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Chris Herren’s Message to Shen

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Chris Herren came to Shen with a goal. Chris was an addictattic and doesn’t want kids to make the same mistakes he made. 

Herren, who visited Shen Oct. 18, spoke to athletes in the auditorium and allowed his talk to be livestreamed to classrooms throughout the high school. Herren said his goal at the end of his talk was to have one kid in the auditorium say to themselves. “I wanna feel better about myself. I pretend everything is great but I don’t feel that great about myself. I need to change.” 

Being confident in yourself was also a key subject that Harren spoke about. Herren said he wishes he asked for help at our age and spoke up more about himself and his family. 

“It’s not about drugs and alcohol, it’s about self esteem,” said Herren. 

Herren said his favorite outcome of speaking to audiences is hearing about how he  inspires people to stand up for themselves and gain confidence in their life. 

“I’ll never forget talking to this one girl in high school, when I started doing this 15 years ago. This little girl emailed me after talking with her school and she explained to me that alcohol was a huge problem she was going through in her life and how much confidence she gained after hearing me speak. That really touched me,” said Herren. 

She explained to Chris how she stood up for herself in front of the whole school after hearing him talk that day. She went into the cafeteria and sat at the “cool kids” table and all of the kids were screaming at her telling her to leave but she decided to stay there and stand her ground. She stood up on the table and rolled her sleeves and pants up, showing all her scars from cutting herself. She then went on to preach her story to everyone explaining how it’s not her fault that her dads a drunk and how her mom is severely depressed and she has to live with that every day.

Herren said making bad decisions growing up  is only going to hurt the people that care for you. Herren dealt with this as a child. 

“My parents were getting divorced and I begged my mom to take me with her because there’s no way I was living with my drunk dad. I promised her that she wouldn’t need to worry about me but 4 years later she caught me shoving beers down my throat with my friends and I started to realize I was affecting her the same way my dad did,” said Herren. 

The first time kids get caught drinking or smoking by their parents was a sensitive topic for Herren. Herren really wants parents to stop acting the way they do in today’s society when they catch their kid drinking or smoking for the first time. 

“It shouldn’t be about getting mad and trying to figure out who they got it from or where,” said Herren. 

Herren said if he was to catch his kid he would simply sit down and give them a hug. He would probably cry and just ask them why they chose to do this. 

“In that situation, getting help for your kid is the only thing that should possibly matter,” said Herren. 

Herren talked about how important being a role model is. 

“Think about how you want your little brother or sister to end up. Everything you do in front of them is going to have an effect on them because they will think it’s okay to try something just because you’re doing it,” said Herren.

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