Friday, May 7, 2010

Noble High to Host Never Doubt Festival

Last July, Noble High School senior Sean Ashburn and English teacher Jen England were one of twelve student/educator teams selected nationwide to attend the Aspen Ideas Festival as part of the generous Bezos Scholars Program. The duo spent their week in Aspen, Colorado meeting with notables like Sandra Day O’Connor and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and attending presentations on technology, science, education, and international relations. As the Ideas Festival’s conclusion approached, the twelve Bezos Scholars were encouraged to spread their feelings of inspiration to their own communities through organizing a festival of their own. This was more than an option for Ashburn and England; after the experience of a lifetime, it was a necessary step to share their enthusiasm with the MSAD #60 community.
As soon as they returned home, the pair set forth preparing for the 1st annual Noble High School Never Doubt Festival. With this event, Ashburn’s vision is to remind his peers of the incredible power and potential they possess as young people. Under the mission statement, “Noble High School’s Never Doubt Festival is intended to inspire optimism and ambition in its participants, eliminating all doubts that students from a small town in Maine can achieve their dreams and change the world,” Ashburn applied for and received generous grants from Kennebunk Savings Bank, Pratt & Whitney, and the Bezos Family Foundation, who sponsor the festival. Months of planning will culminate on Tuesday, May 11 when the full-day event will transpire.
Working with the MSAD #60 Believe Committee, Ashburn and the festival planning team will be bringing in more than 60 community members to engage and encourage the Noble student body. The Never Doubt Festival plan includes a Noble alumni panel, facilitated discussion groups, an Opportunities Fair – where local presenters will share their journey and accomplishments - and an address from Eric L. Knowlton School principal Ron Robert. Professional speaker and MTV Made Coach Jeff Yalden will give the keynote presentation to conclude the event.
The planning team has recognized the amazing opportunities and experiences that surround our area and are utilizing personal contacts to share those opportunities with students. The hope is for Noble students to return home May 11 confident that their futures are nothing short of promising.
Jeff Yalden is from Sagamore Beach, MA and has spoken to more than 4,500 youth audiences in all 50 states and representing over 48 different countries. His timely message about life and purpose is delivered with humor and hard-hitting honesty to high school and middle school-aged students around the world.
A solid motivator and educator, Yalden is a role model for youth with which he is comfortable: Yalden has spent the last twelve years touring the world, coaching and delivering his highly motivational speech to youth, educators and parents to make better life and family choices. He has saved lives and impacted youth to live a life of purpose and commitment.
So effective is Yalden’s work, in fact, the National Speaker’s Association has awarded him its highest honor. In 2002, the organization granted Yalden the title of Certified Speaking Professional. Less than 7% of professional Speakers worldwide carry the designation. Also, MTV called his show their best show in the six seasons of taping MTV MADE. His show was the longest running show seen by over 70 million youth.