Since the 1980s, thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students, teachers, and principals have been inspired by Bill’s powerful presentations on a variety of topics such as bullying, choices, courage, determination, peer pressure, reaching one’s maximum potential, and self-control. Bill has spoken in auditoriums, classrooms and gymnasiums, at public, private, vocational, Christian, Catholic, Jewish, and military schools; and at Arab centers, correctional facilities, colleges, and seminaries across the U.S. and beyond (England, Germany, Haiti, Paraguay, and Philippines). Response has been outstanding, as when Bill spoke on courage to 2,000 Chinese high school students in Manila and when he and BJ and other team members presented school assemblies throughout Haiti.
BRM also sponsors motivational assemblies in area schools.
Students Enjoy “The Good Life” and “Everyday Heroes”
by Darlinda McDonald
On one day, the entire student body – elementary, middle and high school – of Sharpsville Area School District, over a period of four assemblies in the Middle School gymnasium, were able to enjoy powerful presentations by Motivational Media of California. After each program, Bill Rudge addressed the student body sharing some of his experiences as a youth and the importance of making wise choices.
Three giant 14-foot screens, contemporary music, real-life stories, sports footage, film clips and familiar animated characters brought strong messages to the students about bullying, kindness, working hard toward your dreams, never giving up, truth matters and encouraging others.
The elementary students could barely contain their enthusiasm as they laughed, clapped, cheered, and sang their way through the assembly when they recognized familiar movie scenes and popular songs. You could hear a pin drop, but, as they became silent during the narration and messages of the presentation titled, “Everyday Heroes.”
The Middle and High School students’ assembly was called “The Good Life” which struck a more serious note as the students witnessed the results of using drugs and alcohol, texting and driving, and bullying. A most poignant scene showed teens talking lightheartedly about texting and driving. The mood changed quickly, however, in viewing a partially-paralyzed woman sit in front of the teens and share her story of the accident that crippled her and killed her parents because of a drunk driver. Throughout the assemblies the students were well behaved, attentive and responded enthusiastically to the messages – some students and teachers cried.
We received thank you notes from the principals, guidance counselors and superintendent. Principal Jonathan Fry wrote, “Bill, Thank you for all of the hard work that you do for our students. The program that you shared with us today was fantastic! Our students and staff truly enjoyed it and learned from it….”
Throughout the years, Bill Rudge has brought educational and inspirational multi-media assemblies to area schools, as well as he and BJ speaking at assemblies across the U.S. and in many countries. Bill also does self-defense clinics in the schools and runs an Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course at BRM for many athletic teams from several schools. BJ trains students in soccer.
Special thanks to New Virginia United Methodist Church Missions Committee, Jan Anderson, Andy Canady Concrete Construction and Mary Alice Mook for underwriting these assemblies. Also, thanks to Chris Chrastina, Dick Hetrick, Shawn Hill and Bruce Lozier for helping set up the equipment and Darlinda McDonald for taking photographs.
“I’MPOSSIBLE” School Assemblies a Big Hit
by Darlinda McDonald
I can be amazing: learn from my mistakes, change my bad habits, take responsibility for my actions, use good words intentionally, encourage others, and work as a team player to help solve problems. These are just a few of the lessons that school students at Artman, Case Avenue, Greenville, Ionta, and Sharpsville Elementary and Middle schools learned during six exciting multi-media assemblies in their school gymnasiums sponsored by Bill Rudge.
The media presentation, titled “I’MPOSSIBLE,” splashed visuals across three giant 14-foot screens. It used famous people, current music, and contemporary film clips to deliver messages about bullying, kindness, working hard toward your dreams and encouraging others. True-life examples of children with a dream, who experienced loss, or were physically challenged showed how they handled each of their situations with positive attitudes. The students laughed, clapped, and sang their way through the assembly as they recognized familiar movie scenes and popular songs, but you could hear a pin drop as they became silent during the narration and messages.
