SADD presents video by Motivational Media Assemblies

SADD adviser Angela Cesario said she showed the video to inspire students to make better decisions and improve the lives of themselves and others


Emmet Jamieson

Students watch Motivational Media Assemblies’s video in the high school auditorium.

Jim Hullihan of Burbank, California, is the president of school assembly producing company Motivational Media Assemblies. Motivated by Hullihan’s goal to drive students to create a better world for themselves and others, the company has worked with nearly 70 million students and 75,000 high schools since its inception in 1985.

“I make videos to inspire people, to challenge them to go beyond their current lives to something greater,” he said. “If I can inspire thousands of students to take steps to better themselves and change the way things are done in the world, then I’ve achieved making my contribution.”

On Oct. 15, PAHS’s chapter of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) held an assembly featuring a video produced by Motivational Media Assemblies. SADD shows the company’s videos every year, and this year’s video was titled “Be the One.” It discussed the adverse effects of bullying, drug use, texting and driving, violence and academic apathy using movie clips, popular music and personal anecdotes. Angela Cesario, SADD’s adviser, said the video covered these topics to challenge students to spark change and make better choices.

Creating his videos, Hullihan said, often poses “a mental challenge.” He said they take between 500-1,000 hours to produce. Hullihan said he starts each project with a “message concept” and then drafts a script. After that, he researches music and anecdotes to include and looks over the movie clips major studios send him.

“After gathering everything available, I see what connects to each other and what compliments the other pieces,” Hullihan said. “It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle.”

Cesario said she chooses Motivational Media Assemblies’s videos because they aren’t expensive and they implement content “kids can relate to.” She said her favorite aspect of the videos are the anecdotes Hullihan includes, such as the story of one-legged national wrestling champion Anthony Robles.

Cesario said SADD shows Hullihan’s videos because the club wants to promote students making good choices, practicing kindness and minding the repercussions of their actions. Cesario added that she hopes students can relate to the videos and take their messages to heart.

“I hope they got out of it that we can all change to be nicer to others, to respect others and to be kind,” she said. “Also, not to make bad decisions like texting while they’re driving or drinking and driving.”

SADD chapter president Megan Sherry said she saw the video as a “reality check.” She said the video taught students to encourage and love others by telling the stories of people who overcame difficulties and made a difference.

“It was to show the importance of standing strong and persevering when the waters get rough,” she said. “Sometimes you have to be your own anchor. I can really relate to the fact of needing to have perseverance and standing strong, and I love the thought of reaching out to others and giving them a helping hand.”

Hullihan said Motivational Media Assemblies’s videos are part of his larger plan to revolutionize American public education. He said he has raised over $7 million and assembled the National Alliance for Youth Development to examine and remedy the public school system’s problems.

Hullihan said he wants to use his videos to “engage entire towns of young people and the adults who care about them” and hopes they help students care more about their lives and choices. He added that students should aim not for mediocrity, but for “absolute greatness.”

“Think of every way that you could be better, every way that you could improve,” he said. “Then, think of every person you could connect to to form a bigger team for making positive change. That’s how we will build the world we want and recapture the greatness of the American dream.”


To access the National Alliance for Youth Development’s website, click the link below.