School Visits & Testimonials
Hello I’m Laura Duksta, I’m an Ambassador of Love and New York Times bestselling children’s author. I love visiting schools across the country and world, sharing my books and life experiences. From a young age, around 7 or 8, I had the idea that one day I’d travel the world, meet my brothers and sisters, and share the message of love. After facing several major challenges in my tweens, teens and twenties, I published my first book, I Love You More. People started sharing copies with their loved ones all over the country and the world. I realized that through my book, I was fulfilling my dream of sharing the message of love, reaching thousands, even millions of hearts, homes and classrooms!
My biggest joy comes from connecting with children, parents and teachers in person, as well as virtually! I’ve visited more than 100 schools and presented to nearly 100,000 students-- there's a list of schools if you keep scrolling. I love connecting with young people of all ages, encouraging and inspiring them tune into their own passions, dreams and genius. Another big part of my mission is to help children know that no matter what is going on in their lives, or in the world around them, how truly loved they are. I share my personal story of losing my hair at age 11, and how I finally learned to embrace the power, freedom and FUN that comes from being yourself! Through the power of story, they're guided to tune into their own inner wisdom, genius and resilience. Now, more than ever, this feels like a message we all need, young people and teachers included!
The first time I saw Dr. Wayne Dyer on PBS, made a profound impact on my life. My school program, “Empowering YOU to Shine!” is designed in a similar way, as an engaging, interactive, fun conversation that has students and teachers exploring what’s possible in their own lives!
One of my favorite testimonials came from a sixth grad student at American Heritage in Florida. His mom, the guidance counselor who booked my visit, asked her son what he thought of my program. Expecting one of his typical responses of “Boring” or “Ok,” she was surprised by his heartfelt answer, “The only problem was that it should’ve been longer!” The program was an hour! Media specialists frequently comment on my ability to engage and effectively communicate with younger and older students. While I typically visit elementary schools, I have talks designed for all ages from preschool to high school, personal development days, educator seminars, mommy and me groups, as well as senior living homes...the message of LOVE resonates with and makes a difference for people of all ages!
“Empowering YOU to Shine!” compliments both your SEL and character enrichment efforts, as well as serving as an author visit. I highly recommend having me present to the entire school, the older grades, get as much, if not more, from my visit. Typically, I deliver two to four assemblies depending on the size of the school, Twenty to thirty minute sessions with PK-K/, and fifty to sixty minutes with the older grades.
You can pick two of my four books that you’d like me to read: I Love You More, I’ll Hug You More, You Are a Gift to the World/The World is a Gift to You, No Matter What I Love You -- You Are My Sister, You Are My Brother.
My program covers the following themes:
My experience as an author - learning to value the editorial process, and appreciating that our best work is rarely “one and done!”
My life experience - the road to embracing my bald head after losing all my hair at age 11 to a condition called Alopecia Areata, how I overcame bullying, and harnessed the power, freedom and FUN that comes from being yourself
By design we are resilient and have innate inner wisdom we can tune into for guidance
How our biggest challenges are often our greatest teachers and lead to discovering our own unique gifts, talents and genius
The gift of reading, the power of our word, our imagination, and choosing kindness
My "Signature Cheers!” - "I Shine!" and "I AM a Genius!"
Q & A -- I love answering the students questions, especially the older grades
Bonus Opportunity: "Lunch with Laura" with a select group of students. This may include student council representatives, essay winners, gifted classes, reluctant readers, or my favorite - young people who have been through challenging life situations.
Workshop or breakout type sessions for students or teachers can also be created based on your schools needs
- Students and teachers will have the opportunity to purchase signed books, a flyer we create can be sent home prior to my visit
If beneficial, I can also add mindfulness practices from the wisemindproject.org - a program I am part of that my team brings to middle schools and through a partnership with PBS's Becon-TV.
Please CONTACT US HERE to inquire & book Laura -- in the message please include name of school or organization, location, how many students approximately, your budget and possible dates. Someone will get back to you ASAP.
On behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia S. Young Montessori Magnet, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank you for coming out to our school. Your performances demonstrated your passion for positive thinking. Your message that everyone is a genius and anyone can achieve their dreams resonated with our students and staff. Afterwards, I overheard students sharing with others the impact of your presentation on how they view themselves and others.
When we scheduled your visit, we had no idea how dynamic and powerful your program would be. It is my pleasure to recommend you as an outstanding author/presenter to other schools in our district and
beyond. You are now a celebrity of our students and your performances demonstrated the importance of reading, believing in yourself, and pursuing your dreams. Any school would be blessed to have you as a presenter. You truly touched the lives of our students and we thank you. We now believe in the beauty of our dreams and to always keep shining!
Jennifer Narkier, Media Specialist, Virginia S. Young Montessori Magnet
I was planning a community event, and wow did I hit the jackpot bringing in New York Times Bestselling author, Laura Duksta!!! She spoke to our book club after school and then came back for a sensational evening event. Both presentations exceeded my expectations. Laura inspired future authors to never give up, and realize that sometimes it takes a little failure to find success. Laura also inspired others to feel good about themselves with her fun cheers! She had students, parents, and community members on their feet, and feeling great!
Many of you think that during these difficult financial times, it’s not possible to afford such an event. That’s not true. Thanks to the tremendous support from a school partner, I was also able to secure Laura’s fee with ease. I would highly recommend Laura and her program to students, parents, and teachers! What an enthusiastic author! Don’t miss out!!!
