A Dream Come True: Speaking at KHS

11/12/2011 3:55:26 PM

One of my all-time favorite movies, Field of Dreams, includes a scene where the ghost of Ray Kinsella's father asks Ray whether they're in Heaven. Ray responds that they aren’t in Heaven...but in Iowa...at "a place where dreams come true." Such was the case for me when I visited my hometown of Kimberly,  Wisconsin this week to share with the students and parents of my high school about how to be a truly successful person and parent.
I started the day meeting with students with a talk called "Life: Bring It On!"
Next, I shared my "Preparing Your Star in the Making" talk in the evening with parents. Through the generosity and co-sponsorship of Kimberly High School and Capital Credit Union (where I opened my first savings account back in 1970!) each Junior and Senior student received a free copy of my book, What I Wish I Knew at 18. It was a blessing of a lifetime and a day I'll never forget.
My day began with a special invitation and appearance on the Good Day Wisconsin morning program on Fox 11 in Green Bay. Ironicallly, after writing my book, I had once imagined how fun it would be to be interviewed on that show (we watch it all the time when we visit Door County)! Now, through the PR prowess of Marketing/PR expert Cindi Witt (of Capital Credit Union), I had received an invitation to appear with co-anchor, Rachel Manek.
It was so much fun...my first TV appearance in a studio! Those three minutes flew by and I didn't even make a fool out of myself! Here’s a link if you’re interested in watching it: http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/good_day_wi/financial-expert-comes-home-to-help-students
Then, it was off to KHS for my student talk, where I shared with the upper class students in the auditorium and then spent the rest of the day visiting classrooms. I was so impressed by the commitment to life skills development at my school, which has been recognized as one of the best schools in the nation! After visiting with the administration and classrooms, I can see why. It was a joy to share about life on the road ahead and I hope my talks and books will give students some practical pointers to prepare for an amazing life.
Wouldn't you know it but it started to snow heavily during the day (even though it's still early November!!), but we still proceeded with the evening parent program. While that affected turnout to some extent, I'm so glad we held it! I was blessed with one surprise visitor after another from my younger days in Kimberly...friends, classmates, and neighbors I haven't seen in some 40 years, but where it was just like yesterday. That included my best neighbor friend Tom Wolter (whom I even mentioned in my book! Wait until he sees that!).
In addition to sharing with parents about preparing their children for that milestone launch into adulthood, we sang "Happy Birthday" to my special sister Julie, which was a festive way to begin. I greatly enjoy giving my talk to parents because it's quite an adjustment to launch your teen into the "real world." The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I greatly enjoyed the book signing afterwards and the affirming comments from my audience.
It's hard to imagine a more incredible day in the life of a new author who has written a book for teens, parents, and schools and is invited back to his hometown high school! It truly was a dream come true—in the wonderful village of Kimberly, Wisconsin.