guest speaker for charity

What makes you trust the people closest to you?

How does one develop trust? What are the elements that make up trust?

He said, “What I’ve seen in the past from my experience is trust really came from those who were consistent in my life …”

It is through consistency that we are able to tell whether or not people are fully invested in the relationship at hand.

  • Do they trust you enough to reveal deeper parts of themselves?

  • Do their actions speak louder than their words?

A set of questions that most of us seek answers to, as we try to form healthy and trustworthy relationships.

What questions do you seek answers to as you’re developing trust in a relationship?


  • On Mentorship: Find people who will help you see the bigger picture in life

  • On Developing Trust: Learn to observe your environment

  • On Leadership: “Actions always speak louder than words”

  • On Self-Narrative: “Why” do you want to share your story?

Keep Moving Forward


She was in 63 different foster homes between four and 21 years of age.

63 different placements, a number that is simply unimaginable to most, if not all, of us.

She said, “The experience going through 63 foster homes was a tough one to swallow because I knew what I was entitled to … and I also had to face the fact that there are going to be times that the people who are responsible for providing services to you, providing care to you, don’t love you …”

But, despite all of the challenges and the constant transitions, it was through the foster care system that Felicia Wilson ended up meeting a foster parent who changed her life for the better.

A foster mom that helped Felicia embrace her own identity, and feel comfortable in her own skin.

A foster mom that helped Felicia realize the importance of accepting the cards she has been dealt with in this lifetime and figure out a way to play them to her advantage.

A foster mom that helped Felicia develop confidence in her own abilities, which led her on an unexpected journey of starting, “Fear Everything & Rise,” a platform to better prepare young people affected by foster care with the tools necessary to grow and live prosperous lives beyond the child welfare system.

I asked, “If you were given one word to describe your foster mom, what would that word be?”

She said, “Loving … As a kid growing up not having that stable mother figure in your life … being a kid that went through 63 foster homes … I’ve always wanted that simple hug … I always wanted to know that someone accepted my flaws … I wanted to know that no matter what decisions I made, right or wrong, at the end of the day I wouldn’t be judged … I wanted to know that if I fell short of anything I tried in life … somebody would still accept me and love me the same…”

If YOU were given one WORD to describe either of your parents, what would that word be?


  • On Independence: With freedom comes great responsibility

  • On Growth: Push yourself outside of your comfort zone

  • On Letting Go: Let your wall down and let others in to help you

  • On Acceptance: Accept the cards you’ve been dealt in this life, and learn how to play them

Want to Connect with Felicia?


Embrace Who You Are

He had three different names before he was three months old.

He said, “The first name I ever had was Jeremy Jones… In the foster homes … I was Toby … Now my given name, Aaron Parchem…”

For Aaron Parchem, silver medalist at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, adapting to new environments was not an option, but rather a necessity.

It is a skill that not only helped Aaron Parchem during his early childhood years, but also during his time as a figure skater.

He said, “In skating… when I tell people that I was a figure skater for the first time, you get kind of a blank look like, ‘Is this guy messing with me?’ … I’ve come to expect it and that is what it is … I don’t look like a figure skater … I didn't even when I did it … I am a straight, black male in skating… When you’re unique, you’re going to elicit unique responses…”

Embracing his identity and surrounding himself with giving people were the only ways to break through some of the remarks Aaron had received along the way as a figure skater, a profession that has taught him life lessons that cannot be replaced.

Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I happy with who I have become?”


  • On Challenges: “People rise to the occasion when they’re challenged”

  • On Empowerment: Live in the service of others

  • On Support Groups: Find people who’ll support you no matter what

  • On Self: Develop a good understanding of who you are on the inside (feelings, values, and tools that you can use to accomplish your goals)

Breaks, Breakthroughs, and Breakdowns

Where do you come from?
A question that some of us are fortunate to have an answer to, others not so much.
A question that sparks a story deep inside our hearts; a story that gives others hope to not give up when times get tough.
He said, “My mother… at 18/19 years old… had a six-month-old baby boy, $100, a plane ticket, a friend’s name in Chicago and she decided to start our life…”
Not the most ideal beginning, but sometimes the only thing we have is starting where we are, using what we have, and doing what we can.
For John Robinson, it was no different.
He continued by saying, “I believe people should overcome less.”
A motto that has become the guiding force behind his current work: to connect those who seek with those who raise their hand to give.


  • On Family: A collective energy of those that care about each other

  • On Purpose: Focus on present-purpose

  • On Overcoming Odds: Trust yourself

  • On Growth: Ask yourself, “How do I?”

Want to Connect with John?

