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Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Founder and Chairman of the Board, Learning Makes A Difference Foundation; Nationally-Syndicated Columnist and Bestselling Author, 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours

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$10,000 & Under


Dedicated to helping others flourish and creating a positive impact in their daily lives, Jackie Gingrich Cushman compels audiences to live their best life with her uplifting message and approachable style. Her exceptional skill in synthesizing today's most pressing world events and everyday life occurrences with authenticity, relevance and insight uniquely connects Cushman with audiences through both hearts and minds.

Her latest book, "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches that Every American Should Read," offers a guide to the country's most powerful and inspiring documents and speeches that have forged our nation's character and stood as beacons to successive generations of Americans.Cushman is also a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate, providing straightforward, intelligent and thought-provoking analysis and commentary on current events and other topical issues. Savvy, sensitive and stimulating, Cushman engages, energizes and empowers audiences with her optimistic outlook, innovative ideas and motivating message.

Speech Topics

If the mantra “our children are our future” is truly a widely-held belief, then why are education professionals our most undervalued resource? Entering into their positions, educators are often faced with inadequate resources, overcrowded classrooms and little to no support for assistance on typical school issues. Despite these difficulties, they preserve with tenacity and fortitude, in the hopes of connecting with just one student and put them on the path to success. Jackie Cushman is a visionary leader in education and as Founder of Learning Makes a Difference, she has an intimate understanding with the struggles, challenges, and occasional rewards, education professionals face today. In this uplifting, engaging presentation, Cushman offers inspiration, advice and encouragement to these dedicated professionals that carry out our nation’s most important work.

As a society, we have been ingrained with the notion that failure is not an option. Particularly in these tough economic times, failure is even more feared as workers are asked to do more with less – money, people, time, etc – and no one wants to be responsible for wasting any of these precious, scarce resources.

However, successful leaders recognize that failure happens – and in fact, a necessary ingredient for success. They encourage employees to take risks, test new ideas, innovate and implement in any way to achieve better productivity and/or profitability. Throughout her career in the public and private sector, Jackie Cushman has been recognized as a strong, successful leader that thrives on bringing innovative concepts to life and learning and building upon success and failure to achieve a better product in the future. Here she shares her experiences as well as principles and practices of other successful leaders to cultivate a culture in which employees feel safe to explore new ideas and how this environment can fuel your business to growth, profit and increased loyalty from employees and customers.

Despite decades of investment of money and manpower in traditional education institutions, there remain countless numbers of students that fail or drop out of the system due to various factors including lack of interest, connection or the perceived relevance of school. What most of traditional education has failed to recognize is that real learning does not come from an education system; rather, it stems from a spark, that moment of connection, Aha!, of understanding and enlightenment.

For years, Jackie Cushman has been on the forefront of innovative educational ideas and a pioneer in piloting their creation, development and implementation in areas across the country. Her foundation, Learning Makes a Difference, has introduced landmark programs, such as Learn, Earn, Achieve that have discovered the tipping point for effective behavior change and led to success for students who had been forsaken by the traditional system. As smart spending on education is increasing critical for the current administration, Cushman provides an unparalleled perspective and astute insight on the current landscape, players, platforms and ideas – and where it is headed for the future.

In the midst of education budget cuts, jam-packed schedules, mounting homework loads and the pervasiveness of the internet, social media and gaming in children’s lives, physical exercise and good nutrition are being increasingly overlooked as families search for convenient solutions to accomplishing their daily tasks. Obesity in families is sharply on the rise and lifestyle habits formed early on tend to follow children into adulthood. Thus, it is imperative to connect with and educate children on proper nutrition and fitness so they may lead full, healthy lives. But how do we effectively do that with a tech-savvy, disinterested target in a media-saturated environment?

As an active advocate of improving the lives of children, Jackie Cushman has witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of childhood obesity through her work with students and homeless families. With her team at the Learning Makes a Difference Foundation, she has extensively researched and studied this growing phenomenon and developed innovative, practical solutions to tackle the issue. In this eye-opening discussion, Cushman deftly explains and dissects the current causes, future path and creative, effective methods for combating this burgeoning national epidemic.

Is life really so complicated? Ask happy and successful people this question and you’re likely to hear that, in essence, life is really quite simple. In this compelling presentation, Jackie Gingrich Cushman offers five fundamental principles that provide a practical playbook for living life to its fullest. The five principles are:

  • Dream Big

  • Work Hard

  • Learn Every Day

  • Enjoy Life

  • Be True to Yourself

While following these principles may appear to be easy, mastering them requires diligence and perseverance. Cushman shares personal stories and anecdotes that illustrate the principles at work and offers advice, tips and techniques to audiences on how to adapt and apply them to their own lives. Cushman also provides scientific data and real-world examples from other successful people putting the principles into practice and achieving extraordinary outcomes.

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