Amy, Third Grade Teacher, Weston, FL
Thank you so much for your presentation at St. Mark's. I can truly say that we were all overwhelmed by your positive message! I was so impressed with your ability to communicate effectively with all age groups. Each of the groups you spoke to from the 1 year old class to the 8th grade enjoyed your book and talk. I have seen kids doing the I Shine cheer all week and our 7/8th grade Math teacher tells me she uses the genius cheer every day at the start of class! I hope you will come back and talk to us about your next book--we are looking forward to it!
Heidi Burnett, Director, School Media Center, St. Mark's Episcopal School
In a room filled with young children and adults, Laura Duksta instantly captures your attention and before you know it, she captures your heart. She's like a wizard. A lot of magical twinkling fills the room and inside each little soul stars are born.
Mary Dewald, daughter, mother, grandmother and 5th grade teacher
Laura Duksta and Karen Keesler are great! They have a presentation that truly supports the work of educators, parents and children. Their message of love includes both affective and academic elements. Social and emotional issues discussed include dealing with personal challenges, differences in yourself and others, appreciating yourself and others, using the imagination and self-affirmation, setting goals, accepting constructive criticism, and using your talents to help others. Academic issues include keeping a positive attitude in school, exploring the creative process, drafting and revising work of any kind (including written and artistic work) and persevering to complete a project. Laura and Karen know how to tailor their program to audiences of various ages. They helped my school find the genius inside each one of us!
James McGhee II, Headmaster, Alexander School, Miami, FL
I feel it’s been a privilege to have crossed paths with these lovely ladies because of their message of love and their dedicated, compassionate method of delivering that message not only through their book and their web site, but also through their personalities. Every chance I’ve had to interact with Laura and Karen tells me that they have a strong message that needs to be heard not only in South Florida, but around the world.
Julia E. Spann, Youth Services Librarian Pembroke Pines/Walter C. Young Res. Center
“I find Laura to be an amazing person and feel that her positive outlook on building relationships is in keeping with our Character Education Program.”
Susan Messing, Proud Principal, Chancellor Charter School
“I thought Laura’s presentation was great. The students and I talked about it after the show. The students focused on what it must be like and feel like to look different and how important it is to treat everyone with kindness. We discussed how we all have two eyes, two ears, etc. yet how we all have special qualities that make us different.”
Debbie Geller, Teacher Imagine Schools
Mesa: Zaharis Elementary
Tempe: Changing Hands w School for the Deaf
La Jolla: The Children's School
Lake Tahoe: Environmental Science Magnet,
Los Angeles: St James Episcopal
Murrieta: Murrieta Elementary
Aspen: Aspen Elementary, Wildwood and others
Denver: Mile High Center for Spiritual Living Youth Program
Longmont: St John the Baptist Catholic School
Amelia Island: Amelia Island Montessori
Atlantic Beach: Atlantic Beach Elementary
Bryceville: Bryceville Elementary
Celebration: Celebration Elementary
Coral Springs: Riverside, Country Hills, Cambridge Schools
Davie: David Posnack Temple School
Delray: American Heritage
Fort Lauderdale: Virginia S Young, Lloyd Estates, Floranada, St Mark's, Pinecrest, St Anthony's, Delmar academy
Fort Pierce: Fort Pierce Magnet School for the Arts
Hollywood: Beach Montessori
Lady Lake: The Villages of Lady Lake Elementary
Leesburg: Leesburg Elementary
Miami: Alexander School, Miami Country Day, St Francis, St Thomas
Mount Dora: Round Lake Charter
Pembroke Pines: Cambridge Schools
Pinecrest: Pinecrest Elementary
Plantation: American Heritage
Pompano: Lighthouse Point Christian
New Port Richey: Fox Hollow Elementary
Tamarac: Liberty Elementary
Tangerine: Tangerine School House
Weston: Everglades Elementary, Imagine Charter, Cambridge Schools
West Palm Beach: Meyer's Academy, Academy of the Palm Beaches
Windermere: Keene's Crossing Elementary
Shorewood: Walnut Trails
Streamwood: Ridge Circle
Wheaton: St Michael's Elementary
Alexandria: St Joseph Cold Spring
Bowling Green: Briarwood Elementary
Halifax: Halifax Elementary
Hingham: Notre Dame Academy, St Paul's Catholic School
Kingston: Kingston Elementary
Marshfield: Governor Winslow, Ames Way
Plymouth: Federal Furnace Elementary
Scituate: Hatherly, Jenkins, Lil' Munchkins Childcare & Preschool, Owl's Crossing Preschool
Overland: Marion Elementary
St Louis: Immacolata, New City School
Caldwell: Grandview, Trinity Academy
Orange: Forest Street
West Orange: Gregory Elementary
Frost Valley YMCA for CAP Alopeciapalooza
Port Washington: Parent Resource Center
Cincinnati: Guardian Angels, Sands Montessori, Mercer, Welch, Colerain
Kings Mills: Kings Mills
Aynor: Aynor Elementary
Conway: Kingston Elementary
Franklin: Walnut Grove, Clovercroft
Nashville: Mama Lere School for the Deaf, Vanderbilt
Mt Juliet: Rutland Elementary
Spring Hill: Allendale
Watertown: Watertown Elementary
Austin: Blazier Elementary
Want to add your school to the list, CONTACT US today!