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‘Happiness is the truth’

By Staff | Apr 10, 2014

Motivational speaker Marci Narum, a former anchor with KX news, receives help from Rugby High School eighth-grader Brock Haakenson during an assembly Monday in Tilman Hovland Auditorium.

Rugby High School Sources of Strength Week kicked off Monday with a visit from motivational speaker Marci Narum, a former anchor with KX News.

Narum drew on her own struggle with self-worth from her adolescence and urged students to rely on faith, family and friends to “replace negative thoughts with the positive.”

She encouraged interaction with students. Sources of Strength has chapters across the country and is the subject of one of the largest studies on peer leaders and their impact in suicide prevention.

Narum’s message aimed to empower each student with wisdom peer leaders can use.

“I didn’t do it alone,” Narum said. “I had to be willing to ask for help and take it when offered.”

RHS eighth-graders Whitney Gronvold (left) and Christine Vetsch share compliments during an exercise encouraged by motivational speaker Marci Narum.

Narum told a story about a girl she knew in high school, who was involved with lots of teams and activities. She wore a smile, but was couldn’t stand herself on the inside.

“So eventually she felt it was normal to feel that way,” said Narum, before revealing the girls in the story was her younger self.

“Trying times is not the time to stop trying,” she said. “Don’t dwell on failures, learn from them and move on.”

Narum said that research shows 70 percent of teenagers have low self-worth. She encouraged the packed audience in Tilman Hovland auditorium to share compliments with neighbors. Eighth-graders Whitney Gronvold and Christine Vetsch sat near each other and enjoyed the message.

“She just said think positive and try to have self-worth,” Gronvold said.

Said Vetsch: “She just reminds you that you’re remarkable.”

Narum also demonstrated the problem with bringing others down with the help of eighth-grader Brock Haakenson. Narum pushed down on Haakenson’s shoulders and the two progressively got lower to the ground. She explained that while she was pulling him or his self-worth down, she was also pulling herself down too.

Narum is a certified John Maxwell speaker and certified to do training on 10 of the guru’s books. Maxwell is an author, speaker and pastor. He focuses on faith-based leadership training.

Narum shared how the congregation at her church, Heart River Lutheran in Mandan, shares fellowship with the juveniles at the state’s Youth Correctional Center. They help the youth by acknowledging their own problems.

“The pastor said the juveniles look at the rest of the congregation as having it made, but everybody has experiences and problems to work through,” Narum said.

Narum reminded the students to always, “Forgive yourself. Ask for help. Express gratitude.”

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