What people say...

Support Statements

Public School Testimonials

We worked with Jerry Goebel's program, Communities of Trust, here in our Language and Leadership Learning Center in Mexico and found it to be inspiring and worthwhile for both our teachers and students. It gave them inspiration to begin to look at themselves and their own lives and futures in Mexican culture. Thinking deeply about their values and passions and how that fit into how they live was not something that they had ever really been encouraged to think about. We could see eyes lighting up with hope and understanding as they worked through the material. We are excited and looking forward to being able to continue with it in our programs here in Mexico. We know this program offers solutions when the norm is to present problems and more problems. We appreciated that the changes begin first with ourselves and then ripple out into the community as more and more embrace truly social progress and responsibility.  

— Beverly Leavitt and Laurie Roberts

Directors of ESC WORKS! International Inc.

Parent Night, Foothills School Division, Alberta

"The best school speaker I have heard. Thank you for bringing him in to speak to our parents"

"My husband and I have been twice and I'm so glad we went the second time".

"Yes, I would definitely attend if Jerry had more parenting sessions.  We have started meeting with our son about this."

"Thank you for starting this parenting support group.  I will for sure get involved in my community"

"This was very excellent and helpful. Thank you very much!"

"GREAT workshop. I would just love to come to more"

"Jerry was a great communicator and just what I as a parent needed to hear tonight.  Everything made so much sense"

"YES! Please bring him back another time"

"Absolutely refreshing and brilliant content! Jerry was gentle, respectful and significantly engaging. Many of the 70 parents who drove from considerable distances to hear him, thoroughly enjoyed him and his message.  These parents and school staff indicated on our feedback page, that they wanted to hear more, so we had Jerry return for a second, follow-up workshop.

Jerry was enthusiastically received and deeply appreciated by our Foothills School Division staff on our opening day, August 2011.

If you have opportunity, do not miss Jerry as a person and the poignant message he lives"!

Jim McFarlane, Family School Liaison Counselor

Foothills School Division, Alberta

I would love to have you come back... The students were singing your songs together at recess and doing the actions. The posters are up in the classroom with pride. The grade 8s have decided they want to lead a stop bullying afternoon with the grade 5/6 and 6/7 classes thanks to your inspiration. You have made an impact on our school Jerry.  

Shannon LeCouffe

Grade 8 Homeroom Teacher

Being a new, independent, private middle school serving marginalized inner city youth; we are most appreciative of Jerry’s guidance and understanding.  His ICU Curriculum and Compassionate Life Tool has had a major impact on our staff, students and their families. 

Developing a new school requires a high level of trust. Jerry’s work has allowed our staff, students and their families the opportunity to explore their strengths and their values in a trusting, safe, non-threatening environment.   His work has helped us to quickly forge a  trusting, caring, compassionate community that can accurately articulate what is passionate about and what it stands for.   

As a direct result we are able to maintain a 97% attendance rate, a minimum of one year’s growth in academic progress and most importantly, measured growth in the hope, engagement and wellbeing of our school community. 


Curtis Kleisinger


Mother Teresa Middle School

We have just completed our first year of our school-wide Intentional Courtesy program.  The curriculum of this program has complimented and enhanced our faith based teaching within the school. The program has become a cornerstone of our school culture.  Intentional Courtesy provides children with an insight into how simple kindness can be the foundation for leading a meaningful life. It encourages them to recognize those in need and react with courtesy. Students learn that they have the power within to make others feel good about themselves and the power to encourage the best from people.  Furthermore, Intentional Courtesy urges children to become enthusiastic about their values and to engage with others to accomplish meaningful goals.

Students at Ecole Good Shepherd School have embraced Intentional Courtesy. Not only have we noticed that students are more frequently choosing to act out of courtesy, but they are also recognizing when others do the same. The program has also spawned a leadership component within our school, where the grade 6 students serve as “encouragers” who help deliver the program to the younger grades. This initiative has helped build a greater feeling of trust among students from grade one to six.  As we have learned, “courtesy builds trust and trust helps us learn”.  I would recommend this program to any school who seeks a framework to reinforce or build a positive action oriented school culture.

