The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Welcome Back Assembly evokes mixed feelings

Izzy Mitchell
Jeff Yalden addresses students during the assembly. “I think sometimes we don’t hear what we need to do know, but sometimes it comes back to us. This didn’t resonate with everybody, it didn’t benefit everybody, but maybe later in life people will remember about taking time to think or something else I said,” said Yalden.

“Who is the hardest person to get to know? Don’t say anything, just think about it,” said Jeff Yalden, the speaker at the 2017 Welcome Back Assembly.

Yalden describes himself as a youth advocate, mental health advocate, and youth motivational speaker.

“I am passionate about working with this age group because this age group is where I made all of my mistakes,” said Yalden.

As student’s filled the bleachers in the Stogner Gym, many were unsure what to expect, knowing only that the assembly was a motivational speaker. Once the assembly started, students were greeted by the lively, animated, and full-of-life Yalden. The Welcome Back Assembly is organized by ASB each year, aiming to provide students with a springboard to start the year off right.

“I think when I share my story, when you are transparent and authentic, they listen more. My story is about mental illness. Regardless of mental illness, many of our kids suffer from anxiety and stress. If I can be open and honest with them and encourage them on their journey, that’s really what I want to do. Being open and honest resonates more with them. People say, ‘he gets it,’” said Yalden.

The talk that Yalden gave was much different from last year’s Welcome Back Assembly, featuring Houston Kraft, who focused on spreading kindness. Yalden focused on many different topics, hoping that at least one of his points hit at least one person in the room. Topics ranged from suicide to the importance of knowing what your dreams are and having a plan on how to achieve them. Yalden’s diverse perspectives partially stem from being a former United States Marine who suffers from depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD.

Many students felt inspired by what Yalden had to say and hope to use some of his lessons in life.

“I thought it was pretty good because he made a lot of good points. There are a lot of good things that you can apply to your life,” said Victor Navarro, a junior.


However, some students felt uninspired and unmotivated after this year’s Welcome Back Assembly.

Yalden aimed to motivate students to be proactive with their goals and hopes and how they treat others. He told many stories, passionately speaking about each topic and often pausing to wipe the sweat off of his face.

His intense style of speaking was too much for some students, leaving some feeling sad and disappointed, as well as not having been able to relate. Additionally, Yalden’s loud tone rung throughout the gym, making it almost impossible for any bored student to fall asleep.

“I don’t feel motivated by it. It was kind of a waste of time. It could have been motivating for some people, but I was not inspired by it,” said Alexa Gomez, a junior.

Despite this, Yalden’s intense style of speaking really hit the nail on the head for some, leaving lasting impressions.

“I think the most important takeaway was to have a purpose in life. For a lot of people, all they want to do is go to the right job and get a certain amount of money, but they don’t have any purpose in their life,” said Navarro.

About the Contributor
Nina Heller
Nina Heller, Staff Writer
Nina Heller is a senior, and this is her third year on staff for Scot Scoop. She enjoys politics, spending time with her friends, and podcasts, as well as writing for Scotlight and The Highlander. Nina hopes to study journalism in college. Twitter: @ninahellerr Portfolio:

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Welcome Back Assembly evokes mixed feelings