"Bullies have a problem. You don't!"
by Luke Hendry, The Intelligencer.
Students at Quinte Secondary School started their bullying prevention week
Monday with a high-energy talk instead of yet another assembly.
Actor and extrovert Matt John Evans spoke to hundreds of students in two sessions
Monday morning. His wisecracking, screeching, over-the-top
delivery had students laughing but listening.
"At first I thought we were going to get lectured but then I was blown away,"
said Bryan Coates, a Grade 12 student who helped organize the event."I was
watching a comedy yet I was learning something," he said.
It was part of "Be Kind to Me", a bullying awareness and prevention week held
across the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.
Evans has appeared in the films Beowulf and Grendel, Black Swan, Things to Do
and others. He's also appeared in television programs and commercials. His
advice to students: stay in school, be original and make smart choices.
"Bullies have a problem. You don't," he said. "There was a time in your life when you didn't care about what other people thought," he said, referring to early childhood. "We've got to get that back." Evans advised students not to give up when faced with challenges. "When you quit a challenge, it becomes a problem. And a couple of years later that becomes a fear."
"Comedian sends Western Students Empowering Message"
by Sylene Argent, SX Free Press
Canadian comedian and actor Matt John Evans delivered a serious message to Western
Secondary School Students last Wednesday regarding the effects of alcohol and the
importance of staying safe behind the wheel. Though the messages he sent to the
students were serious in nature, he laced in some comedy to help keep the students
Evans represented the Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving. He got involved with
the program 20 years ago because at the time he was working with youth. The program,
he said, is designed to give teens good advice, “but doing it in a different style. Rather
than scaring them I use humour because I was always the class clown. I think they need
all approaches, but my approach is to strictly use humour.
“The scary stuff can scare them for a limited time, and then I think it’ll wear off. What
I’m trying to do is give them skills to think about it,” Evans said, adding the students at
Western were a great audience.
"Grade 10s Give A High Five to Arrive Alive"
By Kyle Schneider, Hanover Post
Every year, approximately 3,000 teenagers die in drunk driving accidents. Friends lose friends, parents lose children, and people lose lives. Everyday, four Canadians are killed due to drunk driving, and 190 are injured. Unfortunately, this is an everyday occurrence; these numbers are not going down.
Friday afternoon, the John Diefenbaker Secondary School Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving (OSAID) group invited Matt John Evans, a motivational speaker from Owen Sound to their school to speak on behalf of OSAID to the Grade 10s. There, High Five To Arrive Alive was introduced as the school's newest campaign in order to keep impaired drivers off of the road.
Every Grade 10 who was present for the assembly put their handprint up on a piece of paper that said "High Five To Arrive Alive" after they took an oath, vowing never to drink and drive or get in a vehicle with an impaired driver behind the wheel. Matt John Evans was present for the High Five to Arrive Alive campaign unveiling and took a picture of the final result to show others.
"Matt John Evans Speaks To Teens About Drinking"
by Kaesha Forand, Import News (Port Colborne)
If a friend, co-worker or classmate went to a party with a six-pack of milk and vomited after having three, they would be the target of numerous jokes the next day. But when someone goes to a party with a six pack of beer and vomits after downing three, most people wouldn't consider it out of the ordinary.
It's a reality that Matt John Evans doesn't like to see: people including teens looking foward to getting drunk week after week and their friends looking on as they have drink after drink to the point where they get drunk and are sick.
Evans, an educator and actor, has worked with youth programs across Canada for more than 15 years. He now talks about alcohol and impaired driving among other topics high school students face. The witty actor used comedy to engage students and deliver the negative message of drinking and driving to grades 11 and 12 students at Port Colborne High School and Lakeshore Catholic High school, last Wednesday. "I can crack jokes, buts it's a very serious situation that sometimes needs a different approach," he said, noting teens and young adults will face numerous challenges in their lives. "You're not going to beat every challenge but you will look back on life and see the challenges you overcame."
Looking back at his own challenges, Evans was constantly told by teachers as a youngster that he didn't care or try at school and was failing. In grade 10, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, another challenge he had to overcome. After high school, he embarked on a journey with Katimavik, which encourages volunteerism for nine months. From there he decided to turn his life around. He earned a degree in communications at Wilfrid Laurier University, where for the first time in his life, he listened, tried and worked.
Matt is presently booking speaking engagements for the 2016-2017 calendar year. If you are a teacher, counsellor and affiliated with a youth organization who may benefit from hearing Matt's motivational talk - please contact him today for more details. To send Matt a message, please use our online contact form and he will be in touch with you shortly.
Delivering powerful, motivational programs for the youth of today.
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