Former NBA star and motivational speaker Chris Herren came back to Naperville North High School.
Normally Herren waits four years between visits to one place, but this was his second visit to North in two years – the students wanted to see him again.
“So many of them came back and said his message was so powerful and it transformed our school community and Naperville’s community, ‘so can you please bring him back so that his spirit and his message can never be lost amongst the student body,’” said Jessica Freed, Dean of Students at Naperville North High School.
Herren’s story is one about the dangers of drug use. He lost his professional basketball career because of his addiction. As a recovered addict, he works to inspire students to live sober lives.
He delivered his presentation, “Rebound: The Chris Herren Story” twice. Once during the day to all Naperville North students, and once in the evening in an event open to parents and other community members.
“We had students that he changed their lives, they came to us and said to us that it was the most memorable thing, maybe ‘I was thinking about doing something negative in my life and he convinced me that being myself 24/7 is who I should be,’” said Jennifer Baumgartner, Dean of Student Activities at Naperville North High School.
Herren’s speech was in line with North’s “Be You 24/7,” motto, which is meant to encourage students to be proud of themselves, and to not change for others.
Student organizations, parent booster clubs, and anonymous donors all raised funds to bring Herren back in a school-wide effort.
Naperville Community Television’s Blane Erwin reports.
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