“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
Driven to help teens across the globe, Jeff Yalden is a high energy, “tell it like it is” youth speaker. A dynamic and entertaining youth speaker for high school and middle school assemblies, he has a gift for connecting with teens.
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 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.
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.
Touching Hearts & Changing 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 SADD, FBLA, FFA, STUCO, FCCLA, FHA, 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 audiences.
Jeff appears routinely in print, a subject for newspapers and magazines across the country. He is the author of 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 family & friends
- Riding my Harley – Custom Street Glide 2009
- Weight lifting – Bench 455 lbs
- Playing with my dog – A Chocolate Lab named Chase (Chase died on May 3, 2012)
- My Koi Pond and Fish – I got a fish named Bo and Nemo
- Flying my private airplane – Mooney M-21C
- Boating – 23′ Hydra Sports Center Console with a 225 Evinrude outboard
- Quality time at the beach – Sandy Neck, Cape Cod, MA
- 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.“
Dir. of Student & Administrative Services
Manchester Township Schools, New Jersey