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Michael Varner  

African American Youth Speaker - Honors Graduate, Howard University

Michael's life has been chucked full of successes and struggles that he loves to share. Michael has always been a self-starter and a go-getter, acquiring his first job as an 8 year old paper carrier (when he called by himself at age 7 to ask for a job, he was told the minimum age was 8). As a black belt in Isshinryu karate by age 12, Michael began leading his peers early in life through instructing them in the martial arts. After graduating magna cum from Howard University, visiting China and Israel, and commanding an ROTC drill team, Michael became a teacher at an urban charter school in Northeast Washington DC, and then moved on to become a consultant for a blue-chip strategy firm. But Michael's life hasn't been that easy. Michael struggled through middle and high school, rebelling against authority and challenging the status quo, struggled through ROTC Field Training in college, and struggled again with unemployment TWICE after graduating from college.

Michael shares his trials, tribulations, and successes in a collection of empowering presentations:

Imma P.E.M.P! Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone, Facing Your Fears, and Sticking With It Featured in Video). Michael inspires his youth audience to be PEMPs (People Engaged in Making Plans), shares insight about the life of Albert Einstein, and admits his own fears in this humorous, engaging, and thought-provoking talk.

Its A Jungle Out There: Facing Failure and the Challenges of Perception and How to Succeed in Spite of it All Like everyone in life, Michael has made his fair share of mistakes, and they're not your typical I didn't study enough, or I should have went to bed earlier kind of mistakes either. In this presentation, Michael shares some life stories of his unique failures and successes in his life from his experience attending a private Catholic high school to ROTC Field Training to unemployment after graduation. He shares facts about other notable figures like John F Kennedy, Will Smith, and Donald Trump to convey the necessity of taking risks, the inevitability of failure, and the path to success.

Scientia Potentia Est (English: Knowledge is Power): The Way to Learn, Grow, and Succeed How can I be more engaged in learning? How can I grow as a person? How do I discover my passion? How do I set and accomplish my goals? Michael answers these questions and more in this presentation designed to leave students feeling inspired and empowered to create and pursue their dreams. Listen as Michael talks about thinking versus doing, seeking challenges in life, and taking greater responsibility for personal actions.

Youth and Business: An Introduction to Entrepreneurship and the World of Work Who says today's generation cant learn the value of a dollar? In this presentation, Michael talks about the idea of wealth and the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs as well as shares captivating stories of notable business figures, past and present. Michael also shares some of his own stories and advice about getting a job, the working world, and dealing debt after graduation.

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