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For Students

In this speech, Dr. Gaines shares his drive to give hope to others because his own story grew from hopelessness. John earned his nickname “PUSH” (Persevere Until Something Happens) because he believes in the power of perseverance and teaches others to “keep pushing” and LOVE through life’s obstacles to become the best version of themselves.

John’s childhood was one of extreme adversity. Growing up surrounded by drugs and violence, facing personal struggles, and being bullied for his differences, he had every reason to give up, but he pushed through. Now, as a professional speaker and author, John strives to help & teach people to overcome and to rise.


  • Equip youth to form/build character by aligning values, thoughts, feelings, and actions to help ensure victories in their lives, both now and in the future
  • It will reinforce the thought process that developing good character traits is the best insurance for handling stressful day’s in the future through perseverance rather than discouragement
  • Will encourage students to love themselves and love others