The day begins when Susie arrives first thing in the morning, an hour before the first assembly.

Whomever is organizing the day meets with Susie to make sure her technical needs for the assembly(ies) are taken care of and that the day’s schedule is clear to everyone. The key contact may be the school counselor, a club advisor, a vice principal, a student leader or other individual.

1. Assemblies

Susie presents one to two LEGACY OF HOPE® assemblies, preferably both in the morning unless assemblies are being split between two different schools and locations.
Assemblies may be held in a gymnasium, auditorium or multi-purpose room. Auditoriums do tend to be the best setting when available and able to accommodate the student body. Assemblies may be targeted to reach the entire student body or target specific grades. Both are effective strategies.

Each assembly runs from 60 to 90 minutes, depending upon how much time the school is able to allot. Susie prefers 75 to 90 minutes in order to deliver her entire message and to allow for a Question and Answer Session. Middle school students like to ask LOTS of questions, so important to allot them time if possible. Susie is always delighted to answer student’s questions with a sincerity, honesty and openness which they greatly appreciate from an adult.

Susie has over 20 years speaking to teens. She has presented to over one million youth and adults, and comfortable and competent at maintaining the attention, interest and upbeat attitude of up to 2,500 teens in a gymnasium. Susie can handle teens on both sides of the gym, in bleachers and on the floor when necessary. She is versatile and adaptable to the needs of schools. Her largest youth audience has been to 8,000 teens in a convention center including large screen video-projection as she performed.

2. Conversations with teens and/or classroom discussions

Susie then stays the rest of the day so students who want to talk about personal concerns can meet with her in private or in small groups. Most schools pick a “safe room” where teens can talk with Susie uninterrupted. We announce at each assembly that she will be available for teens to talk with her in a specified location during certain class periods.

Schools may prefer Susie go into classrooms or meet with select groups of students to hold in-depth discussions on topics from the assembly. Schools may prefer to pick certain groups of students such as high-risk teens, leadership students, peer helpers /mediators/educators, a service club like FCCLA, sober or drug free group, etc.

These meetings provide a powerful and unique opportunity for teens to speak with an open, honest, spiritually and emotionally responsible adult about real life issues. Teens actually LOVE hearing the truths about life when they come from an outside adult they relate to. They often open their eyes and ears to the very same messages they refuse to listen to from parents and familiar teachers.

Susie recognizes and commits to the significant responsibility and privilege of being an example of responsible living, ethics, character and compassion to your children.

These one-on-one and/or classroom discussions always include insights into the family disease of alcoholism, how an alcoholic parent, in particular, can damage a child’s self-esteem. She helps teens understand the dangers and consequences of a teen acting out on his/her shame, blame and self-loathing. Susie makes it clear to youth that they have choices, that they can choose whether to live as a victim or to choose hope and possibilities. She helps teens see the realities of the disease of alcoholism and that they do not cause alcoholic parents to drink, be abusive, critical or neglectful. And that teens cannot control a parent’s behaviors or use; and they cannot cure their parent’s problems.

These discussions often focus on specific topics that a school is concerned about such as bullying, stress, self-harm, etc. Susie has special expertise in teaching stress management tools and is able to wrap them into lessons on life. Teens love her self-help slogans and positive self-talk tips, Yoga for the Classroom and guided relaxation meditation.

3. Survey of Hope

After the assembly, same day if possible, most schools have students fill out the LEGACY one-page Survey of Hope. The Survey provides a unique window into the needs of your students because LEGACY OF HOPE® creates a powerful moment when teens are more open than usual and reach out for help as never before.

The Survey asks students to indicate if they would be helped by a support depression, suicidal thoughts, anger/rage, excess stress, or self-harm as well as if their own or someone else’s drinking or drug use is bothering them. The Survey then asks students to give their name to be contacted if support groups are started at the school.

Some schools also like to ask if students would like to participate in a peer helping program, sober/drug free club, or other positive impact activity. Because of the nature of the Survey and the sincerity of LEGACY OF HOPE®, Susie encourages the school counselor(s) be present at the assembly and involved in decisions around the Survey of Hope implementation and utilization for future follow-up with students in need.

This is a tremendous opportunity for the school to get a snapshot of what is really going on with YOUR kids.

4. Legacy of Hope® Evening Community Awareness Program for Parents and/or Whole Families

The purpose of an Evening Program is to get teens, parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders on the same page about youth and family issues such as underage drinking, prescription drug abuse, illegal drug use, teen sexuality, gangs, bullying, self-harm and more. The program creates a safe and honest moment for adults to break thru any denial about the serious life challenges of teens and families today. The program helps teens feel understood. It promotes HEALTHY CHOICES and helps both youth and parents see their role in creating a climate of positive communication and support of programs at school that address healthy social and emotional well-being of youth.

An evening program is also a powerful opportunity to share a quick tally of results from the Survey of Hope.
Parents and the community hear statistics on YOUR teens, not some remote national statistics. Common outcomes include statistics such as:

70% of teens in feel excessively stressed

15% of 7th & 8th grade teens have cut on themselves; etc

Powerful and eye-opening statistics that can help a school, community anti-drug coalition, or family direct their efforts more productively.

The Day & Evening Are Complete

Teens, school teachers, administrators and support personnel, parents, community members, local newspaper and other media have all had a meaningful dose of emotional awareness and wisdom, concrete solutions, HEALTHY CHOICE education and invaluable infusion of HOPE.