Youth Speaker FAQ »
My typical speech goes about 45 minutes, followed by a 10-minute Q&A with the audience. However, for elementary audiences we shorten the program due to their attention spans! We can customize the length of my program to fit your needs, from a single speech to a multi-day conference. I can even bring in some of the other experts on our team to create a diverse group of presenters.
No, not at all. If you’ve been bullied or abused, I know how you feel, and I don’t blame you for what happened. That stuff is real, and it can hurt for a very long time. If you’re going through bullying, you need to start by reporting it right away to your parents or guardians and to your school, and then leave the ball in their court. Telling is not tattling… telling is brave. But you can’t just stop there. You still have some mental health work to do, some heart-level work… and it can take a very long time. You need to unpack the emotional “baggage” by talking with a trusted adult or a counselor, and ultimately you have to release the desire for revenge. As you let go of the bitterness, the pain let’s go of you. (Wow! That is a powerful truth, and an emotionally intelligent plan.) At its core, Victimproof teaches that even if you get bullied or victimized, you don’t have to stay a victim forever. You can get help, you can break free, and ultimately you can become even stronger.
Nope. I speak on universal values that we all agree on, like Respect, Responsibility, and Self-Esteem. I do not speak on the topics of politics or religion. I believe those conversations are best had between students and their parents.
We work hard to make our programs very affordable. Please fill out our booking form, and we’ll send you a quick quote.
The short answer is… a lot! In the United States the median per-pupil funding is $11,000. Some states spend upwards of $20,000 per K-12 student. That’s every kid, every single year.
You can look up your state’s per-pupil spending at THIS LINK. You can even dig deeper and see how many kids are getting bullied and how many are dropping out due to bullying at THIS LINK. And beyond the loss in funding, some schools are being sued by parents for not doing enough to prevent bullying or cyberbullying.
CONCLUSION: When considering the cost of a bullying prevention program, we should also consider the cost of doing nothing; because that cost is very high. On the other hand, if we focus on value, we can ask deeper questions like “How much is a program worth if it prevents even one of our kids from dropping out or changing schools?”
Booking Tom Thelen to speak at your school is a great investment in your students, and it can create a defining moment for the school. Here are some creative ways to make the budget work:
- Team up with two or three other local schools and schedule multiple assemblies on the same day. This greatly reduces the price for each school, and it helps me to reach a lot of students in a short amount of time. I normally do three or four assemblies per day.
- Another good option is to find sponsors. Make a list of the largest businesses in your area, and then go visit the top five in person. Ask them to underwrite the program, and offer something in return (such as showing their logo at the event, or letting them introduce the session). Remember: when they donate to the school, it’s a tax write off!
- Print off my bio and present it to your local PTO group. If they can’t fund it directly, they can normally steer you toward sponsors.
- Many schools use their curriculum budget to pay for the assemblies. Since the program comes with digital download cards of my book, it can be funded as a curriculum expense. Or buy enough hard copies of my book, and I can come speak for free.
- You can also get creative and write a grant to secure funding. Here is a list of grant writing resources.
In my book I describe how I went to a counseling program when I was 15. The positive impact of that program and the investment of wise mentors in my life helped make me the person I am today. My mission now is to take that message to the audience that needs it most, our students.
They’re the best! My wife, Casie, and I have been married since 2013. We have four awesome kids: Addie, Jack, and our twins, Ellie and Lucy. The kids love playing outside, making up games, and of course… watching movies. We live close to both sets of grandparents, so we visit them all the time.
Some of my favorite books are: Permission to Feel, Boundaries, and Failing Forward. For movies, I’d have to say: The Truman Show, Napoleon Dynamite, One Fine Day, and The Shawshank Redemption.