Greg Gibbs, Lead Teacher

Ecole Good Shepherd School

Christ the Redeemer Catholic School Division

I am honoured to have been asked to comment on Jerry Goebel's Intentional Courtesy curriculum.  We are currently in the second year of partnering with Good Shepherd School and it has transformed the culture both at St. Luke's and G.S.S.  Our students have developed a renewed sense of purpose through their participation in this program.  They truly feel valued by the staff and grade 5 students at GSS and that, in turn, has positively impacted many other facets of their lives.  Our students come alive and their God given gifts shine through when they are working with the younger students.  

Niki Doyle

Vice Principal

St. Luke Outreach Centre

Okotoks, AB

Christ the Redeemer Catholic School Division

Good morning!

I just wanted to share with you that we were witness to some extraordinary student leadership this morning.  Cheryl Harvey’s grade 7/8 class gave a well-rehearsed and extremely meaningful presentation to begin the first of the next four ICU themes. 

The presentation included student-lead discussion, skits and sharing of personal experiences with the whole school.  In conversation with James, we were in agreement that this stands out as one of the most meaningful student-lead activities delivering a very personal message of acceptance, giving and sharing that we have experienced.

Thank you Jerry for working with this class in preparation for teaching and sharing with the rest of the school.  It has reaped a very positive outcome for positive leadership and highlighted the importance of the message being delivered.

Thanks again,

Heidi Hildebrand

(E-mail shared by permission of Heidi and James)

Heidi Hildebrand and James Wahl

Vice Principal and Principal

St. Jerome Elementary School

Regina Catholic School Division

Jerry Goebel and his messages came into my life at a crucial time.  I see how much it has helped me and want my students to have the opportunities to live a meaningful life.  I feel that the message of Intentional Courtesy is a valuable tool for every child to have in their life toolbox.  I see the importance in my day to day life, being a mother and a teacher, which is why I pass it on to my children and students. 

I see two ways ICU has empowered my students and helped them to see they can be a part of something bigger.  One of the ways ICU helped my students was by motivated them to do something to make a difference.  The part I loved most about this project was that all I had to do was offer my students one question, “Who in our community is sad, mad or even lonely?”  My students decided that homeless fit all three of these criteria.  They were motivated to raise awareness and money for the homeless of Regina.  My hope is that this experience is something they remember for the rest of their life and continue to do go forth and make a difference.  They ended up rising over $1000.00, which was donated to Habitat for Humanity of Regina.  Jerry Goebel taught my students that to be wealthy is the ability to give.  My students managed to make a difference even though many of them were growing up in poverty themselves. 

The other way ICU empowers my students is by allowing them to teach the lessons to the rest of the school.  My students have been role models for the rest of the school not only during the teaching of the lessons but also during recess, assembly, and out in their community.  My students look forward to the days when they teach others.  Also the younger students get to hear the message from students they look up to.  My students will carry this information with them for a lifetime because they have had a chance to learn it, internalize it, and then teach it.

I believe that ICU provides children many opportunities to shine in many aspects of their life, for example in school, friendships, family, and their careers.  It creates children who can see issues and find solutions.  I see how much ICU has benefited children on a daily basis, from opening a door for someone to going up to someone and wishing them a good morning.  The world would be a better place if everyone young and old took a page out of Jerry’s book.

Angie Sazynski, Teacher at Sacred Heart Community School

Angela Saszinsky

Sacred Heart Community Elementary School

Lead Teacher

Regina Catholic School Division

The IC program is such an amazing valuable tool for all students. Each student that has come into the Broadcast Studio to watch Jerry has left smiling, singing and sharing with others in the class. The St. Luke students have become leaders and are incredibly knowledgeable in the material they are sharing with their younger peers. The students benefit from this program in so many ways: They sing and dance, become positive role models for peers and younger students, think about how they can become a better person, start making plans for their future goals, how they can help others become better people.

Regina Catholic Schools “Go Make A Difference” – starts with the IC program. The students are making a difference in their lives and it is reflecting to the people around them.

Every classroom in Regina Catholic Schools should participate in IC program it fits into all curricular areas and the benefit is endless.

