Meet the Speakers
At an age when they should have the freedom to reach for the stars, too many teens are fending off fear, violence and loneliness. That’s why they connect instantly with the passionate speakers of Breaking the Cycle. These people have been there. And they’ve found a way out. The secret? Forgiveness actually works.
Here’s why these speakers will convince you:
Hashim Garrett is founder and CEO of a consulting company called “Wisdom & Understanding, LLC.” His passionate message - educating on the causes of conflict and emphasizing the importance of forgiveness as part of the solution - comes from a depth of personal experience. Read More...
J. Christoph Arnold
Johann Christoph Arnold, a lifelong peacemaker, and bestselling author of 8 books including “Why Forgive”. Born in 1940 to war resisters driven out of Nazi Germany, his parents fled Europe when he was a baby and settled in South America. In the 1960s, his interest in Civil Rights led him to go South, where he met and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. The ensuing friendship was to impact him for life. Read More...
Ann Marie D'Aliso
Ann Marie D’Aliso and her husband, Patrick, (high school football coach and health teacher), lost their son, Pat, to suicide on May 19, 2004 at 16 years of age. Now she serves on the board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, has a Survivor Support Group, and speaks in school assemblies on suicide prevention and recovery through forgiveness. Read More...
Steven McDonald Watch Stephen's Story
Steven McDonald, a detective with the New York Police Department, was questioning three youths in Central Park one hot summer day in 1986 when one of them shot him three times leaving him paralyzed from the neck down, and dependent on a ventilator. He now says that if he had not chosen to forgive his attacker hatred would have completed what the bullet failed to do – a remarkable journey! Read More...
New York Military Academy
Charles Williams, of the New York Military Academy, grew up dealing with tough issues at home. He is a strong advocate for forgiveness both on a personal and professional level – forgiveness is central to breaking all cycles of violence. Read More...
Raising Your Awareness about Narcotics
Randi Kelder’s brother Ryan died at age 24 of a progressive and deadly addiction in 2015. Randi and her parents are now working to raise awareness about this growing epidemic of deaths caused by opioids, including heroin. She forgave her brother but does not want anyone else to go through the same pain that her family has suffered. Read More...
Executive Director, S.T.R.O.N.G.
Sergio Argueta's life changed at the funeral of a dear friend: “Why my child?” the mother wept. Sergio grew up in a “survival of the fittest” neighborhood where he joined a gang and lost 2 of his best friend within a year. Now his time is dedicated to gang prevention and intervention. Read More...
Speaker and Author
Kareem was raised in Brooklyn, New York. Once away from home at college he started in the fast lane: partying, women, drugs, alcohol. One day he shared a blunt with a fellow traveler which almost killed him yet he survived to share his story with other young people. In his words “None of us can take life for granted.” Read More...