Written Reviews

It is rare that I have so many participants talk with me after a keynote presentation to tell me how wonderful the speaker was; how encouraged they were with the message; and “where did you ever find him?”!  We asked you to kick off our day with an encouraging, heartfelt message that would challenge our participants, and you did just that. From your amazing “beat-box” performance, to the personal stories that you shared, to the closing roller coaster experience, you kept the audience’s attention throughout your presentation. Perhaps the best testimony of the power of your message came from our team of high school students who are planning a conference for next summer. When we were discussing keynote speaker options later on Saturday evening, your name came up VERY early in the discussion! You obviously made a very positive impact.”

-Steve McKinley, 4-H Extension Specialist

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“I have seen and reviewed literally hundreds of speakers…Yahya exceeded ALL expectations. His presentation was fun, fast- paced, relevant, had a good message and most importantly, made an impact on our middle and high-school age attendees. Yahya also didn’t leave immediately after his keynote, but stayed throughout the conference, getting to know the attendees personally. The surveys rated him ‘excellent’ and that he was one of their favorite speakers for the conference.”

-Laura Segura, Founding Director of the National Teen Leadership Program

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“Yahya was the opening keynote speaker for our 2013 conference of 500 middle and high school students, and he was incredible! As the Executive Director…I was most impressed by his focus on our conference and his care and concern for each individual student. Having worked with numerous professional speakers, I know that not every speaker is willing to stay the whole weekend of the conference and simply BE with the students. Even though Yahya spoke on Friday night, he stayed through Sunday giving workshops and hanging out with our kids. Every time I saw him, he was smiling and laughing with students. Yahya Bakkar is not only a wonderful keynote speaker, but also a wonderful person. I feel honored to have met him and would highly recommend him as an inspirational and motivational speaker.

-Laura Droms, GASC Executive Director

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“I first saw Yahya when I was attending the National Association of Student Councils annual conference. He stood out to me as a dynamic speaker, who was able to connect with both students and advisors alike.Through these organizations I have been able to see many motivational presenters, and all though many of them have great messages, it is hard to find a presenter who can relate to both the adults and the students in the room, and who have an individualized and lasting message. Yahya Bakkar has demonstrated this ability through his presentation as a keynote and as a workshop presenter. He has a great message that translates to each individual. He is a true individual who has a touching story. He is able to complement his presentation with the meaning of the conference and is able to get the message across. I am grateful for having chosen him for my 2013 FBLA State Leadership Conference. Again, I strongly recommend Yahya for any speaking opportunity. If I can be of further assistance I encourage you to contact me.”

Jacqui Geiselman, State FBLA-PBL Adviser

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“I am responsible for planning and scheduling school-wide assemblies to address various matters pertaining to promoting a positive school climate. I am very pleased to report that Yahya’s assembly exceeded my expectations. Our students’ response to Yahya and his story was overwhelmingly positive; throughout the day following our assembly I heard from students who were genuinely moved by Yahya’s energy, passion, and personal journey. Several students have even requested that I schedule Yahya for a second assembly this year; anyone who has worked with middle school students knows that such enthusiasm for a school-wide assembly is out of the ordinary…I highly recommend this authentic social-emotional learning experience for any school administrator or organization looking to motivate, inspire and empower students to “live and lead by example.” If you require any additional information about Yahya and his program, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

Suzanne B. Straub, Assistant Principal

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“I am the Corporate Board President of New Jersey Hugh O-Brian Youth Leadership (NJ HOBY). Yahya was a big hit with our students. Our students had an extensive educational experience over the three days of our seminar, but when they discussed the weekend, they hearkened back to Yahya’s talk in the first few hours of the weekend. That kind of impact is the best possible scenario when compiling a program for one of our seminars, and it’s not a result that we have been fortunate to see every year. I am confident that any other organization bringing Yahya in to speak to their organization will benefit from an energized audience and a discussion that will last the remainder of the program.”

-Carl G. Archer, Corporate Board President, NJ HOBY

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“From the moment I stepped in the room, I and everyone else were immediately captivated by Yahya. I’ve heard many motivational speakers before and Yahya is by far my favorite! He connects with his audience immediately, and no matter how long he talks no one gets bored…No one wants it to end. He is not only hilariously funny and enthusiastic on stage, but he has an awesome message. It’s clear that he lives out his message on a day to day basis. He’s humble, genuine, unique and really inspiring!! I feel so fortunate to have gotten to hear him speak. If you are trying to find a speaker to hire, Yahya is legitimately amazing! I recommend him in the highest regards!”

– Perrin Duncan, OASC State President 2012

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“You came to Elmwood Park HS today and you were amazing. I am a junior and I was sitting some where near the front with my friends. I loved your performance and you left a huge impact on my life. I have had a very harsh childhood similar to yours and your performance just left my eyes filled with tears. Even now as I’m writing this, my eyes are tearing. You just spoke everything from my mind; I related so much to everything you had to say. My only goal is success and that’s what I’m living to accomplish. Keep doing what you’re doing bro, and good luck, thanks for coming to Elmwood Park, best public speaker we ever had.”

– M.V. –H.S. Student

“During today’s economy, while everyone is struggling with financial difficulties, there is always some kind of funding available in order to promote wellness within our leaders of tomorrow. Bringing Yahya in was one of the greatest investments we’ve ever made for our school. A powerful verbal message can go much further than any tangible thing a student may receive to represent a message.”

– Danielle Leva, SAC, Elmwood Park H.S. & M.S.

“We had Yahya come speak at our conference for 2 days. He was excellent! When Yahya spoke at our conference, the students and the other advisors fell in love with him. I highly encourage you to work with him. He is the real deal and we want him back again!”

-Sue Terrel, Idalia FBLA advisor

“I truly believe in Yahya’s message and his ability to reach our children. As we all know, we work with so many children with a variety of mental health concerns. If one student can be helped by Yahya’s message, the cost is priceless.

–Kelly Sutliff, MA, LPC, NCC, Clifton H.S.

Yahya was a nice twist to the usual traditional everyday speaker. We also got to spend some time to learn how to beatbox. His personality was just a lot of fun to be around and I had such a great time.”

-Jess N., student, FBLA District 3

“He did a great job of engaging the audience, keeping everybody focused and interested in learning what he was talking about.”

-Katie K., student, FBLA District 3

“Dude!!!! You were awesome! Your beat boxing was so catchy and you really have a unique way to send out a message that teens can connect to and will remember.

-Trevor T. student, Stratton H.S.

“I loved your presentation! This year none of my friends went to sleep during the talks!

-Cassandra M., student, Caliche Senior H.S.

“You are pretty awesome. Loved it! Definitely thought the speaker was gonna be boring and I was very wrong! It was amazing!

-Madison R., student, Brush H.S.

“You were amazing! I really believe I learned a lot more yesterday being there, then at school!

– Dylan S., student, FBLA District 4

“The conference was amazing Yahya! And what you said was so funny and inspiring.

-Bailey B, student, FBLA District 4

Yahya has literally changed my life. I am a better brother, son and student because of what he had to say. He is by far the best speaker and most down-to-earth person we had at our conference. I feel like I am a more powerful leader because of his message. I’ll never forget it.”

-Casey K., student, FBLA District 3