Website | Twitter

Life Won’t Give You Anything You Can’t Handle

Who are you?
A question that some, if not most of us, seek an answer to.
A question that led Joel de Carteret on a lifelong journey of self-discovery.
He said, “I was 35 years old and I didn’t know who I was… I wanted to write my own narrative…”
A journey that taught Joel two important life lessons:
1. If you want to do something, you have to do it yourself
2. Whatever you set your mind to, you can achieve
These are the lessons that have become Joel’s cornerstones as a filmmaker.
The profession that has allowed him to not only tell just any story, but stories that are making a difference.
Stories that give our time, on this pale blue dot, meaning.
Stories that inspire others to keep going during times of adversity.
Stories that can change your life, if you’re living your life authentically.
Are you living a true and authentic life?

On Identity: Stay curious about who you are
On Adversity: “Life will never give you anything you can’t handle”
On Self-Narrative: Who do you want to be and what do you stand for?
On Purpose: Tell stories that are going to make a difference

Want to Connect with Joel?

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Refuse to Lose

Failure is good.

Fail fast, fail often.

She said, “I failed many times throughout my life.”

At school, she was not the best student.

At home, her life was one of abuse and fear.

But, she was good at one thing.

She spent countless hours practicing with all the boys who were older, stronger and taller than her.

Basketball saved her.

I asked, “Why kind of impact did basketball have on your life?”

She said, “I wanted to play basketball to get out of my home.”

Basketball took her to her dream school. It challenged her. It tore her down. It discouraged her to the point of planning an escape.

But, she continued to tell herself, “Get to the next play.”

One day after another, the message remained the same.

She turned adversity to her advantage and owned her outcome.

Even after everyone stopped caring about what she had accomplished.

She chose to Refuse To Lose.


  • On self-improvement: It’s a daily habit

  • On problems: Be solution-focused

  • One adversity: It will become your advantage

Want to Connect with Adell?

Facebook | Instagram | Website | Twitter

Out of the Fog

Karen Goh didn’t know she was adopted until she was ten years old. After being asked countless of times why she looked so different, she asked her mother if she was “born” from her. 

“I didn’t know the word for adoption at the time,” Karen says while explaining this pivotal moment in her life. 

Karen always had a talent for music, but her tenth year was also the year she started composing her own. She was classically trained and currently has an upcoming album, ten years in the making, which was inspired by her birth mother and touches on themes of adoption and mental health related to her own adoption experience. “I’m excited to share my story through music because it’s a lot better than me talking,” she laughs.

Karen is a fully trained and experienced performer, composer, arranger, and producer of music. She is an avid advocate of mental health, foster care, and adoption-related issues. Listen to this episode for phenomenal insights into mental health, adoption, identity, and making it in the music industry.

Episode Highlights:

  • On relationships: Learn your partner

  • On telling them they’re adopted: The earlier the better. Embrace it

  • On leading: Inspire others to become leaders

Episode Notes:

  • Was I adopted? [1:00]

  • Pursuing music [8:00]

  • Mental health [12:00]

  • Trust [16:00]

  • Repair [20:00]

  • Adoptive parents [25:00]

  • My file [31:00]

  • Music and mentors [33:00 ]

  • Purpose and passion [44:00]

Want to Connect with Karen?

Instagram | Facebook | Website 

Blues from Vietnam

Lara came to us by way of Operation Babylift, a mass evacuation of orphans from South Vietnam to the United States as well as other countries. She is now a professional musician living in Austin, TX as a Blues stage performer and recording artist. 

Her musical talent was inspired by influences such as her father, who gave her her very first music lesson, and dance classes which contributed to her burgeoning talent at a young age. “Watching people play music when I can’t is a little like watching someone eat while I’m hungry,” she says while talking about a time when she had to rely on a day job to supplement her living expenses when starting her musical career.

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Lara exemplifies a glass-half-full outlook on life and illustrates this through her thoughts on spirituality, productive routines, and constant self-awareness that allows her to consciously make healthy choices. She emphasises the importance of surrounding yourself with good people who will push you to meet them at their level, and knowing that regardless of who you know, or how much innate talent you may have, the bottom line of your success and happiness in life will always and forever come down to discipline and hard work.

Episode Highlights:

  • On creativity: It’s an outlet often observed in orphans

  • On making it in music: It’s all about hard work, not who you know

  • On energy: Consciously make healthy choices

  • On self-awareness: Question yourself

Episode Notes:

  • Operation Babylift [1:30]

  • The power of Facebook [4:30]

  • The power of music [8:00]

  • Day jobs [13:00]

  • So you want to go into the music business? [15:00]

  • Pushing through the struggle [17:00]

  • Parents [22:00]

  • Wait, what am I? [26:00]

  • Facing stereotypes [28:30]

  • Love = abandonment [24:30]

  • Calling them “Mom” & “Dad” [37:00]

  • Leadership [42:00]

  • Support the music [49:00]

Want to Connect with Lara?