Dee Hankins Motivates CHHS Students


Photo courtesy of ASB

Dee Hankins in front of Stronger Together banner during Kindness Week

Isabella Kendrena, Staff Writer

On January 10, Chino Hills High School had the honor of inviting motivational speaker, Dee Hankins, to our campus. His powerful talk allowed students to recognize the importance of empathy, and realize that we are capable of overcoming the challenges that life has to offer. In his clever analogy, “Life throws curveballs, but even curveballs can be hit for home runs,” Hankins emphasized how we can still make the most out of hopeless situations.

He spoke to the students from his personal experience, to exemplify his message of resilience. As a child, Hankins grew up in an unconventional foster care system and often moved from family to family during his childhood. He had difficulty coping with the abandonment he felt from his parents and from the foster families that would give him up after a time of living with them as a family, so moving from family to family resulted in self-doubt and anger.

As a result of his anger and being placed in a new school yet again he would act out and cause trouble, but an act of kindness from his elementary school principal is what changed his life. His principal showed how much she cared about him by telling him that he had the potential to fulfill his dreams, despite his mischievous actions. This is when Hankins decided to address the theme of his speech tour: resilience. He assured his audience that resilience, or as he defined it as “the ability to bounce back” is something that we all possess. His story proves and shows the power of resilience, and it was a gratifying experience to be able to hear his message. His talk helped students at CHHS to look at life from a different perspective, and to be reminded that we here at CHHS are truly stronger together.