Educator Testimonials

"John and Michael, from the JCK Foundation, came to Southern Connecticut State University to talk to our students about mental health, mental illness, and the stigma associated with reaching out for help. It was an amazing day. They provided diverse programming, in-depth and intimate conversations, and large group lectures that gave our students first-hand information about mental illness and how it impacts college students. John and Michael were genuine, engaging, and very knowledgeable. They communicate in a way that draws students in and makes them feel comfortable. I can’t express how grateful we are to have them come to campus. It’s something we plan on doing on a regular basis. Every college campus should invite them in! They will not be disappointed." — Denise L. Zack, MS, LPC, RYT, SCSU Counseling Department

"I cannot thank John, Mike, and the JCK Foundation enough for coming to talk at Grafton High School. Starting the conversation and ending stigma on mental health is an area of importance to me as a Health educator and person. I have a lot of personal connections to the mental health field and I want to bring the passion of the topic to my students. Through the JCK Foundation I was able to do this. John’s story is powerful and allows students to put a face to mental health. He has a way with connecting with students in a large and small group setting that you cannot get from a class. The breakout sessions ran by Mike and John were amazing. The students had an opportunity to open up, share their own experiences, and ask in depth questions. Our students and faculty who were involved only had positive things to say about the day!" — Jess Hollis, Grafton High School Wellness Teacher

Student Testimonials

"I attended the JCK event at Providence College expecting an emotional story, which would make me, feel thankful for my life and all its blessings. When I watched the documentary about John Kelly, I was not only touched I was also inspired by his determination and courage in facing his disease. The issue of mental health awareness is one that is not widely addressed in today’s society and it is people like John Kelly and John Tessitore who highlight the need to bring this discussion to the forefront of our minds. Mental illnesses are the silent struggle that can overtake one’s life in a away that it takes over someone’s."

"I want to advocate for mental health as a result of this talk. I want to help end the stigma."

"Please never lose your passion because I promise you that you are saving at least one life in every room you speak in. It may not be direct, but I bet it is more often than you could ever imagine. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing your story and showing what true strength really is.”

"I learned that it is okay to reach out for help. I would like to learn more about how to make a difference."

“So John, I know I only met you once but you, and your organization, really were the catalyst in everything in my life turning around. So I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything!I know John Kelly is looking down at you and the good that you have done, and is smiling. Keep up the good work!”

"I loved the atmosphere of honesty and compassion. We all have our own stories and our difficulties do not make us any less worthy of love."

"A couple of weeks ago, I was ignited with the spark of inspiration. I had the honor of listening to John Tessitore share his and his good friend John’s story at Providence College, and I couldn’t feel more grateful. John Tessitore has such a beautiful grace, and was truly captivating through his confidence, eloquence, and undeniable humor. John’s story was not only touching to me, but also to everyone else in the room. His presence has made such a huge impact on my life, and has inspired me follow his lead and strive to “end the stigma.” Thank you, John, for sharing with us. You are an inspiration to all those you encounter, whether you know it or not!”

"I learned about self-love and recovery and also the power of support systems and what they can do."

“I just wanted to thank you again for such an amazing talk. I don't think I've ever admired and respected someone so quickly even though I've only met you three hours ago. I can't thank you enough for doing what you do. It was so reassuring to hear someone express the same exact thoughts that I have had but never have had the courage to say out loud. I'm never going to forget this talk and most importantly I won't forget when you said, "Don't let the suffering define you. Let you define you."

"I learned the significance of knowing you matter, and that telling your story created a safe spaces for others to speak out."

"He was so on our level yet so informed. You could feel how passionate about the topic he was and how much he cared. He made everyone feel so important and accepted, and I think his message really rang true.”

"I definitely do have a lot more respect for people with mental health issues."

"Perhaps the most wonderful thing was looking at the crowd after the presentation and seeing a long line of people waiting to talk to John. For them, they found someone to relate to, someone to reassure them, and someone to let them know everything would be okay.”

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