"The greatest public servant in the country" - The Jefferson Award

Keynote Topics

Stacey Bess is an inspirational educator and author who speaks on the importance of service, mentorship and leadership, and overcoming adversity. Drawing on her fascinating and inspirational personal story – teaching homeless children in a small shed known as The School with No Name – she offers powerful insights and lessons that audiences yearning to make a difference can apply to their community or organization.

Through ups and downs and many personal struggles – including a battle with thyroid cancer—Bess taught kindergarten through sixth grade for 11 years at The School with No Name, an experience that effected a profound change in the teacher as well as her students. During that time she discovered that, by teaching and modeling love, self worth, personal power, and courage, she could reach children with no homes and little hope, children who had previously been labeled “unteachable.” These children grew into living proof that Bess’ methods work. To inspire and motivate others with a passion for service, Bess penned the memoir Nobody Don’t Love Nobody, which was adapted into the April 2011 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Beyond the Blackboard starring Emily VanCamp.

After she published her first book and gained the support of the Utah community, Bess gained international recognition for her unusual success with “hopeless” children. She has won prestigious land national and International awards. A highlight came when she was honored with the esteemed National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service along with First Lady Barbara Bush, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackman, and Ambassador Walter Annenberg.

Stacey Bess earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Utah and continues to be a leading advocate in the nation for the educational rights of impoverished children. A dynamic and powerful speaker, she engages groups large and small, sharing the story that changed her life as she taught and nurtured hundreds of underprivileged children. Her story continues to change lives as her audiences are inspired to become more involved in their own communities.

Keynote Speaking Topics

Be a Mentor, Change a Life

In this presentation, speaker Stacey Bess offers three powerful lessons that can change the life of a child, build and empower a family, and improve a community. She shares these lessons by recounting stories as seen through the eyes of underprivileged children.

  • Lesson one: Follow through with what you commit to. Bess tells this story through the eyes of Zachary who needed just one person to teach him it was okay to trust.
  • Lesson two: Don’t hide behind your credentials – get down on the floor and be a human being. Bess shares this story through the eyes of Alex and an NBA basketball star.
  • Lesson three: We are a product of what has been given to us. Bess tells this story through the eyes of Sarah, a homeless woman on the streets who used an angry demeanor to protect herself. By simply giving her a coat, Bess was able to change Sarah’s outlook and take her into her community, helping Sarah learn that when you are part of a community, you willingly give back to it.

Overcoming the Odds: Lessons from the School with No Name

Powerful and dynamic, speaker Stacey Bess engages groups by sharing the story that changed her life as she taught and nurtured hundreds of underprivileged children. She speaks on the importance of service, mentorship and leadership, and overcoming adversity. Drawing on her fascinating and inspirational personal story – teaching homeless children in a small shed known as “The School with No Name” – she offers powerful insights and lessons that inspire audiences to become more involved in their own communities.

From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Leadership Lessons for Women

All women have a story to tell. Speaker Stacey Bess engages her audiences by sharing her personal story of triumph over all odds to create a school for underprivileged children. She challenges her audiences to use their own trials and triumphs to make a difference in their communities. Bess teaches women that it is important to commit to what you believe in: don’t be afraid to stand up and make a difference!

Building Powerful and Caring Communities in the Work Place

Through the eyes of at risk populations Stacey teaches her audiences the importance of building a stronger community. She emphasizes trust, follow through and commitment. She believes that in order to build trust, we need to listen more and act with courage and accountability. Stacey also expresses through her stories of triumph and tragedy that our accountability to ourselves and others defines our character. Audiences laugh and cry as they recognize that they are capable of building strong connections to the people they serve. They leave this presentation inspired to make that difference and with the tools necessary to begin today.


What are you going to be today?
Leadership is not about you .. Its about you serving.
Adaptability is the greatest gift you can give to others.

Beating Thyroid Cancer: Use your Trials and Triumphs to build a bridge with those that you serve.

On Service: What Do We Owe Each Other?

When we invest in a child, we lift their family and change our communities for the better. This is a call to action in behalf of all children regardless of economics.

Toughen Up & Reach Them: Making a Difference When No One Else Will

Can you change a child’s life?

Let Stacey take you on a journey into her world and you will leave wanting to be a volunteer in the schools.

Book Stacey

"Stacey was phenomenal! I have never seen students so engaged and attentive during an event. She captured their attention and they never let go. She spoke with such poise, passion, and emotion that it was hard not to be intrigued by her journey. The students that had dinner with her were also so excited to meet her and really felt like she was real and laidback—basically, she met them where they are! She was so wonderful that I have recommended her to another friend so I hope they are able to work with her/you!" -Wingate University

"You did a FANTASTIC job this morning. I have read your book, I have seen the movie, and I just love your story. It is so powerful. In reality though, when you choose a speaker, you never really know if he/she will be as good as you hope. You just have to go with your gut and trust that someone with such a wonderful uplifting story will be able to tell it in a way that captivates a crowd. And that you did! I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. We strive to make a difference for the women and girls in our community—to give hope where there is none, to provide leadership and guidance to those in need, and to change lives. You inspired folks to give back, to join us, to make that difference you spoke of so well. We raised more money this morning than ever before. Thank you for helping us do that; but, more importantly, thank you for sharing yourself with kids and families who have never felt such love and care. Always remember, YOU MATTER." -Orange County United Way

"I am very proud of you Stacey Bess. Your efforts as a writer have now been recognized and acknowledged but even more than that your efforts as a teacher have been recognized and the example you have demonstrated to the world on what comes from a teacher who cares, who places her charges before her own welfare, whose dedication is to a higher purpose, who found that true happiness comes from service and love for another, is beyond being the thing to do, it is righteous in its calling. I have received more phone calls and emails than I can remember since Schindler’s List. And every review I've read has been positive. Congratulations." -Gerald Molen, Executive Producer, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park

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