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Speaker Series



Mitch Albom - January 23, 2020


Author of Tuesdays with Morrie, philanthropist, columnist, and sports reporter Mitch Albom is an inspiration around the world. His books have sold over 35 million copies and have been translated into over 40 languages.


While nationally recognized for his sports writing, Albom is perhaps best known for the themes of hope and kindness that weave through his books, plays, and films. In his talks and presentations, he brings the same inspiring message of community building, giving, and purpose.


His breakthrough book, Tuesdays with Morrie, became an international phenomenon with over 14 million copies sold. Now in its twentieth year, Tuesdays remains one of the top selling memoirs of all time, and was adapted into an Emmy Award-winning TV movie produced by Oprah Winfrey, starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria.


Albom has founded 10 charities, including nine in the Detroit area, such as S.A.Y. Detroit, which operates a family health clinic; A Time to Help, a volunteer organization; and A Hole in the Roof Foundation, which repairs faith-based homeless shelters. He also directs the Have Faith Haiti Mission in Port Au Prince, which helps impoverished children and orphans, as well as the Chika Fund, which provides life-saving medical costs and health care.


A columnist for The Detroit Free Press since 1985 and a panelist on The Sports Reporters podcast, Albom has been named the #1 Sports Columnist in the Nation by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) 13 times. In June 2010 he received the APSE Red Smith Award for lifetime achievement, the biggest prize in sports journalism, and in June 2013, he was inducted into the Sportswriters Hall of Fame.


He is the author of eight bestselling books, with five debuting at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, including The First Phone Call from Heaven; Have A Little Faith; The Five People You Meet in Heaven and its sequel, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven.


Albom hosts two radio shows on WJR-AM and has appeared on The Today Show, Oprah, and CBS Sunday Morning. His articles have been featured in The New York Times, GQ Sports Illustrated. Currently, he is developing an hour-long TV show forTNT.


Event Details

  • Thursday, January 23, 2020
  • 11:05 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Must check in by 11:00 a.m.
  • This event is open to the public but RSVP is required. RSVP to Mrs. Jeanne Noonan at jnoonan@jserra.org.


Rocky Herron - September 19, 2019


Since 2007 Special Agent Rocky Herron has presented the Drug Enforcement Administration's “I Choose My Future” around the world to over 97,000 middle school and high school students in such countries as the United States, Columbia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Ghana, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan.


He has been with the DEA since 1990 and worked on a wide variety of cases including border smuggling, conspiracy, prescription, bad doctor cases, tunnels, and Fentanyl. He has also provided law enforcement training to foreign academies such as the Mexican Federal Police Academy and International Law Enforcement Academy in El Salvador and Hungary.


Herron will give the JSerra community a riveting look at today's culture and send a powerful message to students about the true effects of vaping, drinking, and drug abuse.


Lila Rose - October 17, 2019


Lila Rose is a speaker, writer, podcast host, and human rights activist. Rose founded and serves as president of Live Action, a media and news nonprofit dedicated to ending abortion and inspiring a culture that respects all human life. Live Action’s groundbreaking news coverage and compelling videos reach several million people online every week.


Rose is the host of “The Lila Rose Show,” a podcast that tackles faith, relationships, culture and politics.


Rose’s media appearances include Fox News’ Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, and the Story with Martha Macallum, CNN, BBC, and many other national television and radio programs. Rose’s investigative reporting on the abortion industry has been featured in most major news outlets, including the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CBS and ABC Nightline. Rose has written for the Hill, Politico, USA Today, and First Things, among others.


Rose also speaks internationally on faith, family and cultural issues, and has addressed members of the European Parliament and the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women. Rose has been named among the National Journal’s “25 Most Influential Washington Women Under 35,” and Christianity Today’s “33 under Thirty-Three.”


Her Speaker Series presentation is entitled "Shifting the Tide: Why This is the Pro-Life Moment."


A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Rose and her husband reside in Los Angeles.



Julie Lythcott-Haims: "How to Raise an Adult" - September 13, 2018


Julie Lythcott-Haims began her career as a litigator in Silicon Valley. She served as Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising at Stanford University, and now she's a writer. From her own life trajectory and from working with tens of thousands of our nations best and brightest young adults, Lythcott-Haims has a clear sense of how we become the humans we want to be, and of what gets in our way.


Bestselling-author of How to Raise an Adult and Real American, Lythcott-Haims has hosted two successful TED talks, and speaks across the country on the dangers of over parenting as well as ways to "throw out the check-listed childhood."


Sarah Swafford: "Emotional Virtue" - October 19, 2018


Sarah Swafford is the founder of Emotional Virtue Ministries. She speaks internationally to people of all ages on a variety of topics such as: Emotional Virtue, Dating and Relationships, and Interior Confidence. She is a graduate of Benedictine College and has been involved in ministry for over ten years.


For three years, Swafford worked as a Residence Hall Director at Benedictine College, taking care of 142 freshmen women. That amazing experience gave her a front row seat into the hearts of women and men transitioning from high school to college, giving her a deeper look into the struggles facing teens and young adults today.




World-renowned inspirational speaker and New York Times-bestselling author Nick Vujicic spoke at JSerra Catholic High School to almost 2,000 attendees that included students, staff, and members of the community. It was also watched via live simulcast by 22 Christian schools in Southern California.

Born without arms or legs, Vujicic overcame his disabilities to live an independent, rich, fulfilling, and "ridiculously good" life while serving as a role model for anyone seeking true happiness. Now an internationally successful motivational speaker, Vujicic eagerly spreads his message, assuring people that God does have a plan for everyone, and every life is meaningful and purposeful.

Vujicic's message will resonate and inspire you to share the love of Jesus Christ in a world full of many distractions. He also shares funny tidbits and memorable quotes (the most touching might be: "You don't know the beautiful things that can come from broken pieces").


Author of the best-selling book Seal of God, Chad Williams shares his journey through the grueling Naval Ops training and onto the streets of Iraq, where he witnessed the horrors of war up close. It's a radical conversion story sure to inspire awe in everyone.


Dr. Sax is an American psychologist and a practicing family physician. He is best known as the author of four important books for parents: Boys Adrift, Girls on the Edge, Why Gender Matters, and The Collapse of Parenting. Dr. Sax has built an international reputation as an expert on child and adolescent development issues and has spoken to groups around the world. (Download the presentation notes here.)

Dr. Sax has also recently been featured on the new season of JSerra's podcast series, Plugged In. Listen here or download on iTunes.


Father Greg Boyle is the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles — the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. He is also the author the New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, which was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly and received the PEN Center USA 2011 Creative Nonfiction Award.