One Canadian musician brought his message of inspiration to Deer Meadow School on Feb. 15, challenging students to find out what talents and abilities they have.
Robb Nash, former lead singer of Alive on Arrival, told the students of how as a 17-year-old high school student, he was a passenger in a car that was hit by a semi-truck while driving on an icy Manitoba road. He was believed to be dead by paramedics, but regained a pulse on the way to the hospital.
Nash told students that the head trauma he suffered as a result of the crash meant that he didn't remember the crash or anything after it for several months. He told students that he realized he had a great opportunity through his music to tell his story. Currently, Nash is recording his fifth album and it is the first he's written about the crash. The song is called ìOne last Breath.î
Nash told the students that each one of them has a destiny.
ìThere's a lot of distractions that will take you out,î he said.
Nash talked about people that have seen his show that have been addicted to drugs. The talk also showed videos of people talking about their addictions and how they are missing out on their destiny.
ìEach one of you has something in you. Find out what that is. You have gifts and abilities. Figuring out what that is, is amazing,î Nash told the students.
Devin Mercer, a Grade 7 student, said he thought the presentation was an inspirational one that will lead to many great things.
ìI got that I'm not the only one out there that feels out of place in the world. I learned that I can Ö do anything,î he said.
Meanwhile, Geertje Vandenbroek, a Grade 8 student, said she was extremely moved by the presentation.
ìI really like being involved in things so just to see how people interact like that and show people something new about themselves,î she said.
Following the presentation, Nash said while he had always been around music growing up, the crash helped him realize that the passion he had should be turned into something more than a hobby.
ìI just figured I'd pursue it and chase after that dream,î he said.
Nash said the inclusion of people's stories of addiction in the presentation came about as a result of visiting many high schools and realizing how many students were struggling with similar issues.
ìAs we started going to high schools Ö we saw so many consistently, every school that we were at dealing with their addictions, missing out on their destinies, getting in so much trouble, having so much regret that it just became a real passion for us to talk about that issue. One thing that was consistent with all of them was that they never saw it as (something) that was going to take over their life. It started off so innocent until all of a sudden they found themselves in psych wards, they found themselves Ö completely controlled by drugs and missing out on their lives,î he said.
Nash said his main objective with the tour is to tell his story, hopefully helping students avoid the trauma that he went through.
In the last 23 months, Nash has toured across the country telling his story to over 750,000 students.
The presentation was a part of the 12-week Heroes program at the school that Grade 7 and 8 students go through. The program encourages character-building, confidence and integrity. Grade 7 students will finish the program later this spring.