Why I Talk 

Do you know where to find John? He is tackling the most desperate cases in the system, the people society has said cannot be helped. He does it with laughter, a smile, and an unwavering commitment to the notion everyone is reachable. When he takes a break from working with individuals, he shares his energy and drive through stories of success from his journey of being an at-risk youth, an advocate for the mental health community, a social-work caregiver and an executive director. John's journey started at 14, the day he became an at-risk teen due to his father's death in a car accident. His path through depression and suicide became worse when he witnessed the death of his "twin" at age 17. John was never supposed to be at-risk and thought people who were, were weak.

My Hero

All that changed with the help of a teacher, some international friends he met in Iowa, and two determined college professors. After his firsthand experience with what it takes to do more than survive, but thrive life's worst moments, John set out to challenge the world to improve at how we handle life’s most difficult moments. John understood those struggling could not see a better life; it’s trapped in the darkness of self-doubt. John learned when strength, drive, and hope blends with the world the at-risk populations. They begin to respect, care, and show compassion for themselves and others. We cannot change our past, but we do have control over our culture, our environment, and with the right training our emotions.
 

It's Important 

John does not believe in any step methods of achieving healthy or reaching outcomes, because so many cannot see the steps. John has lived and understands the beautiful mess that life can be. He teaches, demonstrates, and shows everyone whether it's a struggling kid, a caregiver hoping to make deeper connections, a teacher wanting to reach the problematic kid, or an adult wanting to understand their rough journey, we do not need to see the way to a better life. We can laugh, we can heal, we can change, and we can unlock the best versions of ourselves by Chasing the Invisible. When John is not speaking, he is working as the executive director of Family Promise of Linn County, or hiking with his wife and dog. 
 
Students were very moved by his story. They raved it was the best programs we ever brought to the school.
— Guidance Counselor
John’s story and his stories are unbelievably inspiring. The authentic way he interacts with people is amazing to witness
— Social Worker
John’s presentation on loss and grief truly touches the soul of the audience. John’s spirit and compassion carry such weight
— Recreational Therapist