Amy Perrey

Tech Ed Teacher

Regina Catholic School Division

Hi Jerry,

Joe was here this morning so we were chatting about the Encouragers program. 

What Joe likes about the Encouragers is:

•learning the aspects of compassion

•getting to work with the students at Jean Vanier

•getting to experience new opportunities

•making a difference for others even if it is small

The benefits that I see from the Encouragers program are:

  1. the students increasing their leadership skills

  2. getting our students involved in outside activities. It was a learning experience for me to see how many students at St. Luke are not involved with anything outside of school.

  3. seeing the students blossom, especially with the work at Jean Vanier

  4. seeing another side of our students. The shy ones seem to come out of their shells

  5. giving our students the opportunity to learn and grow and give to others 

Mindy Harbus

Vice Principal, St. Luke’s Outreach Centre

Joseph Kaye, Graduate, St. Luke’s Outreach Centre

Regina Catholic School Division

For Jerry’s Book, “The Deepest Longing”

With this book, Jerry Goebel hits the mark. With a profound understanding of young people and their potential, he provides wise and compelling insight about how lives become transformed. I admire his faith in the goodness of young people and his counsel on how adults can help this goodness trump hardship and our “entertain me” culture. I highly recommend this important book.

Peter L. Benson, PhD, president and CEO, The Search Institute

It is seldom that you find a book that is simultaneously profound and practical. Here it is! Jerry Goebel is offering us real wisdom and guidance for those of us who care about the next generations.

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Here is a deeply evangelical presentation of the spiritual hunger of at-risk youth and lessons learned from years of experience and commitment.

Dr. Michael Carotta, Author of Sometimes We Dance, Sometimes We Wrestle

I read this book with something approaching awe. It is so full of compassion for young people, so eminently practical, and written with such heartfelt passion that you cannot help yourself from saying: There is truth here.  Jerry Goebel has been working with young people in gangs, juvenile detention centers, and prisons for more than thirty years, and his philosophy can be summed up in just a few words: Listen thoroughly and speak only when you know the right questions to ask. This same philosophy of life has been stated by spiritual teachers in different ways throughout the ages, and Jerry’s book is a potent reminder of the need to listen with an open heart and mind.

Katherine Ketcham, co-author of Teens Under the Influence

Jerry’s book is chock full of moments of clarity—those times when you read an explanation of a passage and in a flash you’re changed. You understand. It’s hard to find books that teach hard lessons and challenge me to change. This book accomplished both.

Patrick Carman, author of the best selling series Land of Elyon

For Jerry’s Curriculums and Presentations

“Would you want to address a room full of teachers two days before classes begin? Jerry Goebel not only addressed the teachers and administrators in the Diocese of Beaumont but inspired them with his beautiful and passionate love for youth. His definition of love is unconditional dignity. “I loved you from the moment that you were part of me and nothing you can/cannot do will change my love for you.” He spoke of intentional courtesy in a world that has forgotten this characteristic. Jerry Goebel is a true “Encourager!” Ask yourself the question, “How many people can I enthuse? Teachers and administrators expressed their enthusiasm at the end of the day. What a significant message to carry into the school year – engage your students with enthusiasm and unconditional dignity and build relevant relationships!”

Nancy Collins, Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of Beaumont, TX

“If you want someone who will keep your group’s attention, Jerry is the person.  His sharing of his life work to illustrate the leadership principles he is teaching keeps them on the edge of their seats.  He lives what he teaches and you can’t get more “real” than that.  His love for fellow man shows through in his gentleness and sincerity.  Our group loved him and we would have loved to hear more of the musician in him also.”

Naomi Stone, Vice Chairman, Utah Rural Electric Leadership Conference Planning Committee

“I can say with certainty that I embarked on the journey of my ministry 12 years ago in large part because of Jerry Goebel.  Experiencing his ministry opened my eyes and helped me to let the love of God flood my heart.

“Jerry’s passion for living the faith, his giftedness as a musician and the depth of his love for the people of God cannot help but speak to all of us. Jerry does not just talk about living the gospel, he quietly but clearly lives it every day. His humor, musical gift and wisdom are captivating to an audience of any age.  His commitment to serving those who are most in need of God’s mercy and peace have made Him an invaluable witness to all of us of God’s love and faithfulness.

