Speaker :: Testimonials

Tim Shriver
Chairman Special Olympics

“Brad gets up, and all of a sudden you could just sort of feel the energy in the room dialed up about 50 amps,” Shriver said. “I looked up at one point, and half the kids were crying, and the next minute they were rolling on the floor laughing. Eyes were wide open.

He was describing his life. It was humiliating. I pretty much bombed, and this guy is hitting a grand slam in the World Series. He gets this standing ovation, and the place is going nuts.”

Ivan Vance
Region 10 Education Center, Dallas, Texas

“His evaluations were outstanding and the first time in my memory that all participants gave a presenter the highest rating possible.”


George Hynd
Dean of the College of Education
Purdue University

“Fantastic! Brad’s presentation was inspirational and educational for all!”

Nick Collicelli, Advisor to the Hamden High School Human Relations Club
Hamden, CT

“Brad Cohen was the keynote presenter at the Hamden High School Human Relations Club 15th Annual Prejudice Reduction Conference held at Quinnipiac University on May 23, 2006. He delivered an inspirational and poignant message which wowed the group of approximately 1100 high school students from around the state of Connecticut. You could hear a pin drop as Brad cast a spell over the enthusiastic crowd. Brad is an engaging person who is down to earth and has a tremendous appeal to individuals.”

John Alfieri, Superintendent
Vernon Township School District

“Brad is the most powerful speaker I have ever encountered in my entire educational career. In my opinion, he is the greatest, most authentic motivator of educators, reminding us all of the power we already have in us, and the good we already do; we just need to remember to use those gifts. Brad is the talk of the town, the impact was awesome. When the history of the Vernon Township School District is written down, that day, the day we all learned through the life of Brad Cohen, needs to be added.”

Dr. Pat Chrosniak, Associate Professor
Bradley University, Peoria, IL

“Brad’s Alma Mater, Bradley University, was privileged to welcome him home as part of the celebration of 100 Years of Teacher Education in April 2006. He honored us with a brilliant presentation and the room was packed to the rafters. Those who had seats were poised at the edge of them for most of the lecture, wide-eyed and hanging on every word Brad had to share. Administrators, faculty, and members of the student body provided a welcome that was reciprocally palpable. Remembrance of Brad’s presence will live in our hearts and minds—for another 100 years!”

William Schofield
Superintendent Hall County Schools

“Brad Cohen was a great inspiration for our teachers. His message of compassion, care, and value for the individual child reminded our new teachers what is truly important. The fact that he “has been there” makes him believable.”

Janice Richardson, Director, Elon Teaching Fellows Program
Elon University

“Brad Cohen was chosen by the North Carolina Teaching Fellows at Elon University to be the keynote speaker at their annual community event on March 27, 2006. His message about living with Tourettes Syndrome and holding on to his dream of becoming a teacher despite facing hardships along the way was truly inspiring to all of us!

His knowledge, sincerity, genuine concern for others, passion for learning, positive attitude, and humor kept everyone in the audience (teachers, prospective teachers, Elon faculty, students, and the general public) engaged. In the words of one of the future teachers, “Brad Cohen probably helped me the most this semester in teaching me to know myself and know others around me.” Every teacher should read his book and hear his message. He truly reminds us to make sure that all students have the opportunity to be at the front of the class!”

Gary Chesley, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Bethel Public Schools

“You quickly grabbed everyone’s attention, laid out a riveting story, and had an important message. This was a great way to start our year and a super introduction to my comments that followed. So many of my colleagues commented that your message created genuine soul-seeking, pride in what they have accomplished, and a renewed commitment to each child they work with.”

Bonita Hampton
Florida Department of Education

“Thanks again for sharing at our event in Orlando. The teachers really loved having you as our luncheon keynote. Your personal stories of struggles and triumphs inspired the audience and brought many to tears. You are a passionate educator, who truly believes in the power of a teacher. We were blessed to have you in our midst!”

Bob Hagan
President of Roswell Rotary Club

“Brad Cohen mesmerized the Roswell Rotary Club with his presentation that encouraged and inspired us to overcome the difficulties and challenges that we all face in life. His personal story, his honesty and enthusiasm is incredible. We want him to come back and speak to us, again.”

Randy Thomas
President of Educational Systems Products, Inc.

“Brad Cohen, author of Front of the Class is First Class! He was the Keynote speaker at our annual meeting and did a wonderful job. Brad’s ability to engage an audience is a gift. His life story of “overcoming” is inspirational and the perfect start to our conference. And to top it off, he is a genuinely really nice guy. The spontaneous “buzz word” for our three day conference after hearing Brad was “Cheers!”

Brian Mitchell
Assistant Camp Director at Crane Lake Camp

“We brought Brad in to speak to our summer staff not only because of his truly amazing story, but also we felt his message really could motivate our counselors to go above and beyond what was expected of them as a care taker for our campers. His speaking style really engaged the audience, to the point that people were talking about his seminar all summer long. Because of Brad’s presence during our staff orientation, I believe that our staff not only benefitted greatly from what he had to say making them better counselors for the summer, but I am positive they will take his message with them for the rest of their lives, making them better people in the future.”

Judy Owens
Belton ISD, Texas

“Belton ISD was glad to host Brad Cohen for their Back-to-School Employee Convocation event in August. Brad captured everyone with his inspiring presentation about overcoming adversity to succeed in life. Here are some of the comments we received: “I was amazed with Brad Cohen! Awesome speaker and teacher!” The speaker was wonderful….,..I don’t know where you guys found this speaker, but he said the right things that made me ready to teach.”

