Mariela Shaker fled Syria in 2013 against the nightmarish backdrop of terror and destruction and arrived in the U.S. with her beloved violin a few months later. Through hard work, determination and luck, Shaker was able to obtain a student visa to study music at Monmouth College in Illinois, and subsequently won a full scholarship for graduate study at DePaul University in Chicago. She has become an advocate for peace and tolerance, wielding the power of music through her violin.
At the age of fifteen, James Fiorentino became the youngest artist ever to be featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for his likeness of Reggie Jackson. In 1998, James became the youngest artist to be inducted into the prestigious New York Society of Illustrators, along with such artists as Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth. A graduate of Drew University where James was also the starting shortstop for all four years of his college career. He has painted for and met many legends of the past and stars of today, including Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Cal Ripken Jr. , Arnold Palmer and Muhammad Ali to Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Albert Pujols. His photo-realism in watercolor has helped him become a nationally-known wildlife and portrait artist, painting people from everyday life to Presidents and Nobel Peace Prize winners. Many of James’ works currently grace the walls of notable museums, galleries, Universities, companies and private collections. James’ work has won numerous awards and can be seen nationally in books and magazines and on trading cards. In 2001, “The Fiorentino Collection” consisted of approximately 100 paintings for Upper Deck Trading Cards depicting legends in five major sports. James’ work and story has been carried on international and national television shows, and in magazines and newspapers.
Rich Ruffalo is a dynamic motivational speaker, author, educator, and internationally recognized athlete that inspires a wide range of audiences everywhere, from children to adults and students to business gurus. Ruffalo is a true role model for all ages. Available for Staff Development, Conferences, Keynotes.
Gian Paul delivered the now famous “ALL IN” rally cry message during the Giants’ 2011 chapel service and is now widely recognized as having inspired the New York Giants to their Super Bowl victory. He has been featured on ESPN, Fox News and CNN. He has traveled the world as a motivational speaker for corporate, athletic, government and educational institutions.
A passionate TED Talk speaker and author who has triumphed over cerebral palsy and a hearing loss, Dr. Paul instills in students the motivation and perseverance needed to help his audiences soar towards success. During the past 36 years, since age 10, he has hosted an estimated 7500 presentations on the topics of diversity and disability awareness, character education, anti-bullying, and empowering our youth. His uplifting assemblies encourage students to ensure their names become symbols for success as they learn to embrace the ideals of confidence and leadership that help make their lives a success story.
Scott suffered a rare stroke in his spinal cord at the age of 15 which left him paralyzed from the waist down. He has spent his life helping make a positive difference in the lives of others. Scott has made two world tours, visiting over 30 countries and speaking to over a million people around the globe and continues to receive standing ovations from his audiences.
For over two decades, Scott Greenberg has captivated audiences with his motivational presentations on leadership, resilience and peak performance. He’s spoken in all 50 U.S. states and throughout the world to clients such Nike, Allstate Insurance and the U.S. Air Force. He’s written three books on leadership and is a contributing author to “Chicken Soup for the College Soul.” Scott has also built two “Edible Arrangements” franchises, which have won the “Best Customer Service” and “Manager of the Year” awards out of more than 1000 franchisees worldwide.
Rich’s presentations combine his 16 years of science teaching experience with his family’s story of overcoming the loss of his 22 month old son, Rees. Recounting the formation of The ReesSpecht Life Foundation, which has distributed almost 500,000 kindness cards worldwide, he inspires your students to look inward for their power to change the world; one little piece at a time.
Greg’s own “Get Involved!” presentations blend comedy, juggling, fun audience participation, and a powerful message about personal transformation. Greg’s clients include Fortune 1000 companies, associations, universities, and other groups worldwide.
Eugenie is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. After moving to the U.S., Eugenie began to publicly share her experiences with students across the country to educate them about the dangers of hatred, inflammatory language, violence, and lack of concern for others. She uses her life story to inspire others to rise above personal setbacks and tragedies. Eugenie is available for Student Assemblies, Parent Workshops, and Staff Development Programs.