RECEIVED AFTER PRESENTATIONS on Addiction, Homelessness, and Gang Violence
To book a presentation please contact June via the user-friendly “Contact June” page on this website
June’s presentation is a powerful message that infuses hope into a seemingly hopeless situation. Her passion for helping others and educating today’s youth is genuine as she really humanizes the faces of those battling addictions.
For many of our students, their lives have been directly or indirectly affected by addictions. Whether it be a family member or a close friend who is battling addictions, they have been searching for ways to help their loved ones. June’s presentation provides students with an open platform—both honest and raw– for them to freely voice their concerns and ask questions where they feel safe and validated. They are sincerely engaged as I have noticed many of my students still talking about your presentation days later. In fact, one of my students who is regularly absent and has troubles focusing in class has found it difficult to put down the copy of June’s book that he received. He was pleasantly surprised when he first opened up June’s book during a lengthy bus ride to school and said that the examples and explanations were ones he could identify with and understand. Needless to say, he would have continued to read her book during class time if I hadn’t stopped him!
June’s presentation is incredibly powerful and sheds light on the truth behind drugs, gang violence and addictions. It tugs on the heartstrings of everyone who has the privilege of hearing her story, and is definitely an unforgettable experience. June’s message is ultimately a story of hope, a ray of light in a seemingly dark tunnel.
Thank you for all you do in the community and for your compassion towards all.
Many thanks once again. Have a restful summer and I can’t wait to see you again soon!
~ Melissa Crocker, Guildford Park Secondary
I had the pleasure of meeting June in February 2018. She was invited to speak to the PAC at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary. Our school principal invited me to June’s presentation as he felt June might be a speaker the Career Department would like to have in to speak to our Career Life Connections 11 students.
June spoke about her families’ experiences with addition and the struggles her family faced over the previous two decades. Her quiet tone and calm demeanour made the audience relax and listen intently. She told a tale of the struggles her son faced through his twenty plus year addition with drugs. The tale told is a difficult one to hear and surely the strength June required to live through this tragedy provides amazing hope for people who are living with addiction in their families.
After listening to June’s presentation I immediately booked her to speak to our Career Life Connections 11 students in the spring of 2018. The students were immediately drawn to June and her incredible tale of strength and unrelenting love for her son. Following her presentations, LTS students waited patiently at the front of the classroom to thank her for sharing her story and would often embrace her with a hug. She tells a truly life-changing story that humanizes addiction, homelessness and street life. June leaves her audiences understanding that EVERY person deserves a “hello” with eye contact regardless of who and where they are in life. June’s love and faith in humanity is truly infectious.
~ Tanya Clift, Career Facilitator, Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary
I invited June to my Social Justice 12 class to listen to her perspectives and personal experiences regarding homelessness, gang violence and addiction. I can say, without hesitation, that June’s presentation to the students was one of the most impactful presentations I’ve ever exposed a group of students to.
Listening to her story about her son, his addiction issues, experiences being homeless and his run in with gangs literally brought tears to my students eyes and to my own. It’s an authentic experience, and one that I would recommend to any school in our district. June has the skill to read her audience and tell her story in an impactful way that would meet the needs for a variety of kids at a variety of age levels.
I believe her message to kids is invaluable, authentic and presented in a way that is kind, genuine and real. Furthermore, she is living proof of how theses issues impact real people. She’s not in uniform nor a former gang member converted; she is a mother who loves her son and had the will to be there for him through thick and thin.
I would recommend and highly encourage Surrey Schools to arrange for June to present to our students. I believe her story would have an amazing impact on our students and would argue it to be an invaluable experience.
~ Travis Mackenzie, Vice Principal, Fraser Heights Secondary
I want to thank you so much for volunteering to speak with our grade 10 students again this year on addiction, homelessness and gang violence.
June’s presentation shows how addiction affects the entire family (parents and siblings). The effect of behaviour on parents is huge; students often talk about making positive changes in their lives because they don’t want to hurt or disappoint their
parents. This past year one of my students was making positive changes in his life, when I asked him why he said he didn’t want to see his mom cry anymore.
Not only is June’s presentation about drug use, she also discusses the entire range of addiction, homelessness and gang violence; all of which are linked together. Addiction causes you to be your most vulnerable, which opens the door to abuse, gang violence, prostitution and homelessness. This linkage makes perfect sense but, until it was laid out right in front of us, we didn’t realize how it was all connected – very shocking.
Her ability to tell her story and connect with students is one of her strongest qualities. She is honest and delivers her message from the heart; she truly wants to make a difference in the lives of our students and it shows.
~ Perminder Bath, Guildford Park Secondary
June’s presentation on Addiction, Homelessness, and Gang Violence is a must see. June has presented at Guildford Park for two years now and every time I hear her presentation, I am deeply moved by the strength and devotion she had for her son through his battle with addiction. Through her presentation, June shares her trials and tribulations; she holds nothing back in her raw and vivid descriptions of what she saw and what she experienced. As a teacher, I watched the captivated faces of my students, knowing that in some way shape or form, her story was impacting them. Her voice was heard. On behalf of Guildford Park, thank you for sharing your story, June. It is a presentation that all students need to hear.
~ Silvy Hernstedt, Teacher: English & Career Education, Career Development Facilitator, Guildford Park Secondary