Rebecca H. Bitsko, Ph.D.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta

“It was a great opportunity to educate both the public and CDC staff about Tourette Syndrome. The movie and your talk were so inspiring, and many of those attending commented how wonderful it was to have you there in person.”

Don Nixon
The Centre for Performing and Visual Arts

“To witness the story of Brad Cohen is life changing. He is authentic in sharing the truth of a journey. A narrative that creates an experience that can not be easily ignored nor quickly forgotten. Brad’s passion to manifest goodness from his own painful existence compels an audience and encourages new vision for the future. His honesty motivates tears and laughter, shame and grace. He embodies a message of hope for those struggling with the dream of being at the front of the class. The book is compelling but nothing compares to the series of events delivered from the heart of Brad. His is the epitome of inspiration. A warning should accompany all tickets- Be prepared for the change you are about to experience. We are different people because we know his story, his life, and share his friendship.”

Happy Carrico
Principal E.P. Rayzor Elementary in Texas

“This year we had Brad Cohen come to Denton I.S.D. and speak to our elementary teachers. This event was sponsored by the Lantana Foundation. We only told the teachers that they would be watching the movie In Front of the Class. During the movie there was a lot of laughter and tears. The movie really touched their hearts. Then when the movie was over, we announced Brad to the audience. The response was explosive. Teachers were on their feet cheering and crying. After Brad’s speech, I had multiple teachers telling me in person, through e-mail, voice mail and hand written notes that Brad was the best professional development they had ever attended and thanked me for organizing the event because it made a huge impact on their professional career. As a result, many teachers purchased the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie to share with their students and loved ones. Thank you Hallmark for making such an important movie and thank you Brad for sharing your story.”

Eric Bishop
Teen Director of JCC of Houston

“Brad was our keynote speaker at an event for 350 high school teenagers for a project on working with children with various special needs. In all my years working with teens, I have never seen a teen sit quietly through any speaker. Brad kept them enthralled and focused for 45 minutes. You could hear a pindrop during the speech. I highly recommend Brad for speaking with teenagers. He is an incredible motivator. His words will move you.”

Melissa Rains
Coordinator of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program

“Brad has spoken at our Teaching Fellows Conference for the past two years. Brad’s energy and ability to connect with his audience makes him a truly great speaker. His story touches the heart of all that hear it and the lessons they take away from it will help them as future educators. He is a must have on our schedule as indicated from some of the student surveys below: “Brad Cohen was amazing. His speech was inspiring and allowed me to look at my classroom differently.” “Brad Cohen was amazing and very energetic. He made me excited about teaching all over again!” “Brad Cohen was AMAZING! He is thought provoking and inspiring and more than anything a great demonstration about the passion great teachers have.”

Kirsten Hund
Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association

“Brad inspired Texas principals to be the ONE to make a difference in their students’ lives. His compelling story provided the message of compassion and acceptance. It was my pleasure to work with Brad in planning all the details for the meeting and I would highly recommend him to other educator groups. One attendee wrote: “Brad was the cherry on top of a perfect TEPSA conference sundae.”

Liz Gibbons
Director of CHARACTERplus

“Brad Cohen was a keynote speaker at the Characterplus 16th Annual Character Education Conference. He was outstanding. So motivational for the educators attending, helping everyone to rethink why they are in education and what they can do to help every student have a better sense of belonging. Throughout the conference I heard attendees commenting about how good Brad was and they only wished everyone within their school could hear him.”

Kim K. Metcalf, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Education University of West Georgia

“Your story and the energy with which you deliver it is undoubtedly the most powerful, motivating, and inspiring presentation we’ve had. Your sense of humor is contagious, your courage empowering, and the passion with which you talk of the power of caring teachers were absolutely perfect for an audience of educators and future educators who daily influence lives.”

Mike Bryans
Director of Georgia SACS CASI – AdvancED

“What an awesome message! Brad was the featured keynote speaker for the Georgia SACS CASI Conference and captivated the entire audience. His story is one of inspiration and one that resonates with our personal and professional experiences in working with young people. His message about having a positive attitude, enduring difficulties through perseverance, and demonstrating passion inspires educators to embrace these qualities with zeal. In doing so, we do make a difference!”

Nancy Young
Chairperson of the Madison Civics Club

“It was a year ago that I knew we had to have Brad Cohen speak at our Civics Club. When he gave his presentation to our group of nearly 500 community members, Brad had everyone glued to their chairs listening to his every word – we were transfixed by his energy, his passion, and his amazing story. We were privileged to listen to this fine teacher, to learn from him, and to think about ways to better the world of education for all of our children, most especially our children with disabilities.”

Celeste Strohl
President of Georgia Compensatory Educational Leaders (GCEL)

“Brad was an outstanding keynote speaker for our organization, Georgia Compensatory Educational Leaders (GCEL). His presentation was both entertaining and thought-provoking, and his accomplishments and positive attitude despite having Tourette’s Syndrome are very inspiring. The story of his rise to leadership positions, where he continues to challenge and motivate educators to meet the needs of all students, is amazing. Brad truly is a remarkable young man.”


Testimonials
"Brad Cohen is a walking billboard for the idea of living positively. He is like a cold drink on a hot day--refreshing, energizing, and likely to put a smile on your face."
Tim Shriver - Chairman of Special Olympics

"I have observed the magic of Brad Cohen in the classroom. He has turned Tourette Syndrome into an asset, and his life into inspiration."
Senator Johnny Isakson, Georgia

"Brad Cohen's story is a triumph of hope, determination, will and relentless good humor."
Peter J. Hollenbeck, Ph.D., Professor and
Associate Head of Biological Sciences,
Purdue University


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