By Holly Stillman
Cougar News Blog
Last Friday, guest speaker Mark Trombino from Motivational Small Talk Incorporation visited Cactus Canyon to share his inspiring story and guide the students through bullying and how to overcome it.
His presentation included funny impressions, a few clips from inspiring movies, and stories about his past.
Staff, students, and Mr. Trombino himself were very excited for Friday’s visit and were hopeful that the assembly would be a success.
“I was very excited to visit Cactus Canyon,” said Trombino. “I have heard great things about the school and know that this message will help improve an already excellent school.”
Students from Cactus Canyon had to walk to the high school’s PAC center after attendance was done in their ZAP classes to attend the presentation that lasted about an hour.
Principal Courtney Castelhano was enthusiastic about Trombino’s visit and hopes it will make students think twice before acting in a way that might hurt someone else. Her goal is to make Cactus Canyon a safer, happier school.
“We truly want to create a culture of caring and kindness here at CCJH,” said Castelhano.
Students appreciated how Trombino intertwined his life into the presentation to make them realize that he’s an average person just like them and how easy it was for him to get bullied.
“My favorite part of the assembly was when he integrated his life story into the presentation,” said seventh grader Ashli Albertsen. “I love hearing experiences from other people because it makes me feel how real it is.”
Trombino, a little person, is 3 feet 3 inches tall and knows just how hard it is for kids and knows how it feels to be different from others, which is why he created his organization to help kids through bullying.
“I started Motivational Small Talk with my partner Gail (six) years ago. Since then, we have spoken at hundreds of schools and impacted thousands of lives,” he said. “So I am very confident this message will hit home with the students, staff, and community. It will help empower those who are bullied to stand up for themselves.”
As planned, many students walked away from the assembly with a new outlook on bullying and how they can make Cactus Canyon a better school.
“Mr. Trombino’s visit impacted my views on bullying because he gave examples on the different ways bullying can happen,” said seventh grader Trinity Izbicki. “He gave examples of his own personal experiences with bullying and that bullying can come in many different forms, whether it has to deal with shortness or the way you look. Either way, bullying is not OK and Mr. Trombino presented that it isn’t and that we should take a part in it and become better people.”
Overall, students said the assembly was a fun and entertaining presentation they were glad they had the opportunity to attend the assembly.
“I enjoyed the presentation greatly because the speaker touched my heart and made me realize that bullying is a huge problem and that everyone should take a part and try to put a stop to it,” said Izbicki.