Testimonials

-A Journey to Recovery-“The greatest thing we can achieve in life is when we realize our gift! Stephen has done that!! He is inspiring as a speaker to all that are present and his message on making good choices and sobriety are clear.   Stephen thank you for coming to our school and relating so well to the students! I highly recommend Stephen Hill to any school.  His honest and inspiring story on sobriety is a powerful message!”              

 – Jackie Laurenzano, Guidance Counselor, Nanuet High School

“It was an honor and a wonderful resource to have Stephen address our middle and high school students.  He was honest, open, engaging and captured the attention of all students and community members in attendance.  His message was clear, relevant and most appropriate.  He is an excellent role model and students gained  a close perspective of the pitfalls and hurdles he has faced.  I would highly recommend Stephen to speak about sobriety to all schools.”

– Dr. Dean Schlanger, Principal, Manhasset Secondary School

“Stephen presented his story of recovery and hope to our middle and high school students. Our students were actively listening to every word.  After each presentation, Stephen made himself available to any students who wished to speak with him directly.  In small groups, students met with Stephen, and had meaningful dialogue on the topics he spoke of.   Throughout the day, both students and staff commented on how much they appreciated his message of wellness.”

“That evening, Stephen made a presentation to the community.  It was very well attended.   At the conclusion, parents commented that their children came home from school and talked to them about Stephen’s message.”

“Stephen is a young man who has a gift to share with his audience. He is sincere, honest, engaging and kind.  Stephen reaches students and adults alike, as he shares his story of finding sobriety, doing the next right thing, and being the best he can be. I highly recommend Stephen Hill to any school or organization that would appreciate his inspiring and powerful message of sobriety.”

– Craig Rush, Student Assistance Counselor, Midland Park Jr/Sr High School

“Stephen Hill—what an extraordinary young man with a powerful personal story of his battle with drug addiction for ten years!  Immaculata HS was honored to have Stephen share his story and insights with our student body and parents.  He engaged both audiences immediately with a sincere, clear and relevant message.  He fielded many questions after his presentation to ensure that students understood the hurdles he faced to reach sobriety today.  I would recommend Stephen Hill as a wonderful resource to speak about sobriety to all schools.”

– Jean Kline, Principal, Immaculata High School

“You could hear a pin drop in our auditorium while Stephen Hill addressed our student body. Our middle school has had many assemblies in reference to substance abuse, but Mr. Hill’s heartfelt account moved our students towards a greater understanding of how drugs can have such a powerful impact. His rapport with his audience provides a comfortable environment for such a difficult topic. “

– Matt Clark, Principal, North Country Road Middle School

“Mr. Hill presented his real life experience with drug addiction and his eventual path to sobriety to our entire student body and you could hear a pin drop.  His unassuming demeanor, relatability and relevant story was the perfect combination to keep our students engaged. He shared his cautionary tale and ended with powerful words of wisdom to help guide our students to make good decisions in high school and beyond.  The message was positive and impactful. The feedback from students, faculty and parents was extremely positive and I would highly recommend having him to present to students and parents everywhere.”

– Carisa Burzynski, Principal, Elwood-John Glenn High School

“Our entire community truly appreciated Stephen’s candor and willingness to  share his story. He did an excellent job bringing us into his personal struggle and making it very real. He was able to connect with our students without lecturing or condescending. Several students stayed back to speak with Stephen personally, andmany more have stopped in to my office to offer sincere appreciation for inviting him to campus.”

– Dave Pasquale, Dean of Students, Gill St. Bernard’s School

“We appreciate Stephen Hill coming to our campus to share his story of recovery so honestly. It was eye opening to students who had never heard a person in long term recovery speak. Stephen lays bare the all too common struggle with rehab, recovery, and relapse. He allowed time for questions and answers following his presentation and encouraged an open dialogue around a topic that is so often not discussed. Thank you Stephen!”
                                                                                                                                                                 
– Jessica Estok, CADC, University of Delaware, Student Wellness & Health Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                 “I have had the pleasure of listening to Stephen present at two separate school districts.  Stephen does an amazing job connecting with the students.  Stephen’s story and his interpersonal skills allow students to listen, absorb and feel safe asking questions.  Stephen has the unique ability to reach students about a very challenging topic, during a critical time in their lives.  Stephen’s story and message is one that all students would benefit from hearing.”

