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Student Testimonials

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

Im sure you’re a busy man so I’ll try not to take up too much of your time with this email! My name is Mario Cespedes and I attended the NSLC at University of Maryland at College Park back in 2008(?) when I was a rising senior in high school, I think. I’ve occasionally thought back on those few days I spent there through photos and Facebook because of the friends I made there. I still message a couple of them on Facebook even though it has been about 6 years since we’ve spoken. But besides the friendships and activities that we did, I’ve always had this elusive image of the motivational speaker that I looked up to when I was there.

I specifically remember spending time with him on two occasions, once in a window-less room where we all sat and discussed having a sense of “urgency” – the same room that we later used as a runway to show off our individual personalities and dance moves. The second was on our community service trip when I told myself “i need to speak to this guy”. From what I could remember, everyone wanted to talk to him, but I was saving up a question. Unfortunately I don’t remember what the question was but I just remember thinking how much I valued his opinion and your wisdom. What caught me by surprise though was how, to this day, I remembered his name: Robert Pruitt.

Its strange how little interactions can go such a long way, it really baffles me, but certain people just make a dent in your life, you know? And so my email comes from my seeking out Robert Pruitt, the man I remember to be such a motivational guy. You know, I actually remember thinking, man, I wish I could do what he does. And if my memory serves me right, I think I wanted to be a motivational speaker too after that. But that isn’t necessarily a major in college…

(Sorry if this email is longer than your average email) So long story short, I’ve graduated from college and have started my first job… and guess what, my job is essentially to be a motivational speaker!…uh..what?..really?!

Im not actually a motivational speaker, I will be an educator, but because of the type of program I am part of, there is a large portion of my job that will involved motivating people. You see, I am working for a labor union and my job is to be somewhat of a “union organizer” except with people who are already in the union. I kinda got a one of kind job for a college grad, for which I am very grateful (most ppl interested in unions at my age can only really go into union organizing). I have this political education program that I have to teach to the members and its becoming clear to me that the success of this all will hinge on my ability to successfully engage the members with these issues and get them to feel a sense of “urgency”. To understand the real implications of political unfoldings in the state and local level… Building a political consciousness..this is really the hardest challenge of my life. Not to mention I’ll be working with people way older than me who probably dont wana hear a word from some Latino kid.

Honestly, I don’t know what kind of response I am looking for from you. I really just wanted to contact you to let you know that you’ve left a real impression on me and that you are inspirational. I hope to one day be able to channel the energy and passion that you put into your speaking into my speaking/teaching. I know that I have an element of that in me because of 1-on-1 interactions I’ve had with everyday acquaintances. Ive been told that I have inspired others and I find it very important to support other people with their issues. Really, our support comes from the people closest to us… Hmm, now im just rambling hahaha.

In closing, I would just want to say thank you for doing the work that you do. You are an impactful individual, a true person who leads. Not merely a “leader”, but someone who leads. I found a couple of videos of you on youtube today and it is clear to me that you speak from your heart. You are honest and uninhibited. You aren’t afraid to express things about love and relationships (not just the sexual kind) that people think are corny, but actually really care about. So, keep up the good work and I hope to hear from you at some point. Take care!

Mario Cespedes

Mr. P, I can’t tell you how much you inspired me during my 10 day NSLC experience. You taught me to find myself and open up to others, something that was so hard for me to do before. Thank you for everything you do.

-Alex Costa

Mr. P, you have no idea how inspiring your words are to me. In fact, it has motivated me to become a better person and I have never been more ready to step out into the world as a new person. Thank you so much for everything and God bless you as you continue to make the world a better place!

-Vivian Pham

More student testimonials...

Hi Robert,

I’m from Bergen county New Jersey and I met you in Ireland at the OpSmile Student Leadership Conference. I just wanted to write to say thank you sooooo much for your inspiring words! I thought I knew what taking action meant, but after one of your workshops where everyone was called to drop money in the middle of the stage for our friend Jude to go to Africa, action took on a new meaning. I don’t think that anyone in that room had any idea how much of an impact we could have on another person in
such a short amount of time.

