COUDERSPORT — Jeremy Anderson, a motivational speaker, spoke to area students on Monday, Nov. 4 at the consistory in Coudersport. Anderson spoke to students from local schools about his life and his struggles with drugs, alcohol, an ADHD diagnosis, failures in school and growing up without a father figure.

Anderson attended three different schools throughout his high school career because he kept failing the ninth grade. At his first school, he would pull pranks. His biggest prank was shutting down the electricity. Although he was not the only one involved, the student body only chanted his name throughout the halls. He was then kicked out of school.

At his second school, Anderson got a report card stating he failed all but one class. He used white out and changed what was once all Fs with one C to all As and two Bs. Anderson’s mother believed in her son, so when she saw the fake news she couldn’t help but be proud of her son. His mother embraced him and congratulated him on his accomplishment.

Anderson wound up failing that grade. His mother called the school and tried to convince them they had made a mistake of failing her son. Anderson came clean to his mother and confessed what he had done. That is when he moved to his third and final school in his high school career. At the third school, he built up a wall.

The teachers at his final school told him they were there for him. He took his teachers’ words to heart. He began to take night and summer courses so he could catch up with his grade. When he finally graduated, his mother cried.

“I may have you crying for the rest of your life,” he told his mother on graduation day. He told his mother this because he wanted to continue to make her proud.

After graduating high school, he went on to obtain his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. He has since published seven books and is a successful owner of two companies.

Anderson now speaks and encourages youths, but he also believes that teachers are the real heroes. He sees the importance of mental health, stating that he still visits with a counselor. Above all, Anderson encourages youths to try their best in academics noting, “You don’t get what you deserve; you get what you work for.”