My name is Houston and I’m a full time speaker, leadership consultant, and kindness advocate.
I travel all over North America working at schools and events talking about compassion, character, empathy, love, and more. I offer a huge range of services - everything from single assembly keynotes to full day workshops with students and/or staff. If you’re interested, let me share a little bit about what I do and why I do it…
My most common setup is a full school assembly for an hour followed by an 60-90 minute workshop with a smaller group of influential people on campus. The assembly will focus on the challenges of being kind - a fast-paced, entertaining, and thoughtful conversation on how our very human fears and natural selfishness can cause us to, oftentimes unintentionally, be cruel to one another in an effort to feel loved ourselves. It will focus on real life, relevant stories that will illuminate why empathy and kindness are so important and how each of us, as individuals, can do small things every day that help shape our lives and our culture. I promise to not only hold their attention and make them laugh, but to leave them empowered with a shared experience that keeps them thinking and talking.
After the assembly, we will bring student and staff leaders from across campus together to talk about how to make this message more than just a “good feeling.” We will talk about practical ways to create personal habits of character and selflessness and how to create sustainable change on campus. Through hands-on activities and facilitation, we will practice what I preach and generate ideas on how to keep the message alive.
I’ve been to 500 schools and events nationwide in the 6 years and I’ve never been to a perfect campus. I don’t think they exist! But it also means that, at every school, there is room for growth. I LOVE being a part of that process - to help young people and staff work together to create a more meaningful experience at school and to continue to foster a climate of compassion and character. I think education is so fundamental to how young people grow up and I believe in our capacity as educators and educational systems to not only shape students who are competent in math and science and english, but also thoughtful and selfless and skillfully empathetic. I believe that people fundamentally want to BE GOOD, but not all of them know how to DO GOOD and I love telling stories and building tools that allow people to dive into those meaningful and challenging conversations and practices.
Sustainability of The Message through CharacterStrong
CharacterStrong is a workout program for your heart. When we practice building our character, we are putting kindness into action. We offer an iPhone app for free (web version coming soon) as well as a semester-long leadership curriculum, a full year advisory curriculum, and a dare-a-day supplement. We also offer powerful educator trainings to create cultures of compassion all over the nation.
In addition to CharacterStrong, we've created a set of posters that can get put up before and after our time together to keep the message fresh in student and staff minds.
More than a Movement, It's a Lifestyle
The Choose love movement
My goal has never been to inspire people for just a day. I was ASB President in high school, Class President in college, and have served as a Counselor for 10 years at a leadership camp that I attended as a delegate. My goal is to inspire a lifestyle - one rooted in character, compassion, and a consistent desire to choose to love people around us (even when that choice is scary, inconvenient, or hard). Young people WANT to be a part of positive things that are bigger than themselves - I want to help create those opportunities.
What People Are Saying About My Visits
Where I've Been Recently?
Thank you for considering the possibility of having me at your campus or event. Please contact me if you have any questions. I want to help make amazing things happen at your school!