‘Skid Row CEO’ Headlining Mayor’s ‘N.E.O: Not Even Once’ Youth Addictions Prevention Program

December 5, 2018


Brandon, MB – Award-winning Inspirational Keynote Speaker Joe Roberts, AKA “The Skid Row CEO”, will headline Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest’s “N.E.O: Not Even Once” youth addictions prevention program being presented to several hundred high school students in Brandon later this week.

The idea for such an educational program originated during Brandon City Council’s 2018 budget discussions, during which Mayor Chrest proposed additional funding to develop a program to get the message directly to local students about the devastating, highly addictive, and potentially life-threatening consequences of trying addictive drugs, such as crystal methamphetamine, even one time. With input from the Brandon School Division, student leaders, and numerous local organizations, the “N.E.O: Not Even Once” program took shape, and the City of Brandon then sought out Joe Roberts as a notable speaker to headline the program’s events.

Roberts went from being a homeless drug addict in Vancouver, to attaining extraordinary business success as a celebrated entrepreneur. He has subsequently inspired and motivated the nation to create ripple effects of transformation in the lives of at-risk youth throughout the country via his national awareness campaign, The Push for Change, which made a stop in Brandon in the spring of 2017.

Roberts and his wife, Marie, will return to Brandon this week, bringing his message of perseverance, determination and the resiliency of the human spirit to hundreds of Grade 11 students at all three of Brandon’s high schools during in-school events this Thursday and Friday, and will also present a keynote speech on Friday morning at the Brandon and Area Suicide Prevention Implementation Network’s (SPIN) 14th Annual Youth Wellness Day conference, an event open to all Grade 9 students in the Brandon School Division.

“We’re very privileged to have Joe and Marie Roberts from The Push for Change return to Brandon to provide Joe’s story of lived experience as a homeless drug addict and his inspirational message to aid our addictions prevention effort,” notes Mayor Chrest. “City Council placed a high priority on funding a Mayor’s initiative to help prevent youth addictions in our community.  As many Canadian communities are gripped with the consequences of addictive drugs such as crystal meth, we are dedicated to engage and support any efforts that combat this issue in our City.”

Roberts will wrap up this week’s speaking engagements in Brandon with a public event on the evening of Friday, December 7th, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Cultural Resource Centre at the A.R. McDiarmid Civic Complex. The event is FREE to attend; however, pre-registration is encouraged by calling the City of Brandon Community Development section at 204-729-2257 or by emailing communitydevelopment@brandon.ca.

More information about Joe and Marie Roberts and their motivational and inspirational work can be found at https://skidrowceo.com/.