I understand you are considering inviting Katie Koestner to present to your students, and I thought I might share some information about why I find Katie’s work so compelling.
As you know, Katie’s presentation is about her personal experience with sexual assault. Her story is incredibly engaging, from the beginning where she lays the foundation of her early days at college and all the joy and anxiousness those brought, to the evolution of her relationship with the perpetrator (which of course, started out friendly, as he methodically worked to isolate her, as perpetrators often do). Her ability to represent what happened on the terrible night she was raped effectively, so that students can begin to process what happened and make sense of the many ways she both resisted and used her own resiliency to survive the experience, is unforgettable… CLICK TO READ MORE
Susan Marine, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Harvard College for Student Life
I have known Katie since my time as Commandant in the 90’s. She has addressed our Corps of Cadet en masse on a couple of occasions and provided a spell binding presentation in my opinion every time. I believe that she has done the same at VMI as well as the federal service academies… CLICK TO READ MORE
My name is Todd Levarse, and I am the Speech & Communications teacher at Plum High School. I took note of your email because I wanted the opportunity to thank you for coming in to speak. It is rare that an audience of 17 & 18 year olds, some about to graduate in a month, is that captivated by a speaker… CLICK TO READ MORE
I am writing in support of Katie Koestner’s presentation on date rape and alcohol. Katie spoke to our male and female student athletes as well as to other campus leaders, like resident assistants and outdoor adventure leaders. During her presentation, she shared her personal story as well as a blend of stories, anecdotes, examples and other relative information. The way Katie moved between her story and the information kept the audience engaged and interested the entire time. Her examples were real and her story compelling… CLICK TO READ MORE
Director of Athletics, Green Mountain College
Thank you also for making the incredibly difficult choice to relive that night (to strangers!) through your words. Your selflessness gives many the potential to never have to have their own version of that night, while also giving strength to others who are already dealing with their own worst version.
You are a light in the dark.
University of La Verne
Thank you so much for coming in today and sharing your story with our school. It takes a great load of confidence to come and present in front of us and stand on that stage and I’m just emailing you to congratulate you on such an amazing and inspiring presentation and I was truly moved by what you brought to us and it has made me think. I hope you get to share your story with many others because I do believe that it is good for people like me to know that this happens a lot and most of the time nobody hears about it. So, thank you again for coming in, and I hope you can share your story with as many peers as possible.
Class of 2022
It would be my pleasure to recommend that Georgetown Prep bring Katie in to speak to your young men. When she was here, speaking with our seniors, you could hear a pin drop in the room. Perhaps most importantly, she tells her story in a way that is not accusatory or reproachful, demanding that those who hear it be extra vigilant about their own decision making… but rather, in the model of creating “men and women for and with others”, Katie encourages her audience to be active in social settings where they believe something that is not quite right may be taking place. To intervene or diffuse. I’m certain we will continue to have Katie back to speak to our upperclassmen.
Anthony D. Locricchio
Dean of Student Life, Saint Peter’s Preparatory School
Katie’s presentation is the start of a conversation for our young men. She allows them to see a glimpse of the nightmare that results from a specific incident of rape. She then allows the students to consider that they will likely face a similar circumstance and need to be prepared.
Loyola High School
Katie’s presentation is the start of a conversation for our young men. Many of them have not truly reflected on the type of decision making that they will face in college or the specific pressures and influences that impact decision making in the college context. Katie allows them to see a glimpse of the nightmare that results from a specific incident of rape… CLICK TO READ MORE
Principal, Jesuit High School in Carmichael, CA
Your presentation for 3rd Class Midshipmen at the Naval Academy on 14 May demonstrated exceptional courage. The group was clearly engaged by your personal testimony. In a subject as challenging as sexual assault… CLICK TO READ MORE
Captain Margaret D. Kline
Katie. You are a true rock star. It was an honor to be with you. You were very impressive and clearly made a difference. Best wishes.
Dr. Kevin Manning
Thank you for a very moving presentation last night. I must admit, I have never before seen our students sit so riveted to a speaker’s words. And so many of us were just one moment or two away from being raped and then being violated again by others who thought they were well-meaning or keeping the peace or simply thinking we were “nothing.”
