Nash uses personal experience to encourage kids to never give up on life.
Photo Credit: Shayla Orbell and Tina Robinson
“If you’re going through hell, don’t stop there; get through to the other side,” exclaims Robb Nash in his presentation to high school students. In Elk Point, St. Paul and Ashmont on May 3 & 4, Nash brought his message of perseverance and hope.
When he was 17, Nash was pronounced dead at the scene of a head-on collision. But at the hospital, doctors found a heartbeat and saved his life. Nash has made it a personal mission to use his second chance to encourage youth not to give up when facing adversity. He and his band visit jails, youth detention centres, schools, reserves – anywhere that people need to understand that they are not alone in their pain and that there is hope and opportunity for life to get better.
Nash combines his personal story with music and video testimonials from youth who have turned their lives around. He admits that during his recovery from the accident, dark moments and thoughts of suicide nearly overwhelmed him. Eventually he came to terms with his demons, determining that “Bad things don’t happen for a reason, but they give potential. It’s your choice to use that potential.”
Students at Regional High School (RHS) in St. Paul found the presentation “emotional.” Some admitted that they understood exactly his description of depression. Some said that they were encouraged by his explanation that “Pain doesn’t always go away. But neither does your strength.” The video testimonials, Nash’s own story, and the lyrics to his songs helped many students recognize that they are not alone in their personal struggles, that they “are not possessed by demons,” and that “It’s not fate; it’s choice,” so even if there are circumstances beyond their control, how they face those circumstances is up to them. They have the choice.
To showcase local talent, Nash invited Brooklyn Dolejsi, a grade eight student from Two Hills School on to the stage to sing with him. She accompanied Nash through one of his songs, and afterwards acknowledged, “I was very happy. It was very exciting, but I was nervous.” Although Dolejsi has been taking singing lessons, her career plan is to become a thoracic surgeon.
After the presentation, Nash and his band members talked one-on-one with the kids and handed out bracelets with the reminder to “Make Today Count.”
For more about Robb Nash and his band, see Who is Robb Nash?