On April 17th,Clarkston High School students were treated to a special assembly with the one and only Grant Baldwin, funded by WSU GEAR UP. The 750 freshmen through seniors and CHS staff gathered in the auditorium not knowing what to expect from the guest speaker and by the time he was finished I guarantee expectations were exceeded. Grant Baldwin has been speaking to youth for about 8 years and had nothing but positive things said about him, so we thought he would be the perfect fit for Clarkston. He spoke to the whole group about taking responsibility for their actions and caring enough about a problem to change it. He used humor and stories to reel the students in and then would hit them with his message leaving the auditorium completely silent. He spoke to the students in a way that made them feel like they were not being lectured or talked at, they were engaged in a valuable conversation – they just happened to be doing most of the listening.
After the assembly, seniors stuck around for a special workshop geared at helping them get ready for life after high school. All seniors received a “reality check” worksheet to fill out while they talked with Grant. This one page paper had strategic blanks for students to write in helping to keep them engaged as well as find the valuable lessons. They discussed how to decide what to do with their futures and that if they did not have it all figured out right now that it’s okay. Grant also talked about finances with them and how important it is to stick with a budget from the get go. Throughout the assembly and the workshop for seniors, Grant put himself into his speech; it was personable, funny and interactive with a great message tied in. Before we knew it the time was up and it was time to get back to class, but Grant did not rush out, he stayed and met with students who had been impacted by his words.
Grant Baldwin was more than just a motivational speaker to many of our students, he was an inspiration. We had a number of students approach us after the assembly to tell us that this was the best speaker GEAR UP had ever brought to Clarkston, and when you asked them what it had been about they could actually tell you – so it really must have been good! Thank you to Grant Baldwin for taking the time to come to Clarkston and have such a positive impact on our students!