For the past 5 years Lee has been in high demand to speak at awards evenings and graduations of the local schools (and schools where anyone has a connection to Lee). Lee was astounded by how everything is structured around ‘success’. Teachers would talk in terms of “you’re all gonna make a great success of your lives” and “These brilliant results are the foundation for making a successful life” etc.
On one such occasion when handing out triple A*s in further maths (something Lee later admitted he didn’t even know was a thing!) it occurred to Lee that most of the kids were so ill prepared for life outside of the school, what they needed to know wasn’t how to square the route of pi with only binary prime numbers, but how to deal with the inevitable disasters that life throws at you, how to deal with failure. it was this ligtening bolt that inspired Lee to develop his programme.
Lee initially takes as large a group as possible for an hour long period where he captivates them by telling his story. This he then uses as a vehicle for getting across the core message which is that failure is an integral part of success. That it’s impossible to succeed in anything without failing first and once you understand that, it will empower you to try.
Lee leave’s them with “Dare to dream and if you don’t fail, you’re not dreaming big enough”. Honicknowle Youth Centre were so inspired they painted that quote on the side of their club house.
Lee then does a follow on period of about half an hour with the children with challenging behaviour. His focus is on getting them to understand why they behave the way they do, which in a lot of cases is because they feel there’s nothing in it for them to behave. Schools test kids in such a specific and small area of ability, how to remember something and write it down when asked, that if they’re not very good at that, then there’s no point in school.
He then moves onto the crux of the session that is that the next couple of years will not define who they want to be and uses examples of people who left school with little or no qualifications but have subsequently become highly successful professors, surgeons etc. and inspires them to never quit and keep dreaming big.
“Lee was an inspiration to me, his talk about his life and struggles really made a difference to my mind-set. It made me want to do stuff I didn’t think I could do, I would recommend Lee to anyone having a tough time because if he can cross the ocean anyone can do anything”
Alex B, Year 11 Ivybridge Community College.
“Lee is an outstanding speaker, who captivates and motivates his audience to think bigger. After a a long career in teaching I have listened to many speakers over the years and never before have I heard one with power and impact to my students. From listening to Lee’s talk, students were able to use his journey, to map his progress and were even inspired to raise funds for the Rowing Marine Charity through cake sales. These were ordinary students who now believe they can do extraordinary things. Lee really is a world class speaker”
Lizzy Berry, Teacher, Ivybridge Community College.
Lee spoke to groups of 450 pupils at a time and we were able to follow up with smaller groups afterwards that Lee met with and we used his life journey to motivate and inspire them to dream bigger. Ivybridge Community College is part of the West Academy trust. We are a large comprehensive School in Devon that has World Class Schools status, we strive to make a difference to all the students in our care and bringing in outstanding speakers like Lee to motivate our young people we feel really makes a huge difference and helps them stretch their limits and dream big ”
We are an outstanding school and believe in bringing in outstanding speakers to challenge our students to change their perception of their limits. A good example of this was in the words Lee shared with our year groups “if you feel you have achieved your dreams you need to dream bigger”. We cannot recommend Lee highly enough.
Gill Taylor, Deputy Principle, Ivybridge Community College
I wanted to say a massive thank you for coming into talk with year 9 students this morning, what a powerful message you share with the pupils. I have spoken with several from the year group already who found it incredibly inspiring, with the overarching message that if they dream and work hard they can achieve anything in life.
Mr N Read Head of Year 9 Tavistock College
Jenny Mathers HLTA, SEN Support Avanti Hall School.