Reflection on 16 Years at Just Say YES

Reflection on 16 Years at Just Say YES

It has been said, “There is no such thing as a long time ago. There are only memories that mean something and memories that don’t.”

It seems just like yesterday when I was taking a day off from my corporate job to volunteer as a speaker in a local middle school. I developed a talk on character, choices and consequences. This of course turned into more volunteer opportunities, and after speaking for 18 months, I was hooked!

I will never forget the day when I told my wife, “I am more passionate about reaching students with this message than I am about closing a multi-million dollar computer sale.”

I expected her to respond with, “Here, take two Aspirin,” but instead she said, “Wow! Let’s pray about that!” We did just that for six months and it became very clear that this is what we were being called to do. I gave my notice at work and shortly thereafter, the road led to starting Just Say YES – Youth Equipped to Succeed.

Now being in existence for 16 years, I am humbled to think about how many people like you have helped our organization grow, and the positive impact it has had on so many young lives (over 1 million to be exact!)

As we listen to the schools we serve, their needs have changed throughout the years and we have adjusted accordingly. Most recently, you may know that we have seen an increase in requests for topics such as anti-bullying, suicide prevention, dating violence and social media safety. We were very assembly-focused at first, but the need for more social emotional learning opportunities caused us to add the in-school JSY Peer-to-Peer Mentoring program to our offerings (currently impacting students in seven DFW high schools).

Because of YOU, Just Say YES is changing the trajectory of the lives of students not only throughout North Texas, but across the nation! We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continuous support. Together, we can change the lives of today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders.