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                                                       NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER SCHOOL NO. 23

                                              501 Union Avenue, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208 




March 31, 2014


Pro Athletes, Inc.
Duane West, National On-Air TV Personality

Bobby Jackson, New York Jets Hall of Fame


Dear Mr. Jackson,


It is with great pleasure that I share my feedback with you regarding the presentation given by Mr. Duane “D” West on March 25, 2014.  On a Friday morning, in a gymnasium filled with teachers and students in grade 5-8, Mr. West commanded the attention of all for over an hour with his engaging, inspiring and thought-provoking message of hope.  This was notably accomplished without the assistance of a microphone, as he preferred to be able to move around and just ‘speak from his heart’.


Throughout my years as a school principal who regularly invites speakers in to address our students, Mr. West by far has been one of the most energetic and passionate speakers that I have witnessed within a school.  Not only did he challenge our students to believe that anything is possible, “D. West” challenged every adult to be that source of hope and support each day.  His personal story of perseverance in the midst of seemingly impossible circumstances connected with my students’ emotions as evident by their conversations after the assembly both with Mr.  West as well as faculty and peers.


Like others have said, their connection with Mr. West, prompted students to surround him after the assembly for pictures, autographs or simply just to talk.  As I stood close by, my heart was warmed as I watched him speak a word of life to each child as if that child was the only one in the room.  This experience was not limited to our students as Mr. West also took the time to impart words of encouragement to the faculty, especially school administration and as promised sent a packet to our school with autographed photos for our entire student body.  His ability to make every person feel uniquely special is without a doubt a gift that needs to be shared for years to come.


Without reservation, I would recommend Mr. Duane “D” West to any school team that is seeking a motivational speaker to spread the message of HOPE.  I know that your school will never be the same.




Berthenia Harmon Carolina


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