JHS to Host Motivational Speaker, Reggie Dabbs on Monday, October 26th @ 7 p.m.

Jamestown High School will host motivational speaker, Reggie Dabbs, on Monday, October 26th at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Mr. Dabbs is fast becoming an in-demand speaker who helps teenagers meet their problems head-on and overcome them by sharing his own story.   His visit is sponsored through the generosity of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Jamestown Schools, several other local schools, and over 30 local businesses and donors. The presentation is free and open to the public. 

The Executive Director of IMPACT Campus Fellowship, Dan Soderberg, has been involved in helping to bring Mr. Dabbs to our area. IMPACT groups are student-led, faith-based, character formation groups that meet for encouragement, service projects, discussions and prayer in the schools.  Said Mr. Soderberg, “These students are great!  They decide what they want to talk about and how to serve.”

“We have groups in 21 schools throughout Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Warren Counties, including JHS,” said Mr. Soderberg.  Through my involvement with IMPACT and numerous conversations with students, I became aware of some challenges in our area schools. A large part of IMPACT is to help address issues of character. After talking to several local superintendents and principals, I decided to help facilitate bringing in Mr. Dabbs as one way of addressing some of these challenges.”

Reggie Dabbs’ precarious life story began as the son of an unwed, homeless teenager who was virtually without resources. During her pregnancy, however, the teen mom remembered the words of a former schoolteacher, Mrs. Dabbs, who once assured her students,  “If you ever need anything, call me.”  She called her only resource.  Mrs. Dabbs traveled to Louisiana, and took the girl back to Tennessee, where she and her husband welcomed her into their home and cared for her until after the baby was born. They continued to care for little Reggie as foster parents until he was in fourth grade, and then officially adopted him. The Dabbs’ instilled strong moral values and personal resourcefulness in Reggie, reminding him that in every situation he faced, he had a choice. What he did with those choices was entirely up to him. 

Mr. Dabbs began his public speaking career after college graduation. During one engagement, his host asked if he would be interested in addressing a high school assembly. The rest, as they say, is history. Since 1987, Reggie’s compelling story has made him a popular and convincing public school speaker.

Mr. Dabbs talks to students in a humorous style about choices each of them has when faced with drugs and alcohol. He tells them that he never smoked a cigarette, did drugs, or drank alcohol, because he chose not to. He assures them that they can make the same kinds of choices. Mr. Dabbs also talks about how thankful students should be that they have families and discusses dating relationships. Most of all, he drives home the fact that “You can never change your past, but you can change your future!”

Mr. Dabbs will be visiting five Jamestown Schools during the day on Monday to meet with students. He will also be speaking at twelve other schools throughout Chautauqua County during the week of October 26th – 29th.  Evening presentations will take place on Tuesday at Southwestern High School, Wednesday at Frewsburg Schools and Thursday at Maple Grove High School, all at 7 p.m. and free to the public.