11th-12th Grade Programs
Taking Chances with the Gift of Life
(90 min.) Jim’s career started with this assembly, dealing with the issues of drinking, driving and making good/bad choices. He calls it “The Play” because his audience takes on the characters in the story: i.e. Jim’s family and a guy name Roy. Roy is the young man who was a loser during his own school life leading to becoming the drunken driver who killed Jim’s son. Through playing the roles of Jim’s family after the accident the students discover one of the most important messages contained in this assembly – “no one lives in a cocoon.” Bad choices impact hundreds of other people. (Jim is also prepared to speak to the 11th-12th grade students during the school’s “prom promise” week.)
Below is a preview video of the program, including testimonies from students.
Notes to Jim
Dear Mr. Williams. I am a junior. In all of my years at the school I have never heard it as quiet in the gymnasium as it was when you gave your talk on Thursday, April 9. Your speech really touched me. I kind of feel like a hypocrite by writing you this letter, but I feel like you need to hear from someone in the gym that day telling you that your efforts were not wasted. Through my high school career I have made my share of mistakes. As I listened to your speech it really hit me that these mistakes are over the line of what is morally sound. …I feel like the population of the student body that you spoke to really needed to hear what you had to say.
Mr. Williams. I cannot imagine the pain you have experienced but am so happy that you are using your experience to educate parents, teachers, counselors, students and I am sure many others. You are a very genuine and effective speaker and truly seem to have (been) blessed with a special talent…I am a counselor at a local high school and would very much like to encourage our principal to have you speak to our students.
—Elizabeth, Sophomore Counselor