– Linda Losquadro, Student Assistance Counselor, Washingtonville Middle School

“We so appreciated Stephen coming back to the school he once attended to speak with our 8th grade students. His message is powerful! Your choices impact who you are and what you become and if you make your choices while impaired by drugs or alcohol it can lead to awful consequences. Stephen is impactful as he relates to the students. They see a reflection of themselves in him and that makes his message more powerful than any I’ve seen before. Thank you for coming to our school and telling your story!”

– Brian Fox, Principal, Suffern Middle School

“Mr. Stephen Hill recently visited Washingtonville Middle School to speak to our 8th grade students.  He delivered a very powerful and honest message about his experiences with substance abuse.  He shared with students how he was first introduced to drugs and alcohol when he was in 8th grade.  Students were gripped as he lead them through his journey of addiction.  What made this so compelling for our students was that they could identify with Stephen in many ways whether is was that he came from a solid family, he was an athlete, and was earning good grades.  They could identify with peer pressure and a desire to gain acceptance by older students.  Stephen could have been any student sitting in that audience.  He graciously spent a lot of time with our students after the presentation to answer any and all questions.” 

– Teresa Thompson, Principal, Washingtonville Middle School

“Stephen Hill presented to our entire student body. He sent a strong message regarding the vulnerability of our students to the drug problem that exists in our communities. I thought what truly engaged the students was that they could identify with Stephen as his presentation was delivered at their level and they could see themselves and their peers through Stephen.”

 Christopher Power, Principal, Albertus Magnus High School

“I have heard Stephen Hill speak at two well attended public forums about his remarkable journey as a young drug addict. Individuals who have personally experienced the world of addiction can often provide valuable insight to addicts and their families. Stephen is truly an outstanding speaker and has demonstrated a unique and exceptional ability to connect with his audience, educate them on this deadly disease, and provide a sense of hope. I am grateful to him for his selfless commitment to helping others.”

– Thomas Zugibe, Rockland County District Attorney

“Stephen Hill provided two student assemblies at Nanuet High School. Students and faculty alike felt his message was extremely powerful and that it left a lasting impact. Stephen is professional, reliable and great to work with! Students are still talking about his presentation and we would be happy to have him return!”

– Alison Kersh, School Social Worker, Nanuet High School

“I have heard Stephen Hill speak both in a high school and a community forum. He tells his story with honesty and humility. He has a genuine desire to help others, and a wonderful ability to connect and engage teens, adults, substance users, family members and professionals. I highly recommend him!”

– Susan Solar, LCSW, Clarkstown South High School

“Drug addiction is one of those topics that is so important to educate the middle school child about.  However, it must be done in a way where students can relate without being too graphic or scary.  Stephen Hill spoke to three groups totaling almost 2000 middle school students and you could hear a pin drop.  Stephen made it a point not to preach but to develop an emotional tie that allowed students to draw conclusions about his story so they can make more informed personal choices in the future.”

– Christine Madigan, Assistant Principal, Felix Festa Middle School

I was genuinely taken aback by the emotional and passionate anecdotes told by Stephen. For once I was able to witness an entire auditorium of high school students sit quietly in respect and awe. It is almost needless to say that Stephen truly got his message across in the most profound and touching way possible. I am convinced that students will now think twice before taking another drink or obtaining another drug.

– Alyse Greenough, Student, Wood-Ridge Jr/Sr High School

“Stephen Hill spoke to our entire student body about the difficult path his life has taken due to addiction.  He discussed how his personal life and his family have suffered greatly due to his choices and the disease of addiction. The students really connected to Stephen’s story and many remained after to speak personally with him.  I feel that this presentation is very valuable to students of any age.  Stephen’s youth makes him relatable and his difficult road to sobriety is inspiring.”

