 12 Student
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 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.
Grade 12 Female Student
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 Peace is not named the way he is for no reason – This man has chosen such a path that delivers eye-opening, heart-changing and mind-washing ideas and fundamentals of peace to the peers he so exuberantly exerts himself towards. His enthusiastic and well-approachable words and context give glimpses of what life would and should be like, as a student, to have a harmonious and completely positive background to learn, and really, flourish in. School should be a place no one is afraid to attend!
Not only is he giving absolutely wonderful help, advice, and direction to students and even adults he presents to, he stresses that the choice of the person is the person’s to make..which really challenges one’s ability to look inside oneself for the right and good answer. It may be true, that through this challenge, peers may end up feeling atoned and even as new people!
Dwayne has the awesome power to make people see, and realize the goodness, compassion and understanding- everything good that must be replaced with the hate and negativity that is all-too-common throughout a considerable amount of schools and people’s lives today. Many people undoubtedly will be affected in different ways by Dwayne Peace, whether more or less intensely- it’s completely up to one’s ability to take in what he has to say. The way I see it- If used to its fullest, his words can be truly heart-altering in power, and completely enlightening. He proclaims compassion, for everyone, to anyone… Why, in most cases, must we only hold compassion and care for someone only when we know what they’ve been through, or who they are? One of the many fundamentals Mr. Peace sees through is the act of showing these qualities towards anyone, no matter who they are, if we know them or not.
The life lessons, the concepts for students and people to build upon… Everything that Dwayne Peace shows his peers has the potential to truly change and save lives- he truly acts as a beautifully strong light in the darkness. A visit and presentation from him holds this, and so much more..it is time amazingly well spent!
I made you a promise that I would email you about everything going on in my life… I should most likely remind you who I am first though. My name is [name] you came and spoke at my High School on Thursday. I came up to you afterwards and you told me that you had your eye on me the whole time. The presentation you gave was mind blowing, everything you said to us, really sunk in. Usually we don’t bother to listen to speakers who come because they all say the same thing, but you really made everyone get into your speech. It was outstanding. I am sorry this email took so long, I guess I just put it off to long but I knew you were waiting for it, so here I am.