“My personal mission is to seek out, notice and give a voice to the beauty, strength and potential that is often less obvious… YouthSpeak was inspired by lived experience within my own family. My son, Gavin was one of our first youth speakers sharing his story during our inaugural year; until he died on his 19th birthday in a weather-related car accident – July 18th, 2004. Gavin will forever be known, loved and respected for his gift of encouraging others to be themselves. Ten years and two months later my eldest son, Kyle took his own life. He struggled with bipolar disorder for many years. Giving value and meaning to the challenges we go through is a founding principal behind this work – it brings to light the strengths that are often unseen and empowers people to create a new path.