Operation Smile means a lot to me because my baby brother was born with a cleft lip and palette. I have always had an extreme outpouring of respect for everything Opsmile does but I never actually imagined myself getting involved with medical missions. I thought “I’m just a young student from a stereo-typical private school in northern NJ, how useful could I be!?” But then I remembered your speeches at the University of Limerick when you discussed opportunity and stepping up to the plate. Last night I received my letter from Operation Smile accepting me into the Winter Mission Training program and if it is meant to be, I will be a student volunteer on a medical mission between February and September 2008. I cannot help but to credit this, along with a few different positive things happening in my life to you. So thank you again, and keep doing what your doing because people are listening. Have a great holiday season!

Best Wishes to you and your family,
-Grace Cunning

Mr. P-

Thank you so much for speaking to the Peer Leaders today! I have to tell you, you challenged me so much today, and it really helped. I always used to fight with my parents over silly things, but after hearing you talk about being the “master of your own life” and looking at types of conflict and how to fix them, I realized that I was wasting so much of my energy fighting with my parents, especially since I usually ended up doing what they had asked me in the first place. I came home today and I have not fought with my parents yet, and I plan to keep it that way as long as I can. Thank you so much!


Mr.Pruitt was phenomenal, and every other leader felt the same way. So thank you to yourself, Kyle, Mrs. W, and Ms. Loftus for putting this day together; I only wish that everyone at the school could have been there, too.

Thank you again,

I just wanted to say that this was the most inspiring thing i have ever witnessed. Even though I am a peer leader, I have insecurities that take over me at times. Today taught me so much about myself and about the people around me and I can honestly say now that I don’t care what others think of me because as long as I know inside of me who I am, then I’m golden. I feel like I have a stronger connection with everyone in that room today because of the experience we shared. I just wanted to thank you so much for making this happen.

-Mike Thomas

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

I’m emailing you because I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming. The impact you had on myself and all of the other leaders was amazing; kids are still talking about your visit and i’m sure will be for the next week or so. Everyone had nothing but great things to say, and I wanted to give you my appreciation for that. It honestly has changed me, saying this by only being there for half the day. I would have loved to see what would have happened if I was there the rest of the day.
Once again, I just wanted to say thank you, and I’m hoping you will come back again soon. It was an amazing experience; I only wish more kids could have experienced it, too.

Thank you,

Adult Testimonials

Good Morning Robert:

Thank you!!! Words can not explain the experience I had in participating in your session. It was more than just inspirational and motivational to me. It was an awesome move of God in that place. I sat in AWE…..just wondering if everyone else could see and feel what was taking place. I just thank God, that I was able to be a part of that. That alone was a gift. Once again, I just thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Many blessings to you and the work you do, in continuing to touch the lives of those that may need a new sense of hope.

Thank You and take care!”
J. M. Roman, Program Caseworker
PathStone Corporation


We can’t thank you enough for the terrific experience we had yesterday at the peer leadership workshop. As we stated before, one always hopes the day will evolve with the peer leaders walking away with an awareness of what real leadership can truly look like. You provided these students with that opportunity and the chance to really make a difference in their life as well as the lives of others. What more can we ask for.

Janice, Betsy and Stephanie
Peer Leadership Coordinators

More adult testimonials...

Good Afternoon Robert!

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for the amazing workshops you provided last week at PA Partners in Hershey, PA. When I was choosing which workshops to attend, the Distinctions of Leadership jumped off the page at me and I now know why…I was destined to be there. I experienced several “light bulb” moments throughout your workshop and I thank you for being my light switch that day. Your Distinctions of Leadership and the Four As of Leadership workshops were truly the most beneficial professional development workshops I have ever attended.

