School Assemblies


THE IMPACT OF ONE DECISION – SCHOOL PRESENTATIONS – Junior/Senior High School

The Impact of One Decision: Jr/Sr High School Presentation (Grade 7 – 12)

Length: 60 Minutes

One of Canada’s top Impaired Driving Prevention School Presentations could be coming to your school…

“I admit that I was cynical when I walked into your session at the International uLead Conference for School Administrators. I thought that if I had seen one impaired driving prevention presentation, I had seen them all. But you proved me wrong within the first few minutes. Your presentation is unique and unlike any I have ever seen in my 35 years of teaching and being a school Principal. It’s raw in its honesty and powerful in its message. I left your session so impacted and inspired that I just knew I had to book you for my school!” – International uLead Conference attendee and Alberta School Principal

Life is a sequence of one decisions, which ones will you make? It’s not only impaired driving, but every decision you make in your life impacts someone else.  Using her personal story of losing her Dad to an impaired driver while she was working as a police officer as an example, Amanda expertly shows students just how far one decision truly can reach….

Decisions…we make them everyday from the time we wake up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night. But how often do we stop to think about how our daily actions and decisions affect others?

In 2004, Amanda was working as police officer in Alberta, Canada. She was used to seeing the impact of other people’s decisions and the affect it had on their lives. But she never once thought that someone else’s decision would impact her life in an unimaginable way.

On October 24, 2004, the unthinkable happened. Amanda was woken up by a knock at the door from fellow Officers. When she opened the door, her heart sank and her stomach tightened. There was only one reason why Officers showed up at 11:30 pm with two victim services personnel – something really bad had happened…

As the minutes passed, Amanda realized this was becoming a horrible nightmare. The only problem was that this nightmare was real life. She was used to being the one knocking on someone else’s door at this time of night, but now she was the one who found herself on the receiving end of that knock. Somehow, in a matter of minutes, she went from being police officer to a victim of impaired driving because of a sequence of decisions a 19 year old construction worker had made earlier that day. It ended up costing the life of her Dad, her supporter and confidant in life.

Amanda’s life was forever changed after a 19 year old, who had too much to drink, stole a welding truck and lost control on an icy highway, hitting her Dad’s small car head-on at the top of a hill. The impaired driver lived, but Amanda’s father died, burned to death, at the scene. Using her own personal story, Amanda expertly proves how one decision can truly change your life, and the life of several others, in an instant.

 Amanda does not reveal until near the end that it was her Father that was killed that day, which makes this presentation even more unique, shocking and memorable. She begins the presentation by telling the 19 year old’s story and version of events which allows the audience to connect with both sides of the story and think “what if that was me?”

The Impact of One Decision will leave your students and staff with the following learning objectives:

  • Prove to students and staff (through use of her real life story) how every decision you make in your life impacts someone else and often impacts their entire school and community. As Amanda includes her expertise from a 15 year policing career crossed with her experience of becoming a victim of impaired driving, the impact of this presentation is enhanced for the audience
  • Leave the students & staff with a lasting impact because Amanda does not make the impaired driver into a monster or place any blame on him. This allows the audience to relate to both sides and think “what if that was me?” Also, Amanda does not reveal until part way through the presentation that it was her Dad that was killed that day, which shocks the audience and leaves a lasting impact.
  • Provide students & staff with proof that the excuses of “I’m only hurting myself, what does it matter” and “but this is the way I’ve always done it and nothing has ever happened” are never valid excuses and can lead to fatal consequences.
  • Give students & staff an understanding on what things can cause/influence them to make bad decisions and how to stop themselves from making wrong decisions. Includes providing them with the secret tool of how to make the right decisions at the right time, even when everything seems out of control
  • Give students & staff an understanding of and knowledge on how being charged with a Federal Criminal Offence can affect future opportunities for them in life and dispels the myth that you have to be over 0.08 BAC to be charged criminally under Canada’s Criminal Code.  (Canadian version only)
  • Shows students and staff how many people in Canada are affected and impacted everyday and every year in Canada (or the country she is speaking in) by impaired drivers, the toll that one one decision has on lives
  • Provide information and understanding on how alcohol and drugs affect the body and ability to make decisions, operate a vehicle or machinery or do a task safely through a hands on demonstration/simulation with Fatal Vision Alcohol Simulation Goggles and Marijuana Simulation Goggles. Information is also provided on the dangers of fentanyl and myths surrounding naloxone.
  • Provides information to students and staff on how to stop/prevent people from driving impaired when at a party or at times when alcohol is present
  • By providing an emotional description of the death notification she received that night, Amanda walks students & staff through the emotions felt and actions that take place when you receive a death notification from police when a loved one is killed and the roller coaster of emotions that follows. Amanda does this by thoroughly describing that night the RCMP Officers arrived at her home and stated “Amanda, we know you’re a fellow Officer, so we’re going to get straight to the point. There was an accident, it happened this morning on highway 22 and your Dad died in the crash.” By describing the numbness she felt, how she was in shock, how she was Daddy’s little girl and even seeing her uniform in the closet made her angry because she put her life on the line everyday to protect others, yet her own Dad ends up being killed by an impaired driver just 4 hours north of her, she drives home the point of how your decisions and decisions of others can drastically change your life in the blink of an eye.
  • Prove to students & staff how you never really know how your decisions can impact others, how closely linked that impact can be and who you may share the highway with at any given time. Amanda describes how the impaired driver’s Mom worked for her Aunt (Dad’s sister) in a completely different town several hours away and how the two ladies were good friends. Not only did Amanda’s Aunt lose her brother that day, but a dedicated employee and her best friend. To this day, the two women do not talk.
  • Prove to and leave students & staff with the message and understanding of how life is a sequence of one decisions. It’s not only impaired driving, it is every decision you make in your life, such as driving while distracted, texting and driving, bullying others, not wearing your seat belt, speeding, not wearing a helmet when on an ATV or bicycle and not believing in yourself or thinking you’re not worth it. Every decision you make in your life impacts someone else.
  • Through use of a moving slideshow tribute, students & staff are left with just one question – What are you willing to lose?
  • Gives attendees the inspiration to always make smart decisions in life and be the one to stand up and make a difference.

“We have an impaired driving speaker come in every year, but I never really realized the true consequences and dangers of impaired driving until you came here today. Thank-you so much. You are such an inspiration. I will remember your story for the rest of my life and always make smart decisions.”

“You saved a life today….mine. Thank-you.”

“It’s amazing how you share what you have gone through with so many people. You have done so much for me and so many others. Thank-you!”

“I know how hard this is, but remember how many lives you’re saving. This changed mine forever…”

“I admit that I was cynical when I walked into your session at the International uLead Conference for School Administrators. I thought that if I had seen one impaired driving prevention presentation, I had seen them all. But you proved me wrong within the first few minutes. Your presentation is unique and unlike any I have ever seen in my 35 years of teaching and being a school Principal. It’s raw in its honesty and powerful in its message. I left your session so impacted and inspired that I just knew I had to book you for my school!” – International uLead Conference attendee and Alberta School Principal