Inspirational Spoken Word Poet Visits Virtually

Joseph Green is a motivational speaker, educator, trainer, professional storyteller, award-winning spoken word poet and a person in long-term recovery; he spoke to the CHS student body virtually on Feb. 2.

Joseph Green is a motivational speaker, educator, trainer, professional storyteller, award-winning spoken word poet and a person in long-term recovery; he spoke to the CHS student body virtually on Feb. 2.

Lukas Halbach

CHS had the privilege of welcoming motivational speaker and spoken word poet Mr. Joseph Green into our school via a Google Meet on February 2.

Even though a snowstorm was hitting the city where he was calling from near Washington, D.C., and the power went out just hours before he spoke, Mr. Green still worked through the difficulties to speak to all of the students. He performed one of his poems called “For My Nephew.”

“He spoke in a very empowering way,” sophomore Emily Roehrig said. “He reached out to multiple groups of people using perspective.”

After performing he went through his poem stanza by stanza to help everyone really understand what it was about and what led him to write it. He told the students about all of his trials and tribulations that led him to write the poem.

“To see people overcome such adversity is really inspiring,” junior Alex Breckheimer said. “Promoting mental health is such a big deal nowadays in a time where there is so much pressure on the students to do well in school (and) when there is so much going on in the world around us.”

     Mr. Shawn Rude, the principal, and Mr. Zach Platner, an English teacher, are members of the high school Allies in Mental Health Education team, and this past summer, they had an opportunity to give input on how to spend some mental health grant dollars from the state.

     They agreed that it would be worthwhile to have a speaker come in and deliver a message about resilience given the number and severity of obstacles everyone is facing.

Not only does Mr. Joseph Green speak to schools on his own, but he is also a member of Rise Together. Rise Together is an organization based in Appleton that speaks to students all over the country, promoting mental health awareness and trying to keep students away from substance abuse/addiction.

“After students widely agreed that Joseph Green was the most memorable part of Rise Together’s presentation back in November, he was definitely our first choice for a speaker,” Mr. Platner said. “He’s an award-winning performer and has spoken all around the country, but he made speaking at our school a priority.

“I’m very thankful he could deliver his message to us despite Mother Nature throwing a wrench in the works at the last minute. I felt he was inspirational while being realistic, not trying to sugarcoat the tough times we’re all experiencing.