Being Me is the Best Me to Be

In this interactive presentation, I explain different types and severities of burns. As I address the most common demographic found in the burn unit – children – l teach not to fear fire but to respect it. My account of how I deal with the burns to my body and face helps build the children’s self esteem and sense of purpose. I show the boys and girls what a “can-do” attitude really is, and encourage them to adopt such an attitude in their own lives. Most importantly This will teach the children they all have their unique abilities and using those abilities for others is what makes us difference makers.

Duration: 45–60 minutes, depending on the school’s class structure

Goals and Benefits

  • To teach about fire and burns
  • To show the importance of handling fire safely
  • To offer tools to understand self image
  • To help guide personal discovery
  • To offer strategies to overcome tough times
  • How to be a difference maker


I give a tell-all presentation of my own experiences and decisions in middle and high school, leading up to my life-altering fire. The theme of this presentation is that teens are responsible for their own actions, and for the consequences of their decisions. I speak candidly about drugs and alcohol and how the use and abuse of these substances was not only the greatest mistake of my life as it changed my career path – which ultimately led to me being burned at work. I tell my story to emphasize the importance of safety and to explain how safety will preserve the students’ lives. I offer tools to deal with anger and hardship, and to build self esteem, and I explain how I found my purpose.

Duration: 50 – 90 minutes, depending on the school class structure

Goals and Benefits

  • To teach the students they are responsible for their actions
  • To teach about the harmful effects of drug use and alcohol abuse
  • To improve the students’ concept of safety
  • To help guide the adolescent’s attitude to one of positive self-awareness
  • To show how to overcome adversity
  • To help recognize feelings of hopelessness and regain hope