Below are REAL messages from REAL students and parents sent to Matt after his performances.
(Please note that some messages have been edited for grammar, punctuation, or to protect student identities.)
Things in our school got way better all because of you. I can't believe you have made a huge difference for not only me, but for everyone. I found strength and comfort from your words. You gave me hope when I lost my way and helped me see things in a positive way. You know words can't even describe how thankful I am right now.Rafia - Middle School Student (Received via Instagram)
Hi Matt, I'm Ben from Ellsworth Middle School. I am really proud to say that after you came everyone stopped bullying me and I just want to say thank you.Ben B. - Middle School Student (Received via Facebook)
The thing that really amazed and inspired me was your story. I got bullied everyday last year... Your story yesterday inspired me so much to never give up!
Whenever I want to give up I will think MATT and I will keep pushing no matter what anybody says!! Once again THANK YOU FOR THE WORDS I needed to hear!Morgan - Middle School Student (Received via Instagram)
My son is 10 (4th grade) and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He has never even ridden a 2 wheel bike before and will not be able to in the future due to his muscle disease and the physical deterioration it causes.
Your message today about not giving up when things are tough or seem unachievable was really an impressionable moment for him. I thank you for that.
Just know that you made a little kid hopeful today that he can be as determined as you to get past some of the obstacles he faces!Tammy C. - Parent (Received via Facebook)
Hi Matt I'm Chloe from Clinton Massie Elementary. I'm so happy!! because today when you came to my school and told your story of what happened when you were a kid. Now the 5th grade halls have less bullying... Now no one is bullying me because you gave your story. God bless you. You are my hero.Chloe - 5th Grade Student (Received via Facebook)
I just want to thank you again so much for coming to Graham and talking to our students about the VERY important topic of bullying! It was such an amazing performance! Not only are you amazing on your bike, but the words you speak and how you connected to everyone in the room was truly amazing!
I loved every minute of it, and nearly every teacher has approached me saying what a wonderful assembly that was! Thank you so much, and I can't express enough how important it is to talk to young children about this topic and you definitely have the gift for it! Thanks again!!!Noelle K. - PTA President, Graham Elementary (Received via Email)
You came to my school BJHS a week ago. You were amazing and everyone loved hearing what you had to say. A lot of kids at my school won't listen to events like that, but they listened to you.Lydia - Middle School Student (Received via Instagram)
I just went through surgery to have a cyst removed in my stomach. It was roughly 20 pounds seeing as it was filled with 8 liters of liquid.Mary - Middle School Student (Received via Facebook)
Anyway I do a bunch of sports and remembering your story has kept me motivated to get back to them as soon as I can. So I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story with me and my school.
Thank you for the encouraging words today you gave at Cityside Middle School. During the rest of the day I never heard one person call a person a name or be mean. I think you influenced us all and that is amazing.Elizabeth - Middel School Student (Received via Instagram)
I think about the speeches you gave and I can't stop thinking about them!!
You changed my life!!!Teah - Middel School Student (Received via Instagram)
You literally just inspired the whole 7th grade to be a little more confident in life. Thank you.Keegan - Middle School Student (Received via Instagram)
Matt recently came to my son's school. He is in first grade and I wanted to commend Matt for what must have made quite the impression on him.
A few times just this weekend when trying new things athletically or academically my son got this new, determined, look on his face and said 'I'm not going to give up. I can't let this beat me. I am going to try until I get it.'
And he told me matter of factly that this is what Matt said at his assembly.
He taught himself to use a pogo stick this weekend that had been collecting dust since he got it last Christmas. In a few hours he was thinking up tricks he could do on it!
Thanks for the positive impact, and for a message that is digestible even towards the youngest kids. First Grade Parent (Received via Email)
You came to my school when I was in 7th grade. I just want you to know that you were such an inspiration in my life. I just want to thank you for what you're doing.
I didn't know that you'd be that big of an impact on my life. I'm in ninth grade now, and I still remember you. I'll never forget your inspirational story. Thank you.Arielle - High School Student (Received via Email)
You were the first school speaker who I felt a connection to. So strong of a connection that I am almost exactly the same as you when you were a kid.Christian - Middle School Student (Received via Facebook)
Not only were your bike tricks awesome but your story was too. You showed us that just because you are different on the outside does not mean that people should be mean to you.
It means you're awesome in your own way and you should be proud of who you are.
Thanks for coming to my school. You were inspiring and I'm glad you came.Kaitlin - Middle School Student (Received via Facebook)