Who is Kent Wade?
Kent Wade is a passionate public speaker, host, facilitator, and storyteller. Currently serving as VP on the Kankakee Public Library (KPL) board of directors, Wade has over 14 years of library and customer service experience.
Despite being a homeless, high school dropout, Mr. Wade obtained a GED in 2005 and an General Studies Associate’s degree from Kankakee Community College in 2012. Empowered by scholarship writing and interviews, Kent began telling his story. The journey to inspire others to identify, define and work toward their ambitions, led him to work with the United Way in 2009. Wanting to give back to the youth of his community, he became Teen Program Coordinator of the KPL from 2012-2017. Mr. Wade has mentored hundreds of youth locally and statewide. Kent’s ability to be a change agent earned him a 40 Under 40 award from the Kankakee Chamber of Commerce in 2016. In the last ten years, Wade has engaged and motivated audiences across the country including, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Las Vegas and throughout Illinois.
During the summer of 2018, Shake the Fear, a workshop aimed at helping participants overcome the fear of speaking, was launched. This workshop was the catalyst to Kent creating, Lift With Ambition, LLC; a resource aimed at helping beginner speakers and professionals enhance their AMBITION by telling their stories, their way.
LESLIE DURR- SMART CHICAGO
"Kent's presentation was everything that I expected and more. Lively, engaging, encouraging and motivating. The students said "they could relate to him" and "he spoke from his heart". Kent is welcome anytime!"
ZACHARY ROHLFS- STUDENT OF SANDWICH SERIES
"Mr Kent you are the best speaker I've heard and you [help] me learn a lot. Thank you!"
DIANE RICHARDSON- 7TH GRADE TEACHER- KANKAKEE SCHOOL DISRICT #111
"As a teacher I asked Kent to speak to my students to try to motivate them to work to their best potential. Some of them don't realize the importance of their education. Kent was amazing! He truly connected with the students and they were inspired. When we returned to class, they could not stop talking about how powerful his presentation was and how they were very touched by his stories. This may need to become a recurring presentation to each of my new group of students! Thank you Kent for helping to motivate the junior high students at Montessori."
ANDREA ANDERSON - Elementary School Teacher
"Kent Wade visited my 3rd grade classroom with a lively spirit that immediately grasped my students attention. He came prepared with a power point presentation, facts, and personal stories that kept my students fully engaged and attentive. Kent's presentation was high-energy and appropriately paced for elementary school children. His ability to relate made my students feel comfortable sharing their experiences and encouraged to be a catalyst of change."
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