The assemblies also included an inspiring message by BJ Rudge and powerful demonstrations by Bill Rudge showing the meanness of bullying, the value of self-defense, the importance of resisting negative peer pressure and how to overcome the impossible. Bill’s helpers included local volunteers and assistants Chris Chrastina, Dick Hetrick, Shawn Hill, Bruce Lozier, Ken Ridgley, Brandon Santana, and Carson Smith as well as a few teachers Bill chose from the audience.
The multi-media presentation was created and produced by Motivational Media Assemblies and brought into the schools by Bill and BJ Rudge. These six assemblies were provided free of charge, courtesy of underwriting by New Virginia United Methodist Church, Jan Anderson, Mary Alice Mook, and Denny and Andrea Staul.
The response from the principals, teachers and students was outstanding. A few of the many comments received from the principals were: “Truly remarkable! The students loved it! We have heard so many positive comments! The message was very timely and critical for our students! Everyone could feel the excitement in the gym! It was the best assembly ever! Fantastic show with a great message!”
School Assemblies Impact Students, Teachers…
Elementary students learn how to be everyday heroes. Middle and high school students are inspired to make good choices concerning alcohol and drugs, texting and driving, bullying, self-control, courage, overcoming challenges and never giving up.
The multi-media presentations deliver fast moving, powerful messages using contemporary music and movies, along with real life stories about other young people. The students sometimes clap and sing along with familiar songs as they are fully engaged in the presentations.
The response has been outstanding from students, teachers, and principals with such comments as: “awesome,” “excellent,” “wonderful,” “loved it,” “great assembly,” “thumbs up,” “very challenging,” “best assembly ever”…. Teachers and principals were impressed with the excellent assemblies and their message to encourage others, overcome challenges, try their best and never give up. Several principals commented that of all the various types of assemblies they had ever seen these were the best.
It was a special blessing to have four of Bill’s grandchildren in three of the local elementary school assemblies. They all loved it and said their friends talked about it for days. One of their friend’s parents said the assembly was the topic of conversation the whole time during dinner that night. A State Trooper whose daughter had just seen Bill and BJ’s assembly in her elementary school, said he still remembers the assembly Bill did back when he was in high school.
A gym teacher at another elementary school remembered the impact of the “Champions” assembly Bill sponsored at Sharon High, when he was a high school student there. Jim Weikal first met Bill at an assembly at Reynolds High School where Jim taught. Jim thought the assembly was great and one of the best they ever had. Jim became a volunteer at BRM several years later.
Bill greatly enjoyed going back to his former elementary school to do two assemblies. The students, teachers, and principal were fascinated by Bill’s account of his school years (he was in the first sixth grade class in the brand new West Hill school building) and by the multimedia assembly. Bill shared about his brother Jeffrey, who would have been in the second grade class at the new West Hill school, had he not been hit and killed by a drunk driver the summer before. The principal said of the many assemblies he has seen by other groups this one was the best. One little girl came up to Bill after the assembly and said, “I want to thank you for everything you taught me today. I cried through some of it. Thank you so much for coming!” A few days after the assembly Bill received dozens of hand drawn thank you notes from students and teachers.
Bill has spoken several times at George Junior Republic. He started his most recent assembly there by talking about true strength and courage. The boys and the men sat enthralled and totally attentive during his message and the multimedia presentation. One person who attended said, “The George Junior Republic presentation was absolutely amazing!”
The impact has been far‑reaching as comments from various people affirm. One principal said that the worst student in the high school came up to him after the assembly and said, “Maybe there still is hope for me.” At another school the assistant principal told the students how Bill’s assemblies and life had impacted his own life as a youth.
The Superintendent of a school district for which Bill and BJ did four assemblies for the entire student body said how pleased he was and how appropriate the assemblies were. A teacher said, “I know this assembly is for the students, but I think it was for me.” An elementary teacher at another school commented that she loved the assembly so much that she stayed and watched it during the second showing and she still cried through some of it. Another teacher e-mailed: “I spoke with junior and senior high students after the assembly and the feedback was very positive. As a parent and teacher I thought it was a great assembly and important message to send to the students.”