“Jerry is a consummate performer, a gentle and loving spirit, and a messenger to our generation of the healing power of God...and that is a message our world, young and old, desperately needs to hear.”

Steve Angrisano, Singer, Songwriter and Storyteller, Oregon Catholic Press

When people ask me about Jerry my response is, “Jerry is who I want to be when I grow up.”  Jerry has committed every part of his life, not just his work, to the Gospel message.  In everything he does he is a witness to the life and love of Jesus Christ.

Gene Montereselli, III, Apex Ministries

I have known Jerry for over 20 years.  I continually am amazed at his ability to reach so many different people. His life is dedicated to Jesus Christ and communicated this relationship and our Lord’s love to others.

His enthusiasm is contagious.  It doesn’t matter to him if he is with one person or thousands, he makes each person feel like they are the most important person on this spinning planet.

I have seen teens take real interest in their own lives and their faith after being in the presence of Jerry.

I am so proud to call him my friend.

Anna Scally, President, Cornerstone Media Inc

To whom it may concern:  I am so grateful that we had Jerry Goebel as a keynote presenter at our national conference. The chaplains for youth-at-risk were so blessed with Jerry’s presentation that it made the conference a success for them, though another featured speaker was more nationally known and promoted. Thank you, Jerry Goebel!

Dr. Eugene Hausmann, President, National Chaplains Association for Youth at Risk

Jerry captured his audience without even trying.  His genuineness spoke for him, making every encounter feel as though Jerry has known you all his life.  His spirituality transcends words, into a state of being.  His conviction and passion for youth was evident as he shared his stories.  Jerry Goebel truly lives the mission of Jesus Christ to love without boundaries, limitations and with unconditional acceptance and love.  

The comments of numerous participants echoed this response, continuing on to say that the training was applicable to all phases of life and he helped to ease the doubts of many, “Am I able to do this and do it well?” Application was easy to comprehend, because of the manner in which he presented the material and his assuring affirmation that, “It only takes 2% of a people with a common vision to change a community, let us not concentrate on the other 98%, but focus on the 2%.”

Jerry wore many hats while he was in Michigan; Entertainer/Songwriter, Educator/Trainer, Keynote Speaker/Participant, Confidante and Friend and each one of them fit like a glove.

Ida Johns, Ida Marie Johns, MA LLPC, Coordinator of Ministry to Youth in Detention, Archdioceses of Detroit

“Wow! What a gift to equip adults to engage teenagers. Thank you. Solid. Rich. Life-Changing. Extremely practical!”

Joani Schultz, Creative Consultant, Group Publishing


We are still receiving comments from the many different groups that heard you speak during your stay here in the Archdiocese of Edmonton. Your message challenges us, in our own lives, to step back and take a look at the relationships and responsibilities we have, not only with the our youth, but with all people.  While we always hope and pray for a positive response to our events we are overwhelmed at the way the Spirit is working since your visit. We look forward to your next visit where we can offer training to our leaders as we implement some of the strategies and suggestions you made to us. Thank you for your ministry!!!!

Andrew Papenbrock, Director Youth and Young Adult Ministry, The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton

“God bless this wonderful Catholic leader who relentlessly increases the life chances of youth with sustainable passion, vision, and fresh high impact methods that can be used by all stakeholder groups if they have the heart to really want to make a positive difference. Jerry’s style appeals to all generations and socioeconomic levels. He touched students, staff, parents, administrators and trustees in my urban Catholic system of about 10000 students in Saskatchewan, Canada...they want MORE from him...nobody wins until EVERYONE wins...Jerry is about walking the talk about HOW to make a distinctively positive difference with youth in Catholic schools. He is wonderful for our world!!!”

Gwen Keith. Former Director, Yellowknife Catholic Schools

We met at the Impact banquet for the Mentor Center in Carson City, NV.  I am the DARE officer. Just thought you would want to know that I used your manual on Significant Conversations today with a 7th grade class.  It is reading week, so I chose some of your readings and work sheets.  We reviewed and discussed the lessons on values and attitudes.  After reading the section, students participated in discussion groups to discuss 2 selected questions and then reported back to the class.

