School Assemblies
Check out our team of incredible speakers who help share the CharacterStrong message!

Esteban Gast

“Kindness is self-reflection”

Esteban is Colombian, grew up in Puerto Rico and Illinois, and currently lives in LA. He toured as a comedian at the age of 23, taught creativity and design thinking at the college level, co-authored a book on creativity, and was President of a sustainability-focused institute in Panama. He is co-founder of Scriptd, a script database and story platform that elevates underrepresented creators. Most recently, he was the star of the tv show Jungletown, airing on VICELAND. He’s been profiled in WBEZ, Huffington Post, Hollywood Reporter, Brooklyn Magazine and others.

With his background in comedy and his years in the classroom, Esteban is a gifted communicator who loves breaking down complex issues. He has spoken at middle schools, high schools, colleges, corporations, and conferences all over the world about the power of kindness, the importance of storytelling, and how to create a more connected and empathetic world.

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Daraiha Greene

“Kindness is inclusion”

Daraiha J. Greene is a speaker, actress, dancer, and inclusion advocate who is proud to call Google, Inc. her first job out of college. As a program manager on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team, Daraiha manages external strategic partnerships, the Digital Coaches Program, and the multicultural strategy for the Computer Science (CS) in Media initiative. Because of her artistic background, Daraiha began Google’s ‘CS+X’ series, which highlights the intersections between computer science and other creative industries (e.g. music, dance, fashion, etc.) for K-12 students. Daraiha also has experience as a TutorMate mentor and teaching assistant for the Steppingstone Foundation, whose programs she completed herself in middle school! In 2018, she founded Rays of Sunlight, Inc., a 501(c)(3) life skills organization for youth (ages 12-18) focused on business leadership, mindfulness, social learning, personal growth, and creative expression. Daraiha graduated from Dartmouth College, where she served as a SEAD mentor for high-potential, low-income high school students and majored in Sociology and Theatre.

Parvati Shallow

“Kindness is digging deep”

Parvati Shallow is a Life & Business Coach, speaker and yoga teacher. As a three-time competitor and winner of CBS’s hit series SURVIVOR, she learned that kindness can coexist with competition. Her adventures since then have shown her that we are all far more powerful than we think, and her speaking career has taken her to universities and college campuses throughout the United States to spread the message of courage, resilience and how great life can get when we dig deep and take care of each other. On sunny days you’ll find her cruising the streets of Venice, California with her husband John and her new baby girl Ama.

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Ricky Randle

“Kindness is courage”

Ricky Randle is a speaker, college & career success coach, and author of the book Protect Your Dreams & Rise Above Your Obstacles. He has presented at middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the country including Loyola Marymount University, University of Kansas, and TRIO's MKN Pre-College Student Leadership Conference. He has coached college students and graduates, helping them achieve personal, academic, and career success. Before dedicating his life to motivating our youth, Ricky worked as an entertainment sports reporter and producer for TMZ interviewing athletes in the NBA, NFL, MLB, and Olympics. He has also been featured on NBC's Today Show, Fox, ABC, and CBS.

Zachariah Thompsen

“Kindness is strength”

Zachariah is a lifestyle and leadership coach, speaker, and writer. In 2018, he founded Heartbeat Strength inspired by his story of overcoming a life threatening heart condition. Heartbeat Strength helps students and professionals step into their potential by becoming “heart centered” so they can lead with more passion, purpose, and love. Prior to this, he worked at a private k-12 school in Columbus, Ohio as a Sports Performance Coach and Assistant Athletic Director. Zachariah is a former college baseball player, is an aspiring ametuer ukulele player, and passionate dog dad.

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Ari Afsar

“Kindness starts with you”

Ari Afsar is an artist, educator, and mentor from San Diego, CA. She originated and starred in the Chicago production of Hamilton, playing Eliza Schuyler. Ari led a residency program for middle schoolers reenacting the “March On Washington” helping students discover their voice, power, and ambition. Through art and public speaking, Ari provides students the ability to look within themselves in order to create the change they want to see. Ari focuses on providing opportunities to underrepresented voices through "We As Women” - a biannual event across the country, creating a safe space for women’s voices to be heard in their own community. A graduate of Ethnomusicology Jazz from UCLA, Afsar just released her debut EP, "Somewhere I Thought I'd Be." She is currently composing a musical about Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected into congress four years before women could vote, which was just selected for the prestigious O'Neill National Musical Theater Conference. Most recently she opened for Michelle Obama at the Shrine Auditorium, performed at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and opened at the UN Youth Forum. She was Miss California 2010, top 10 at Miss America 2011, a top 36 American Idol Alum, and currently stars in a SXSW-award winning series. She has been an advocate/performer/and public speaker for The Women's March, The Social Innovation Summit, Nexus Global, The University of Chicago, The MoveOn rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, and The United State of Women.  

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