Motivated to teach and inspire teens across the globe, Jeff Yalden is a high energy, “tell it like it is” youth motivational speaker, mental health professional, and parent communicator. A dynamic and entertaining youth speaker for high school and middle school assemblies. He is the man that schools call when they’ve experienced a suicide. He brings students forward through a grieving process and answers questions about Teen Depression & Suicide that parents and communities need to hear. Jeff has a gift for connecting with teens and educating parents.
You poured your heart into every assembly and leadership workshop.
You live by strong moral principles and the integrity of your life gives validation to the message of your presentation.”
– Jason Nail, Coordinator
CCESC, Springfield, OH
Jeff Yalden overcame incredible odds to become the man he is today. As a teenager, he lost interest in life, in school, in himself. He took the SATs twice and received very low scores. Worse, Jeff suffered from a stutter, a facial tic, bad acne, and a learning disability. His self-esteem in the gutter, Jeff graduated high school 128th in a class of 133.
Although he was accepted by 3 of the 19 (rejected by 16 of the 19) colleges to which he applied, Jeff’s sense of inadequacy was so overpowering, he was afraid to attend. A turning point came one month after high school, when Jeff won the title of “Mr. New Hampshire Male America” and later Male America’s “Mr. Personality.” Further progress came when Jeff, answering the call of his country, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Learning the virtues of self-reliance and teamwork, Jeff became a two-time “Marine of the Year” and played for the All-Marine-Corps basketball team.
Thank You for making me feel as if it was just me and you in a room together.”
– Student Leader, PFEW
Unfortunately, a failed relationship sent Jeff spiraling back to his old ways, and soon he found himself hospitalized with depression and suicidal tendencies. Upon being honorably discharged from the Marines, Jeff was left to face the $64,000 question: “Who am I, and what do I want out of life?” Jeff realized that his destiny was in his own hands. He could either sulk and feel sorry himself as he had done in the past, or he could make a new decision. He could reach within and make powerful, life-transforming choices. Something clicked. And the healing began.
Jeff Yalden in Vietnam
Today, Jeff credits his successes to counseling and awareness. His choices and his attitude are what have made him the man he is today. Although Jeff still battles with depression and anxiety, Jeff knows how to live a fulfilling life even while battling mental health issues. Most recently, Jeff was diagnosed with Bi-Polar Type 2 and PTSD. This has never effected any program, but Jeff is open about who he is and what he deals with. He’s certified as a Suicide Prevention Trainer, an advocate for Mental Health, Teen Depression, Anxiety, Teen Suicide, and encourages his audience to not be afraid to ask for help and open your heart while losing your ego. Jeff is real and if you don’t want real – Jeff isn’t for you!
His message is clear and the students get it.”
– J. Simpson, STUCO Advisor
Touching Hearts & (Literally) Saving Lives
Today, Jeff draws on the grace of that darkest hour to help today’s youth transform their own lives. Jeff believes that success comes down to our worldview, and our relationships with others. He believes that success in life – fulfillment and service – depends on the attitude we take from the moment we step out of bed.
“People treat us how we train them to treat us,” says Jeff. “When we unleash the best that is inside us, the world always mirrors it back. The goal is to radiate love and kindness at the same time we radiate our own self-respect.” Jeff is living proof of these miracles in transformation.
He has become the most in-demand youth motivational speaker in North America, having captured the imagination of nearly 4,000 teen audiences around the world. Jeff earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation in 2002. The highest designation by the National Speakers Association and a distinction earned by fewer than 10% of all speakers.
Jeff routinely presents for family and social service organizations, high school and middle school assemblies and often is a keynote speaker for many state and national leadership organizations such as SADD, FBLA, FFA, STUCO, FCCLA, BPA, FHA, WE DAY, The National PRIDE World Drug-Free Conference, National Speakers Association, National Student Council, and many more. Along with his youth programs for high school and middle school assemblies, youth leadership conferences, and many different teen events, Jeff also speaks to teachers, parents, and adult corporate audiences.
“I speak to my audience how I wished someone had spoken to me when I was their age.” – Jeff Yalden
Jeff appears routinely in print, a subject for newspapers and magazines across the country. He is the author of Your Life Matters, They Call Me Coach, Keep It Simple, 20 Ways To Keep It Simple, and Traits of a Leader. Jeff coauthored Lead Now or Step Aside and contributed to The New York Times bestseller, A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Jeff has addressed audiences in all 50 states, 48 countries, and every Province in Canada. He’s addressed thousands of assemblies in middle schools, high schools, and usually keynotes major teen leadership/youth conferences, colleges and universities. Seventy million viewers know him as “Life Coach” on MTV’s longest-running reality show, MADE.
Jeff’s Favorite Quotes
- “We never have time to do things right, but we always have time to do things over. Why don’t we just do it right the first time?” – Jeff’s Grandfather, K. Henrich
- “The 3 most powerful words – ‘I love you!'” – Jeff’s Grandfather, K. Henrich
- “The 3 most courageous words – ‘I am sorry!'” – Jeff’s Grandfather, K. Henrich
Jeff’s Favorite Words
Jeff’s Favorite Activities
- Spending time with Janet and family & friends
- Riding his Harley – Custom Street Glide 2009
- Golfing – 10 handicap
- Weight lifting – Bench 455 lbs – Not anymore!
- Playing with my dog – English Bulldog named Sugar Ray
- Boating – Living in Myrtle Beach – The Intercoastal
- Quality time at the pool & beach – Ocean Club, Myrtle Beach
- Visiting schools & talking with teens
I have never seen students brought to tears and then leave the assembly cheering. They were cheering their own lives.”
– K. Burger, Dir. of Student & Administrative Services, Manchester Township Schools, NJ