At first they felt awkward, then once they understood that there were no trick questions - they did very well! By the time we started the 2nd lesson students were energized and excited - they wanted to talk about other questions.  Several asked, “Do I get to keep this (worksheet)?”  Some indicated they wanted to complete all of the questions!

Thank you!

Lisa S. Davis, Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Prevention Coordinator/DARE Officer

“Thank you again for your presentation to my class at the Cooperative School of Christian Mission.  It made an enormous impact on the members of the class.  You are walking-the-talk in a way that inspires many, including that group of adult learners.”

Barbara Pacific Northwest School of Missions

In this fast-paced and changing world, we, as people of faith, must meet our responsibility to engage in meaningful relationships with our young people.  Jerry’s program empowers us to take an active role with youth in a way that will create a culture of “unconditional dignity” for all God’s children.  

Ruth Gordon, Director, Mentor Center of Western Nevada

“Jerry is leading the way in ministry to our ‘forgotten’ youth and those in great risk of becoming forgotten; a ministry overlooked by so many of us because we do not have the tools to do it. This program could change the lives of thousands of young people, impacting our country today and in the years ahead.”

Leigh E. Sterton, Director of Youth Ministry, Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau

We cannot truly call youth ministry “comprehensive” when we are overlooking and failing to reach out to so many marginalized young people.   Jerry Goebel’s philosophy of caring for and being with at risk young people—MUST be incorporated into any and all youth ministry efforts and it must happen now.   All kids deserve our love, regardless of their circumstances.

Laurie Delgatto, Former Senior Development Editor, Saint Mary’s Press

In the Bishop’s document, “Renewing the Vision...A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry”, “special attention should be given to young people who engage in high-risk behaviors and ministry to these people may be the most important way they will ever come to know and feel the love of God”.  This program will help provide dioceses with the tools needed to effectively minister to youth-at-risk, whose percent is growing in Catholic Youth Ministry today.

Jim Knowles, Special Markets, Group Publishing, Inc.

Jerry’s work is a breath of fresh air that the staff needed and the Holy Spirit provided. He brought a manner that was totally new to us – candor, humor, humility and love, in balanced measure.  We met a man truly walking the journey and experience of Christ’s love and suffering. Needless to say many can’t put words to the anomaly, but reactions of ‘how refreshing’ and ‘so real’ and ‘he really cares and you can tell by his actions’ assert that we meet a man determined to bring the ‘newness’ of Christ.  His presentation is hopeful and brings the Church’s presence to us which ‘evangelizes and encourages by bringing its lived experience’ to bear fruit of virtue. Jerry instantly becomes a member of our family ‘who’s done it’, who is leading his siblings to a new experience of Christ that we may live in His joy and peace.  May God continue to bless souls with Jerry’s work as He has blessed ours.

Louis Coulombe, Religious Ed. Coordinator, Immaculata Regional High School

Hello Jerry,

I am on the team for a retreat this weekend and was working on my talk.  It is on the Christian Life.  In it I am to give a brief history of my life.  As I was recalling my senior year in high school, when I was challenging my faith, I remembered you and your music.  You had such a profound influence on my life.  I listened to your Candleflame cassette until it was worn out.  It changed my life.  I did meet you (although I am sure that you don’t remember) at the National Youth Convention in Pittsburgh, PA 1987.

Your music touched me and was such a message from God to me.  I have never again doubted that God exists and works daily in my life.  I see Him in everything.

I want to thank you, Jerry, for being such an instrument for God.  You have been open to Him and it shows.  

Laurie Exler, Youth Minister

“I have known Jerry Goebel for almost 15 years.  During that time, he has frequently volunteered in the Biblical Life Principals Program known as the God Pod to the men here at the Yakima County Department of Corrections. Besides being blessed by his sound teachings of the gospel. Jerry is also a very talented musician who brings joy to the many whom he teaches through his music that worships our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Having Jerry in our unit is a blessing.”

Martin Lopez, Jail Chaplain, Yakima County Jails