I believe that if you are open to it, God puts you where you need to be. I know now that God intended for me to attend your workshops because without them I would not have experience my life changing “light bulb” moments. One of those “light bulb” moments was that I realized I have never truly defined my personal vision. I believe I have one, but I need to put it into words; thus, if possible, could please help me do so?

Thank you again for your amazing workshops and may God Bless you.

K. Sprought, CWDP
Industry Liaison/Career Coach
PA CareerLink Union/Snyder Counties
Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc. (CSO)

I just wanted to say thank you so much for visiting Pacsack valley high on Thursday. Among of the group that were there I know that you have touched many of them & I would like to say that my son was one of them & his name is Rolando Lantigua. I would like to say thank you so much becasue you have opened him up in a way that I am impress. But I would also like to speak to you about my other children & if we could meet sometime regards to them. Thank you once again.

Kisha Lantigua

Mr. Pruitt-

My sincere apologies for not writing to you sooner. I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for you have had such a positive influence on my son’s life. He was a changed person when he first met you last summer at the University of Maryland and again in February in New Orleans. Your motivational messages and leadership has inspired my son to try and get his school involved in ongoing work in New Orleans with the national relief program.
I wish you all the best.

Janet Bowen
Mother of Nick Bowen


I knew you would appreciate this and I wanted to let you know that sharing the gift still resonates with me. I have been talking to my father about sharing his gift because he is getting older and thinks he has nothing to offer. He recently got involved in an online help group and is sharing his gift of repair advice. He has experienced an 88 % approval rating and is very happy. Realizing he has something to offer has brought him out of depression and away from alcohol. The SYF training works and I continue to share the message. Keep sharing your gift and know that by doing so you have empowered me and many others to share ours. Thanks again for the invitation to share in helping to assist the Hernandez family.

Washington DC Metro Police

– Speaker was very informative!

– This has been an eye-opener. I’ve been made to venture inside a part of me I have kept hidden for so long. This is the beginning of a whole new love for me and it wouldn’t have happened at a better time. Mr. Pruitt was excellent!

– The Speaker was Awesome! I am going to take the info and share it!

– Excellent Speaker – Jam-packed with useful information for leap-frogging one’s personal development journey. Would love to hear him again!

– He was cool, very charismatic and friendly. He was very personable and I love that he openly welcomes extra counseling after the event.

“Robert is excellent. I received information pertaining to my personality that I never could have imagined. I really got a reality check! Please book Robert again and again! He’s and excellent motivational speaker!”

D. Owens — Dallas, Texas Department of Police

“The session was broken down so well and I can apply this information to my situation as work. It’s hard to improve on perfection!”

S. Cottle — Toronto, Canada Department of Police

“The instructor is very knowledgeable — had great solutions!”

D. Bouldin — Seattle, Washington Department of Police

“The Outside the Box session was excellent — no room for improvement!”

P. Robinson — Reno, Nevada Department of Police

“Robert was very clear and effective. He fostered great communication between new and old officers. Don’t change a thing!”

M. Julien — Miami, Florida Department of Police

“Robert is an excellent diversity class instructor. He commands respect, knows what he is talking about and is very positive. He keeps it interesting!”

Captain, Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Police

“Robert’s diversity class helped me to check my attitudes and perceptions when dealing with other people — the class provided me with new skills!”

L. Blankman, PO3 — Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Police

“I discovered that my way of thinking is not always correct & I do need to listen & understand more about where people are coming from. I really enjoyed hearing other peoples views and ideas regarding diversity. Robert was excellent!”

R. Young, PSA — Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Police

“Robert helped me construct a vision statement that makes being of service to people some much easier!”

S. Dawson — CARECO, Inc

“Robert was great! His humor and knowledge were incredible! Please bring him back next month!”

R. Sutton — CARECO, Inc.

“Robert’s workshop for men was outstanding! He was well organized and provided insight into the human experience that made sense.”

J. Shird — Head Start Program

“I loved Robert’s ideas for improving relationships between men of color and women and men and their families. Bring him back for next years conference!”

A. Jones — Significant Male Task Force