High School and University Reviews
High School & University Reviews
Josie loves students and they love her! She has a unique talent for connecting with students and inspiring them to reach new heights that they previously thought impossible. Entertaining and dynamic, Josie will captivate their attention and light a fire in both their imaginations and ambitions.
University of Utah, Orem Utah
Josie is amazing, she did a really great job. She is such a relatable person and that is so refreshing to hear. A lot of people can relate to mental illness and they are definitely private battles. I have only heard positive feedback. It was a really great event. We really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and speak with them following the event.
Aubrey Thornock, Springville High School Counselor, Springville Utah
It was a great experience. Josie was amazing! It was great for the students to hear some real life experiences. I think there were many that could relate. I felt it was all great!
Sarah Tolar, Vice Principal, Marcos de Niza High School, Tempe Arizona
Josie is an amazing speaker. She spoke during our Diversity Week and was really able to tie in her experiences in a way that not only our student body, but also our teachers and staff could relate. Her stories were interesting, genuine and poignant and the audience walked away with a completely different perspective.
The audience was completely engaged for her entire presentation, which is sometimes a struggle with an auditorium full of teenagers. Both students and staff had received a short bio on Josie prior to the presentation, but most were unsure of what to expect in terms on her speaking points.
I think that in the end what resonated with our students and staff was how everyone could relate to some part of Josie’s journey. She is funny, honest and self-deprecating, but is able to provide a positive perspective and belief that there is always hope. I received so much positive feedback after Josie’s presentation.
Teresa Thompson, Delta High School Principal, Delta Utah
She nailed it! It felt as though she was speaking to so many of our students individually because of the message. Students came up to Josie and Brighton after to talk with them. It was the students that I felt needed to hear her message so I know she made a difference for them. The students wanted more stories from her; unfortunately, because of limited time we were unable to continue. Josie was so kind and welcomed the students to come and talk with her. They felt she genuinely cared about them. Her story is amazing and so important to our youth. We loved having Josie in our building and I know that she made a difference for so many of our students. Many of the things she was saying, I have been telling students repeatedly. Now, I can refer to Josie when I talk with students.
I would love to be a reference for any principal wondering if this was a worthwhile use of school time.
Melissa Judy, Teacher, Gunnison Valley High School, Gunnison Utah
Josie is amazing! Her presentation was excellent. She is real! She is funny! She is passionate! She had the students in the palm of her hand from the minute she started to her very last word. She brought the topic to life. She helped those in the audience feel that they could come forward & share their stories. Our student body commented afterward about how she got them to stop & think about others as well as have compassion & less judgment on others. I had mentioned to Josie prior to the assembly about concerns we had in our school. She addressed those issues by tying it into her message & story. I couldn’t have asked for a better presentation and message. She was extremely respectful of the time frame. She watched the clock and adjusted as necessary. She gave plenty of time for Q&A but also was respectful to the students to not keep them longer than the bell. However, many of our students stayed afterward to visit with her-which was great. They felt a connection to her. Josie’s presentation has opened the door for several of our students to come forward and share ‘their’ stories as well as seek help for some problems they are facing. Her message was received very well. Josie’s message and courage of sharing her own story & being ‘real’ gives others the courage to come forward.
Aubrie Carpenter, USU Eastern Women's Conference Committee Member, Price Utah
What Josie shares is so real to life and uncomfortably necessary to face that it just draws you in heart and soul. It is very powerful to have someone who is admittedly still very sick stand up and talk about their struggles, and trials regarding that sickness. In a world that is photo shopped and air brushed Josie delivers an unquestionable message of the ability to find light and meaning through the unfiltered, disheveled, rawness of real life. Whether you suffer from mental illness, or know someone who does, Josie’s message will help you. No matter who you are Josie’s message will open your eyes to the need to love deeper and never give up hope.
Ashley Howard, Teacher, Snow Canyon High School, St. George Utah
FABULOUS!! She is amazing! She did great at staying on time. She also made time for some Q & A. Students started getting restless right before lunch & before school got you and yet, she still maintained composer & did a good job!! Many students/faculty talked to her after & I know it impacted them!
Tegan Binford, Teacher, Alta High School, Sandy Utah
Josie did awesome! She’s so inspiring and fun to listen to with such a wonderful vocabulary and real down-to-earth self-expression. I most loved hearing her one-on-one conversations with students who had questions after. She lifted them up on personable ways. I think for those kids that chose to come and be invested, it left an incredible impact. Her story and character are memorable. I hope she comes again. I also took some notes that I hope to incorporate into my psychology lessons when we talk about mental illness and suicide prevention.
For additional references please contact Lisa Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org