If you’re going to write a story about who you’re going to be, why not write a helpful one...
Five years ago, I wanted to be an author and illustrator more than anything. It was a dream from the time I was six years old. The problem was that, while I’d taught myself to draw and made money as an illustrator, I hadn’t written anything, ever!” So when I was almost bankrupt, with $130 to my name and my house on the verge of foreclosure, I choose to be a kid again and try to make my dream happen.
Now, I write the books I wished I had when I was a kid. Books that say it’s okay to be different—in fact, being different is what makes you cool! It’s my mission to help kids find the magic in their story.
It’s important to provide kids core competencies for growing up in a social media world, skills rooted in kindness, inclusion, empathy, and self-empowerment. It’s my job as a storyteller to encourage kids to embrace their inner “weirdness” and be brave about who they want to be. It’s equally important to be honest with kids and let them know it’s difficult—pain and bad days are normal—but they aren’t alone. And I’m proof that you can feel “weird” and unable to accomplish your dreams—but being “weird” and working hard can make it happen!
• WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING •
"Be the weird you want to see in the world" is a quote I repeat daily thanks to Jason Tharp. The message was so inspiring. Since his visit, I have seen students begin to take pride in and embrace the things that make them different. It was refreshing to see that level of passion about accepting yourself as you are and never giving up on your dreams. Thank you for delivering this message in a way that was captivating and engaging for ALL students and staff. Your enthusiasm was palpable!”
~ Bridget Adelsberger, Library Media Specialist, Liberty Tree Elementary
"Jason was the perfect addition to our Laws of Life banquet! The event honors middle school students, and his message is perfect for them; but also captivated all of the parents, teachers, school counselors and other adults in the room as well. The message of kindness and self-acceptance is one that is universal, and we were thrilled to be able to have him speak about it to our audience!"
~Jessica Kapcar, BBB serving Central Ohio
“Students at Glen Oak were so excited to see Jason presenting at the school after reading his books and watching his drawing videos. His positive message of embracing who you are and following your dreams has helped all students to branch out and feel more comfortable being creative and weird! Jason took the time to individually sign and draw in students’ books during the day, and even stayed late to make drawings for students in our after school program. It was clear that he truly cared about making a difference for our students.”
~Jenna Magyar, Art Teacher, Glen Oak Elementary
"Jason spent a week in our school district creating an atmosphere of wonder and acceptance along with teaching our kids how to draw some pretty cool stuff! He visited us in early fall and we have been building on his message ever since. He really got our kids thinking about accepting others, and just as important, accepting themselves. Be kind, dream big, and never let anyone steal your dreams! We can’t wait for the next chance we have to bring Jason back!"
~Jason Hillman, Principal, Parkside Elementary
Jason presented at our Annual Awards Gala to a room full of professional businessmen and women. His energy and enthusiasm were inspiring! His focus on reminding everyone how similar we are, how you are never too old to make new goals, and the importance of chasing your unique dreams was eye opening, and who doesn’t love a unicorn?
-Diana Caterer, President of EWI of Columbus
"Jason traveled to the wonderful mountains of northwest Wyoming and engaged our k-5 students in inspirational and creative story telling, dialogue, and kept them all actively drawing and illustrating! His focus on students living in their "weirdness" and embracing their creative spirit was from the heart. Jason has that "it" factor that kids love and he loves kids!
~Scott Schiller, Principal, Southside Elementary School, Powell, WY
"Jason gave a rousing talk at our accessibility and creativity conference. He encouraged attendees to find their inner unicorn and pursue it with passion. His own passion for guiding others on their personal journey is clear and well received by people with many different backgrounds. "
~ Erin Hoppe, VSA Ohio
“Westside Elementary staff and students loved Jason Tharp! He delivered a highly engaging and fun presentation that built our students’ confidence and sent an inspiring message of “Be Yourself". Thanks to Jason and his story, our students believe they can achieve their dreams.”
~ Angie Woyak, Principal, Westside Elementary
"Jason Tharp's school visit to Tyler Run was wonderful. The students were fully engaged and excited about their creations. His emphasis on individual creativity and power of choice was inspirational to our young artists."
~Juli (Kitsmiller) Parrish, Tyler Run Elementary
INTERESTED IN HIRING JASON TO SPEAK AT YOUR SCHOOL -OR- ORGANIZATION?
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