Meanwhile, keep doing the important work you are doing.
Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D.
President, Stetson University
I was in attendance for the speech you gave to University of Pikeville faculty and staff. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for sharing your story with our campus and to commend you for having the courage to take that right turn all those years ago.
University of Pikeville
Katie’s talk leads students to consider what they, as individuals acting in their communities, can do to reduce the occurrence of sexual violence. Her story leads to a bigger picture of how we grease the wheels of social change.
I have heard many speakers over the years, but Katie has a gift and by sharing her story in the manner in which she does impacts everyone in the room regardless of gender or age.
Northern Iliinois University
Your personal warmth and your expert timing kept the students listening with rapt attention at an hour that challenges all of us who work with youth.
Head of Upper School
Chestnut Hill Academy
I would like to say thank you for coming. When someone first said that the meeting was date rape I was like I don’t want to go, it is going to be a waste of my time, but I was completely wrong. Your story really touched me. Also, what really opened my eyes was when you said that 1 of every 4 girls gets raped. I have 2 older sisters so that really got me. I just wanted to say thank you. Continue spreading your story.
Our students are still talking about your presentation. One junior described it as, “intense.” They were most impressed and affected by your courage, information, and presentation style.
Upper Division Director
Berkeley Preparatory School
I have worked with Katie on a number of occasions. She presented at my former school, La Lumiere School to our high school students and to our parents. Last summer, she visited my present school and presented to our 4th and 5th graders, our middle school, our high school, our parents, and our faculty. She also helped us tighten up the language in our handbooks.
Simply put, Katie is the best. She is knowledgeable, engaging, and most importantly, memorable… CLICK TO READ MORE
Kevin M. Kunst
Headmaster, Harrells Christian Academy
I was a student at your presentation today at Harvard-Westlake, and I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing your story. This year I began working with a program whose goal is to reduce stigma around sexual violence in teens and to promote the discussion of these topics in our lives. Although I have had education and training in this topic, I have had trouble finding ways to connect peers to this issue’s discussion.
Hearing your story gave shed a new, yet needed light on this topic. I walked out of your presentation truly changed by your words, and I cannot tell you how many of my peers agreed. I have truly never seen a time when every student was engaged in a speaker until this point. …. CLICK TO READ MORE
12th Grade Male Student, Harvard-Westlake School
Knowing that Sexual Violence on campus is a very real issue, we had the privilege of having Katie Koestner on our campus this past spring semester.
I had no doubt after speaking with Katie on multiple phone calls and engaging with her that she would send a powerful message. Little did we know the impact she would have on our students and our department.
Katie Koestner’s presentation lasted about an hour followed by… CLICK TO READ MORE
Senior Associate Athletics Director
We were fortunate to host Ms. Katie Koestner at the Rye Neck Union Free School District on Wednesday, November 18th. Ms. Koestner provided a full day of presentations on cyber safety, with one each for our middle school and high school students, followed by a pair of parent presentations in the evening. The first was for both elementary parents and their children and the secondary was for secondary parents. Also, Ms. Koestner provided pre- and post-surveys related to the content for our students in addition to other curricular resources for our schools.
Each of her presentations was different, but right on the mark for the audience… CLICK TO READ MORE
Dr. Eric Lutinski
Principal, Middle School
I’m on the men’s soccer team and I just wanted to let you know that was the most moving speech I have ever listened to. You are a fantastic public speaker and my teammates and I were speaking afterwards about how powerful the talk was.
I really appreciate you sharing your story with us, and I cannot imagine the pain you have had to endure by retelling your story, but it certainly left an impact on me. I am very appreciative of your generosity. I do not have a similar story to share, but I really connected with your message and took many important insights to heart as I listened to your presentation. I wanted to reach out to share a small token of my enduring respect and admiration for you. I am thankful that you endured your struggles and became strong enough from it to share it time and time again, to impact me in such a positive way. Thank you again, and I will certainly pray for you.
She gave someone the chance to believe that we should say something, that we need to be the ones to step in and prevent abuse from happening.
It is important we identify survivors and trumpet efforts to eradicate this crime. Your work is impressive and has served to raise awareness in future officers.