Why Nick Wears the Jacket
“Be who you are and say what you feel. For those that mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss
This jacket was one of Nick’s favorite pieces of clothing to wear in high school. For him, it said all the right things; it was confident, fun, bold, and unique. Nick adopted this style from his admiration of Kenny Hammond, a slightly autistic garbage man.
Nick, a former caddy, met Kenny on Nantucket Island at Sankaty Head Golf Club, a highly prestigious golf course that was ultra exclusive and very difficult to become a member of. Kenny did not make much money, but was such an impressive golfer that the members of the club paid for his membership every year so that Kenny could play for free.
What Nick really liked about Kenny was his attitude. He was someone positive who loved life and treated everyone with the utmost respect. All the members loved Kenny.
The Sankaty Head Golf Club held an annual member-guest tournament, an extravagant show, where CEOs would fly their guests in on private jets. Everyone was always trying to out-impress everyone else. On the second day of the tournament, Kenny showed up in head-to-toe pink: pink suit, pink shoes, pink hat, pink shirt. He was there to make his own statement: that he was a garbage man, he had the worst clubs in the bag, that he had never taken a private lesson, and he could still out-golf everyone there.
Nick loved Kenny’s bold statement and attitude, and as soon as Nick saw that multi-colored jacket in the store, he immediately bought it. Nick fell in love with that jacket because it was fun and made him feel free and happy; this was Nick’s own way of saying, “I am moving and going places to the beat of my own drum.”
While Nick did not care what others thought, his jacket was not without controversy. Several people hated it and told him that he should not wear something so hideous. He was called homosexual slurs, he was berated constantly. Finally, enough people had psychologically worn him down that he eventually listened to the harsh criticisms and voices and he stopped wearing the Kenny-inspired jacket. He hung the jacket up in the closet where it remained for many years.
Over time, Nick began to hear his own voice again – the voice that told him to pursue his dreams, no matter what others thought. He followed his own calling, and eventually those derogatory voices were silenced. He put the jacket back on and now does not tour school assemblies without it.
Nick had finally realized that, just like his own experiences in high school, many students hide who they are and what they want to do in life. Most young adults only want to be accepted and avoid criticism; the opinions and pressures of others sometimes guide them in the wrong direction in life. Nick wants to change this thought process and see that students live to their full potential, are not afraid to be who they want to be, and bring out their true colors. He firmly believes that by changing this thought process, students will be much happier and they can bring out their own individuality and uniqueness to the world. They will live their life to the fullest by bringing out their gifts and true self to the world.
This is why Nick wears the jacket.
“Nick is real, and connects to students in a way that many speakers don’t, the standing ovation at the end of his presentation is proof of that.”
“One of the best youth presenters I’ve ever seen in nearly 2 decades in the business.”
“The moment he stepped on stage he connected and captivated
the students, so much so that he received two standing ovations.”
“Nick was a hit with our student audience. We really appreciated the
extra effort he put into making his presentation something to remember.”
“Definition of someone who can tell a story and change a life.”
“Nick’s animated personality, commanding presence, and overall sincere demeanor gained him the respect of both my students and staff so much that he received a standing ovation at the close of his story!”
“Your message of perseverance, honesty, and being true to one’s self was perfect for our group.
And you were a professional and a pleasure to work with too!”
“Thank you for coming to our school and sharing your story. It meant a lot to me. I took your story as a reason to do what I want to do. I enlisted in the army and was sworn in on 12-09-15 due to your story of following your dreams.”
“I highly recommend Nick to any organization looking for an
extraordinary communicator who can move an audience to unexpected places.”
“I strongly endorse Nick Tokman and unquestionably believe that
his story and message should be heard by students of all ages.”
“I found myself engrossed in his speech. Even as an adult
I left the presentation feeling inspired to achieve more in my own life.”
“As part of his motivational talk he gives away the book ‘The Alchemist’ to a lucky student. This gesture motivated our English Department to include the book within their curriculum reading list.”
“His conversational speaking style, soul-bearing story, and true compassion for young people created a clear message that left us breathless!”
“His stories of perseverance and dedication to a single vision are inspiring and relatable. I strongly support Nick as a public speaker and social motivator.”
“Nick was such an engaging and dynamic speaker! Our students were highly engaged throughout his presentation and is truly due to his ability to connect with the audience.”
“Nick will challenge you to be speculative of your decisions and your dreams, and he will also encourage you to believe in yourself.”
“Usually during school presentations I get bored out of my mind, but Mr. Nick kept his presentation upbeat and funny, so I never got distracted or bored!”
“Nick has a gift of public speaking. In speaking to students who left the assembly, I was approached by countless students. They all implored me to have Nick come back and speak to others.”
“Nick’s most effective attributes as a speaker were his approachability and his honesty. Sixth graders can be shy, but our students took to him right away. I would recommend Nick without hesitation”
“When you are dealing with a large group, many who have severe behavioral problems, and you could hear a pin drop, Nick is quite engaging and interactive.”
“Nick has appeared in several local school districts with equal success. I strongly recommend him as a speaker, especially for a middle school and high school audience.”
“Thank you for doing what you do. I’m looking forward to meeting with you again and sharing my stories and successes because you helped me reach it.”
“It was a joy having Nick speak at our school and we would love to have him back in the future!”
“I can say without reservation that Nick possesses an uncommon gift for speaking and connecting with youth while inspiring them to follow their dreams.”
“Your inspirational and motivational message is exactly what our youth needed to hear.”
“Many members of the audience left with happy faces, the others begged their teachers to delay class so that they could meet Nick in person to seek additional information about his life’s journey.”
“Our students were highly engaged throughout his presentation and is truly due to his ability to connect with the audience.”
“Nick is an exceptionally hardworking, top-performing professional. He has my highest recommendation.”
“It is not easy to keep a group of teens interested in something for a long period of time, but Nick was able to do this with ease.”
“Mr. Tokman is an enthusiastic speaker who demonstrated a wonderful rapport with people of all ages. I recommend Mr. Tokman to you without reservation.”
“Nick was energetic and was able to get his message across to the kids in a way which they listened. I would recommend him as a motivational speaker; his enthusiasm and personality sold his message.”
“It was our pleasure to have Nick with us and we hope to have him back again next year! I would highly recommend him!”
"Friend of Education" Pricing Available
100% Privacy — No Obligation or Commitment
Nick Tokman © 2017