BRM helpers and sponsors as well as the principals, teachers, office staff, and custodians deserve special thanks for supporting these motivational and inspirational assemblies that teach students many invaluable lessons.
Thanks for All Your Hard Work
Hi Bill, I just wanted to say thank you for all of the hard work that you do for our students and school district. The program that you shared with us today was fantastic! Our students and staff truly enjoyed it and learned from it. Everyone could feel the excitement in the gym. I want to also thank you for speaking so kindly to our students and for the kind words about our schools. Thank you again for bringing this program to us.
J. F., Sharpsville Elementary Principal
Heard the Assembly was Powerful
Bill, I was so sorry to miss the middle school assembly, as I was attending a conference in Pittsburgh, but I heard from staff and students that it was powerful. The message made a positive and lasting impression. Thank you so much for your commitment to the young people of our community. Warmest regards,
H. M., Sharpsville Middle School Principal
Meaningful and Engaging Presentation
Our school was fortunate to have Bill Rudge give a meaningful and engaging presentation to our 11th and 12th grade students . His message was one of positivity, being kind to others and making good decisions all of which are important topics for teenagers today. The assembly was created with young adult’s interests and daily struggles in mind and captivated their attention throughout. We are grateful we had the opportunity to bring these relevant messages to our students in a way they can relate to.
E. K., Sharpsville High School Guidance Counselor
Program Was Excellent!
Hi Mr. Rudge, The program was excellent and well received by our students. The message is one that the students cannot hear enough. Thanks,
J. V., Sharpsville School District Superintendent
“CAN DO” Spirit Reinforced
Bill Rudge, Thank you so much for taking the time to present your inspiring message about being I’MPOSSIBLE. In our world today, it is so important to encourage our children in a positive way, and your message reinforced that “CAN DO” spirit. It is so true that a good team is always stronger than a single person. We have heard so many positive comments on how the topic you presented will affect their future. Thank you again for bringing the assembly to our students. It was truly remarkable!
Sincerely, A.W., Artman Elementary School Principal
Timely and Critical Message
Bill Rudge, I wanted to thank you for bringing the I’mpossible assembly to Greenville Elementary. The presentation was enjoyed by students and staff alike. The message was very timely and critical for our students to hear. It prompted many discussions in the classrooms between the teachers and students. One student even said “it was the best assembly ever!”
Thanks again, M.D., Greenville Elementary School Principal
Hello Mr. Rudge, I would like to thank you and your staff for coming to our school on Tuesday, February 26, and putting on a quality presentation for the Artman and Ionta students. Since the program I have received positive feedback from our teachers and students. The message of Perseverance and I’m Possible has resonated with many children and I am certain that students have taken the time to do some self reflection on how they can better their own lives and most importantly others. I look forward to continuing our school relationship in the near future. TREMENDOUS WORK!
Sincerely, E.T., Ionta Elementary School Principal
Hi Bill, I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the fantastic show with a great message. The themes of perseverance and positivity within the program are things that we preach here at SES. Our students were highly entertained by the great songs and movie/sports clips. They all had great messages and were very up to date. Everyone could feel the excitement in the gym. Also, thank you for the impromptu demonstration at the end of the program. It helped to stress that there are always paths to take that will lead us in a positive direction…no matter the situation. Thank you again for bringing this program to us,
Jon and the staff at SES, J.F., Sharpsville Elementary Principal
We recently had an assembly hosted by Bill Rudge at Case Avenue Elementary School. This assembly is by far the kids’ favorite assembly that we have ever had. The students were very engaged and truly enjoyed the music and three-screen presentation. We truly look forward to future assemblies with Bill Rudge!
T. V., Case Avenue Elementary Principal
Assemblies Were Wonderful
While out one evening I ran into an old friend Leo, who wanted me to tell you that he enjoys your newsletters so very much and that he had recently attended one of your assemblies and said it was wonderful.
R. I., Pennsylvania
Best Assembly Ever!
Mr. Rudge, Thank you so much for coming to our school and putting on such a meaningful school assembly. My students loved it and came away with important messages to live by. … The assembly was awesome! … It was the best assembly ever! … I really learned a lot and loved the program. … Thanks for showing us to be nice and be friendly.
