Presentations

I cater presentations to students (grades 3-8), educators, librarians, other writers, and anyone who loves a good story. Choose from the following, or we can talk about other options.

Chance Comes Once

“I cannot tell you what the future holds,” said Papa. “All I know is what lies before us right now. Amahirwe aza rimwe. Chance comes once. We must take advantage of it.”

In this presentation I’ll talk about how Rebeka had one chance to change her life, and even though it was scary and there were lots of unknowns, she took it. We all have times in our life when we’re given one chance; one chance to say an encouraging word, or speak up for what’s right or even write a book. I’ll tell Rebeka’s story of leaving all that was familiar (her family, her home, even her language in Rwanda) to come to America for a chance at life-changing surgery. And I’ll talk about my chance to tell her story, and what it took to make that happen. Finally, I’ll challenge my audience to take the chances given to them, because sometimes, Amahirwe aza rimwe, which is Rwandan for chance comes once!

Strong Like a Butterfly

“Benji, you are strong like a lizard. Meredith, you are strong like a duck.”

“What are you strong like?” asked Clay.

Rebeka looked down at her plastic brace, covered in the purple butterfly print. “I’m strong like a butterfly.”

We all feel weak sometimes. Maybe you’re “just a kid” who feels like you’re too young to do anything important, too weak to make the team or too shy to be in the play. Or maybe you’re a writer who hasn’t landed a book deal or won an award. In this presentation I’ll talk about how the Monarch butterfly, a seemingly weak and frail insect, compares to Rebeka when she was young, disabled and despised by many. The Monarch flies over three thousand miles during migration, Rebeka was brave and strong and persevered for months, and we can do the same. Whether I’m speaking to students or writers or a general audience, we can all be inspired by Rebeka’s story.