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Mike Bogdanski    

ANTI Bully Speaker, Martial Arts Master

Mike Bogdanski has a story to tell. At 5'9" and 230 lbs. you might not think that GETTING bullied would be one of Mike's problems. But it was. When Mike was 16, he was plagued by a neighborhood bully named "Bub". No matter how hard he tried to avoid Bub, he knew the day would come when Bub would track him down. That day occurred in May of Mike's 16th year and came in the form of a confrontation with the bully, and in the end, a beating. It happened fast. A verbal taunt turned physical and Mike got a beating that tore into him emotionally and physically. For five months after, the trauma of that one event made Mike a prisoner of fear. During those months, Mike feared to leave the house and go to school. Then Mike made a decision and took action. Rather than be defeated by this humiliating event, rather than let circumstances beat him, he decided to fight back. Mike enrolled in a karate class to help overcome the fear of another bullying attack. Revenge wasn't his motivation, prevention was. After a rocky start (he could only do one push up) he persisted and earned his Green Belt. His achievement was the highest in his class. What happened next is Mike's real story. Mike grew up determined to help others like himself. Having been a victim of a brutal attack gave Mike a unique perspective; and a chance to make a difference. Mike could see how society was changing. He could see the gangs, the violence, the guns. He could see good kids drawn into bad groups having their lives ruined. He could see kids that were having a hard time coping with the divorce of their parents, the pressure of their peers and the hopelessness that surrounds too many teens today. He could see kids who had been bullied turning to crime, drugs and violence to gain some sense of power and control over their lives. He knew that kids would relate to his story. If he could persuade even one young person to turn from hate to hope his job would be done. Once again, Mike made a decision and took action. Using the skills he learned through martial arts (Mike went on to become a 7th degree Black Belt) like perseverance and an indomitable spirit, he earned a bachelors degree in Psychology, and then his Master's degree in School Counseling. Then Mike chose to learn a new skill... again. Mike became a motivational speaker, dedicating his career to helping kids who have to live through the same kind of hell he endured. More than some canned inspirational message, Mike delivers a message with impact as kids relate to his experience. Mike travels the United States sharing his overcoming message of hope. He shares with kids of all ages how they can go from victim to victory no matter the type of trauma they have suffered. It's a message that is well received everywhere he goes. To hear Mike tell it "Kids today are being victimized by bullies at school and, too often, at home. They can turn to drugs and violence or make something of their lives with self-discipline, encouragement and love. I tell them they can go from hate to hope because I've been there. I've walked a mile in their shoes and know their pain. What they need is to hear someone they trust say, "You can do anything if you try." That's my passion. Now, it's my mission." His audiences are comprised of kids, many on the edge. Some troubled, some deeply in trouble, Mike reaches his hand out to all equally. Mike teaches them to turn from hate toward hope. Hope that they can be healed, and the fear will stop. Hope that they can make a life and feel good again. Hope that what happened to Mike can happen to them too. Today, Mike owns a hugely popular martial arts school, but his true love is speaking to kids. Kids that need help. Kids that need hope. Kids that need to hear what only Mike can tell them.

Speech Topics

H.E.R.O. - Help everyone respect others

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