E. H., T., A., L., and D.
Thank you for bringing the assembly, “Everyday Heroes” to our school. We really enjoyed its inspirational message.
Ms. T and class, Reynolds Elementary School
Students Rate Assembly an “11”
Dear Mr. Rudge, Thank you for working so hard to bring the Motivational Media assembly to come to Sharpsville. The assembly was so engaging! When I asked kids to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, they told me it was an 11. The combination of highly relevant stories, current media tie-ins from film, music, and powerful messages made it a hit with students from all walks of life. I am sure it will be remembered for a long time, and I hope it has a lasting impact on our school community. I look forward to bringing Motivational Media assemblies into the school for years to come. Your efforts truly make a difference for young people. Again, many, many thanks.
H. A., Sharpsville Middle School Principal
Criminal Justice Professor Remembers
As an example of the long-term impact these presentations have, the following is an e-mail from a Criminal Justice professor at Edinboro University:
Many years ago, probably 1981 or 1982, Bill Rudge came to Sharon High School and gave an absolutely incredible presentation. I remember that he was able to “fire up” students with both his subject matter and multimedia presentation. One of the things I most remember was the use of music…with students stomping and clapping and maybe even singing. I believe everyone was engaged! I know that I was engaged! Mr. Rudge was a masterful presenter ….
D. R., Pennsylvania
West Virginia Principal Lauds Assembly
Nutter Fort principal in West Virginia wrote:
Thank you so very much for the assembly by Bill Rudge on self-confidence and drug abuse prevention. Mr. Rudge was very creative and very effectively used a common sense approach to his inspiring message. Our society certainly needs many more individuals the caliber of Bill Rudge. I hope he will visit our school again. Sincerely,
Students Impacted in Germany
Bill spoke at an American high school on a military base in Germany. The teacher requested him to lecture on “Cultural Experiences Around the World” for 90 minutes, in three different classes. The teacher sent the following e-mail to Colonel Mastriano and his wife Rebbie:
You won’t BELIEVE how powerfully Bill Rudge’s presentation has affected my kids! They are coming to me in droves to tell me how inspired they are, how interesting he was, and how they’ve got lots to think about. I am so excited.
An e-mail to Karen several months later by this teacher stated:
Hi, Karen. Lives were touched and continue to be so since Bill spoke to my students. Several are still asking questions, commenting about the “challenge” he gave them. Please send along my thanks for his willingness to spend time with some very lost souls in my classes; such beautiful, delightful children with stories that would stun most people. Two months later: Your visit continues to be a blessing to my students and me.
Bullying Topic Grabs Students’ Attention
by Darlinda McDonald
Area students received a powerful message recently on bullying. I had the privilege of attending two of these assemblies at Jamestown Elementary School and would like to take this opportunity to thank Bill Rudge for his continuing efforts to bring positive, motivational messages to the students in our area schools. In recent years, Bill and his son, BJ, have sponsored and spoken at school assemblies in Farrell, Hermitage, Sharon, Sharpsville, and George Junior with excellent responses.
Bill and his team traveled to Jamestown, PA where two multi-media assemblies about bullying were presented. Each presentation was geared for its audience, first the elementary students and then the middle school students. Contemporary music coupled with brightly-colored, fast-moving film clips depicting a variety of bullying situations and how to handle them provided a powerful message. The rapt attentiveness of all of the students testified to the impact of the presentations.
In today’s culture where bullying can go beyond the classroom and schoolyard into cyberspace, it is comforting to know there are people like Bill (and his son, BJ) who are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to go into the schools. The school faculty and administrations should also be praised for inviting Bill and his team to come and address this relevant and important topic. Assemblies geared toward high school students are available as well.
Thank you to Bill and BJ Rudge for bringing these presentations into the schools every year. The principals, administrators, and teachers at all of these schools should be commended for presenting these assemblies to their students. Thank you to all the others who make these assemblies possible with their financial support.