Student Program Grades 6-12

… Thank you for your infinite wisdom, inspiration, and for inviting our students to live their most honest and authentic lives. You gave us so much to build upon as a school community, and I believe that the lessons our students learned today will resonate for a lifetime.

Dr. Lois R. Favre, Superintendent/Principal  – Bridgehampton UFSD

How this program came about

When I closed the door to my classroom in 2014, I grieved for that chapter in my life being over, but six years ago, at the request of a former student, Fara Stack Shoudy, I developed an assembly entitled “DEVELOPING INNER STRENGTH”.

Once again I’ve had the opportunity to connect and work with young people from across the country and as far as South Korea. What joy and hope for the future this brings me. I’m indebted to Fara for encouraging me to reopen my classroom door. It’s been a beautiful journey of rediscovery.

Developing Inner Strength

Though we are a society that celebrates physical strength, we rarely, if ever, talk about the cultivation of inner strength — the strength that enables us to make sound decisions in the face of adversity, peer pressure, bullying, media influence, etc.

What to Expect:

In his 75-minute assembly, Mr. Perricone will guide students using interactive exercises, storytelling, psychological insights, and age-appropriate philosophical discussion to awaken them to the power that resides within themselves to shape their lives and forge their destinies — and to the realization that their every thought and action matters as they navigate their life’s path.


What Teachers and Administrators Are Saying:

… John is one of those special individuals that comes into a school and makes a true and lasting difference. Simply put, our school is better today because of John. I would highly recommend his presentation to any high school or middle school.

Marc Freeman, Shikellamy HS Principal Sunbury, PA

… Mr. Perricone made an immeasurable impact on every student and adult who attended, and we are, without a doubt, a better community for his having been here!

Dr. Jason Uttermark Aberdeen Central High School Aberdeen, South Dakota

… By opening his heart and life to his audience, he immediately earned the trust and respect of every person in the room – children and adults alike. There are simply not enough accolades in our language to capture how incredible and impactful his assembly was, and we so look forward to having him back!

Kathy Algieri and Kathy Dayton 6th Grade Teachers and Hosts
Hampton Bays Middle School, Hampton Bays, N.Y.

From Students:

Dear Mr. Perricone,

My name is Caroline and I am a sophomore at Dallas High School. Your assembly this morning (“Developing Inner Strength”) impacted me in ways that I could not have imagined when I stepped inside the auditorium and I just wanted to reach out and from the bottom of my heart say thank you.  Most recently I’ve been looking for clarity in my life and that’s exactly what you gave me.  So much came together for me after hearing you speak — whether it be why I am the way I am, why other people are, or act the way they do, or who I want to be in the future. You put so many of my thoughts into words and gave me answers to questions that I’ve been seeking. The more I think about what you said, the more clarity I have.  Please know in your heart how much you touched my life and how grateful I am for the experience.



Dallas High School

The assembly was amazing. Mr. Perricone was so inspiring and optimistic. He made me want to make a positive change in my life, as simple as making someone smile because you never know what someone else is going through. Thank you, Mr. Perricone.

Mia Urso, 8th Grade Student at Chenango Forks Middle School Binghamton, NY

I think Mr. Perricone’s speech was so inspiring because he told us about how he overcame peer pressure in school, and how we could do the same by calling on our inner strength. He also reminded us of how precious life is and how we will all experience “peaks and valleys” in our journey.

Cade Mulesky, 6th Grade Student at Chenango Forks Middle School in Binghamton, NY

Mr. Perricone, before I heard you speak it never occurred to me that the pain and hardship I’ve experienced in my life could be a stepping stone and a path to my personal growth — thank you for this beautiful insight. I’ll be a different person from this day forward…

Marcia, HS Senior at Silver Springs, Nevada

References  for Student Program

Dr. Jason S. Bendle, District Superintendent,
570-286-3721  x2102

Marc Freeman, Shikellamy High School Principal, Sunbury, PA, 570-286-3700

Dr. Thomas Duffy, Superintendent of Schools, Dallas School District, Dallas, PA  570-675-5201 ext.7

David Koma, Principal of Rice Avenue Middle School, Girard, PA   814-774-5604

Eric Louis, Principal of Girard High School, Girard, PA 814-774-5607

Dr. Jason M. Bottiglieri, Superintendent of Schools, Wyalusing Area School District, Wyalusing, PA 570-746-1600 x3005

Matthew Wincek, Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology, Wyalusing Area School District, Wyalusing, PA,  570-746-1600 ext 3010

Al Cirone,Principal, Babylon Junior-Senior High School, 631-893-7920

Dr. Jason Uttermark, Aberdeen Central High School, Aberdeen, South Dakota   (605)-725-8100

George Seiler, Superintendent, Redfield School District 56-4, Redfield, South Dakoata,   (605)-472-4520

Kathy Algieri, Hampton Bays Middle School, Hampton Bays, N.Y.  631-723-4700  ext. 2604

Kathy Dayton, Hampton Bays Middle School, Hampton Bays, N.Y.    631-723-4700  x2221

Thomas Brindley, Superintendent, Oneonta City School District, Oneonta, N.Y.                    607-433-8200  x1300