Youth Groups

Kathy's Newsletter

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...pointing our youth down the right path

Kathy often speaks at the Global Young Leaders Summit (GYLS) as well as junior and high schools from 24 different countries. Kathy’s experiences will open your eyes to the things you have in life, and help you to become more self-aware, as well as teach you respect for yourself, and others.  Kathy’s topic for youth groups include, but are not limited to:

  • Achieving personal goals and overcoming obstacles
  • Addictions
  • Bullying, labeling and stereotypes
  • Communicating, listening, and making your words your best friends
  • Contributing to one’s community
  • Finding courage and eliminating fears
  • Finding your way
  • Friendship
  • How to find love in all the right places
  • How to think positively and use that thinking to solve problems
  • Learning how to say “no”
  • Leadership
  • Parent and sibling issues
  • Patience
  • Peer pressure
  • Self-esteem and respecting yourself
  • The acceptance of others and fitting in

As a result of her efforts, Kathy has received countless letters from junior and high school students ranging in age from 12 to 18 and educators alike.



“We love u Kathy :). The experience you helped to lead us through and the inspiration that you are played a huge part in the change that occurred in all of us. Ambassadors, Alumni, Youth Leaders, Youth Coaches, and everyone else who has had the privilege of communicating with you, all owe a huge part of who we now are to you for that influence :). Thank you for making US better ”
Sean G.
“Thank you for everything Kathy! Your story was one of the most inspiring stories and touched me the most =] You have changed my life and every time someone asks me what I've learned or what happened at GYLS I would tell them about your story... I have retold your story 6 times already and every person I've told it to was so touched as well. I have learned so much from your story - from unconditional love, forgiveness, appreciation for my life and everything I have, and the strive for the what we want and believe in even if we think it is impossible. Thank you so much for everything. I love you!”
Isabella T.
“I can not thank you enough for the wonderful job you did at the District 5300 Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA). From the moment you began speaking you held those kids in the palm of your hands and for 16 and 17 year-olds that is no small feat. The evaluations completed by the students indicated you were a huge hit! More importantly, through your speech got directly to the heart of RYLA. Our goal for young leaders who attended was to look beyond the expectations that other might have for them and see what was in their own hearts. You demonstrated that the only real obstacle in the way of personal fulfillment and success for themselves, and those they lead, where there own perceptions. It was right on target! I want to sincerely thank you for all you did to make RYLA 2006 a tremendous success. Keep up the great work, Kathy. There are many more who need to hear your uplifting message.”
Michael D. Driebe, Chairman, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards



“Kathy was the opening keynote speaker at the 11th International CHARGE Syndrome Conference. It's difficult sometimes when planning conferences to find just the right speaker for your audience. This can be especially true when you have a room full of families whose children who have gone through so much in their lives, many of whom have had at least twenty surgeries, experience both vision and hearing loss and live with many other serious and ongoing medical issues. You worry if the message will come across okay, if the families will connect with the speaker, or even if humor is the right way to go. After listening to and watching the audience during Kathy's performance and reading through all of our conference evaluations after the conference, any worries I might have had completely melted away. Families, professionals and individuals with CHARGE syndrome themselves LOVED her, crying and laughing throughout the performance, pleading with us to bring her back again in the future and resoundingly letting us know that her talk was an incredible way to kick off our conference. Kathy's humor, her story and her message about celebrating abilities was a monster hit with our crowd and we are so thrilled that she could come and share her story with us.”
Lisa Weir ~ 2013 International CHARGE Syndrome Conference Chair