2019 Symposium Information
AARON FISHER became nationally known as “Victim 1,” the face of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal. He had the courage to speak up about the abuse he endured ensuring the perpetrator would
We are thrilled to announce our 2019 Keynote Speaker!
Former BMX Pro, U.S. Olympic Coach & Recovering Addict
After paroling prison on December 13, 2008, Tony Hoffman started living out his dream, with his addiction behind him. Tony is a Former BMX Elite Pro and is currently ranked #2 in Masters Pro class. He is a 2016 Rio Olympic Games Coach, with Women’s BMX PRO, Brooke Crain, in his lineup. His story is full of redemption as he has seen some of the highest highs, and the lowest lows. Tony is the Founder and Director of The Freewheel Project, a non-profit organization that mentors thousands of youth through action sports: BMX, skateboarding and after-school programs. The Freewheel Project focuses on teaching kids leadership skills, and making healthy life choices, including substance abuse prevention, each year. In 2016 he also began writing his first book, titled, Coming Clean.
Tony has been sober since May 17th, 2007. His BMX career started in high school, as he was a top-ranked BMX amateur with multiple endorsements. As a native of Clovis, Ca, where he attended Clovis High School, Tony started drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, and using prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin by his senior year. His life took a turn for the worse as he became addicted at such a young age, losing everything.
In 2004 Tony committed a home invasion armed robbery, and was ultimately sent to prison for two years in 2007. Tony had violated his probation and knows the depths of addiction, and understands the despair addicts go through as even a ten-year prison sentence threat, could not stop him from using during his probation. Tony began rebuilding his life’s purpose while he spent two years in prison. As soon as he was released, he used the positive and negatives of his life to get to where he is, today.
Tony is a changed man, and inspires so many to live their life with purpose. Tony has dedicated his life, to bringing awareness around the country, describing how dangerous prescription pill and heroin abuse are, as well as advocating a shift in thinking towards current addiction-recovery processes.
Given the crisis that exists right here in our community, Tony is going to be an amazing addition to Cherish the Child this year and it is our plan to have a community event the evening before Cherish the Child for Tony to speak to Harford County's youth with his powerful message. Stay tuned for more information on that. You can view some of his videos below to see his powerful message.
Plenary Speaker: William Kellibrew IV, Global Victim Advocate
Champion of Change: A Survivor’s Journey of Healing, Hope and Resilience
At age 10, William witnessed the murders of his mother, Jacqueline and 12-year-old brother, Tony, in their living room on July 2, 1984, by his mom's ex-boyfriend. The killer took his own life that day, but not before making William beg for his life at gunpoint. In this presentation, William shares his personal and professional journey of healing and resiliency. From experiencing multiple childhood trauma, William has emerged as a global advocate and authority on addressing violence and trauma throughout multiple systems and settings. His synergy with the audience is inspiring and motivating as he provides a practical approach to supporting individuals, families, and communities impacted by violence and trauma. His presentation is a testament to the many individuals who acted as a bridge for his recovery.