– Lori Franchi, School Social Worker, Eastport-South Manor Jr/Sr High School

Stephen Hill came to speak to our 10-12th graders as a part of our pre-prom assembly series.  To say that his story made an impact is an understatement. Stephen did not come in and preach to our students.  He came in and presented his story in such a way that our students were able to identify and connect with his story.  Stephen talked openly and candidly with our students about his experiences and how his story unfolded and continues to effect his life today. You can tell that Stephen’s experiences made a huge impact on his life and where he is.  I’m so happy that my students were able to hear his story and I hope they will be able to learn from the hard life lessons he had to face due to drugs and alcohol.

– Laura Paniagua, Student Assistance Counselor, Wood-Ridge Jr/Sr High School

“Stephen had a great down to earth approach in addressing students.  He made it clear that he was not there to preach but only to share his story. This captured each student’s trust from the onset and allowed for a great exchange and discourse.”

– Frank Portanova, Vice Principal, Archbishop Stepinac High School

“Stephen’s presentation was powerful and moving.  His strong ties to the Suffern Community made this our most influential presentation of the school year.  Great job Stephen and thank you!”

– Andrew Trust, Assistant Principal, Suffern High School

“Thanks so much for sharing your story. Both students and faculty were very moved! I hope you will continue speaking to students, you have a lot to offer and many can relate very well to you.”

– Shari Pennington, LCSW, Islip Middle School

“Stephen’s presentation was very inspirational! His story is about addiction to recovery in real terms. He doesn’t preach to you, but lets you know his mistakes, how he learned from them, and how he struggled everyday with addiction.”

– Madison McCarney, Nanuet High School Student

“After hearing your story I thought differently about drugs. I never realized how easy it was to become addicted. I am going to stay away from alcohol and drugs completely”

– Student, Islip Middle School

“I had the distinct pleasure to host and hear Stephen Hill speak at our Greeks Empowering Maryland Program. Stephen eloquently relayed the story of his battle with addiction and his sobering process with such ease. He is a powerful, honest, and connected speaker and serves as a role model for college students. I would recommend Stephen to any college organization looking to educate its members on drug addiction and prevention.”

– Rebecca Scherwatzky, VP Programming, Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority

“Stephen spoke at a Town Hall Meeting that was focused on the Heroin Epidemic. Stephen spoke to a crowd of 450 parents. He shared his personal experience with the struggle of addiction and the consequences that it had on his life and his family. His sharing made an impact. His honesty and detailed description made a difference. To have him share his personal experience as a former addict and now recovered was also good to see and gave everyone hope. Stephen is saving lives every time he speaks.”

– Carolyn Blake, President, Mahwah Municipal Alliance

“Stephen speaks from real world experiences and he captivated the students with the story of his life. The question and answer period after showed that they were listening and paying attention to his message.”

– D. Rebori, Student Activities, Garfield High School

 “Stephen Hill has been a vital part of my recovery. I have had the privilege of hearing him speak on numerous occasions. His personal story really helps the audience to understand how cunning, baffling, and powerful the disease of addiction really is. His enthusiasm for living a clean and sober lifestyle makes others want to follow down that same path.”

– Bill D.

“I had the distinct pleasure to see and hear Stephen Hill speak. Stephen has surely been through all the horrors of drug addiction and treatment, yet so openly discusses his path for all to hear and learn. He is a gifted speaker and easily connects with an audience of adults, teens and local politicians and town officials. I would recommend Stephen to any organization looking to educate communities on drug addiction and prevention.”

– Janice Montague, MD

“Stephen spoke at our Town Hall meeting and his words were both eye-opening and genuine. He is an exceptional speaker and his message is on target to the problems of addiction. His fall to the depths of addiction and his rise back to sobriety was an impactful lesson for everyone in attendance. You could have heard a pin drop while he was speaking. If he reached one person in the audience, the night was a success.”

– James Batelli, Chief of Police, Mahwah

” If more people spoke out about their mistakes and addiction issues like Stephen did, there would be less addicts in the world.”

– Kevin, Student at Garfield High School