I Choose to be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor's Triumph over Tragedy
Author of

Missy Jenkins Smith

Enjoy your summer!

With the end of the school year fast approaching, have a safe and wonderful summer! If you need a speaker for the 2017-18 school year, drop me an email. And if you have any problems sending a message through this site (you shouldn’t, but I do know someone who recently did), send me a direct email at missyjenkinsspeaker@gmail.com. Thank you!

A very blessed 2016!

I am very sorry that I haven’t posted much this year. I’m pretty certain I have never had a year busier than this one, which has had me slacking a bit with the website. 🙂 My schedule has not only included taking care of my family and speaking across the country, but also a full-time job! After a two-year hiatus, I decided to return to being a counselor at our school district’s day treatment center for the 2016-17 school year. No worries, though, for those of you who want me to speak at your school or event in the future. I have an agreement with my employer that I can still do speaking engagements. So, if you’re looking for a speaker in 2017, visit my contact page and let me know how I can help. Until my next posts (which I promise will be more frequent), have a Merry Christmas, a wonderful finish to 2016 and a happy start to 2017!

A busy and fun fall!

It’s been an absolutely wonderful fall on my speaking tour. I’ve been to Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky (of course)…and I have met the nicest people! I also posted a message on my Facebook page Oct. 2 after the horrific shooting in Oregon that was shared more than 400 times and reached nearly 45,000 people. I was expecting it to go to those who follow my page and not much beyond, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it make an attempt to go viral. 🙂 Thank you to everybody for helping me spread my message. Here is a link to my page if you’re not already following: https://www.facebook.com/Missy-Jenkins-Smith-I-Choose-to-be-Happy-233177586868350/?ref=bookmarks



An awesome summer so far!

After leaving my job as a day treatment counselor in the summer of 2014, this is the first time I’ve had the entire summer to focus solely on my family and speaking. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with my boys, my husband, my sister Mandy, and many friends, and I’ve also traveled more than I ever have before. I’ve given talks in Georgia, Colorado, Arkansas and Texas in just the last six weeks, with more trips planned this fall to Tennessee, Kansas, Illinois and Missouri. Thank you to all the wonderful people I have met this summer, and I wish you all a fantastic 2015-16 school year!



What a trip to Washington, D.C.!

I was truly honored on May 4 to have the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C., to promote the Be SMART campaign, a grassroots effort to promote gun safety around our children. I was honored to be able to make a statement to the national media about this important effort, and I

That's me with Erin Gruwell, Tiffany Jacobs (one of the Freedom Writers) and Ed Massey

That’s me with Erin Gruwell, Tiffany Jacobs (one of the Freedom Writers) and Ed Massey.

encourage you to visit www.everytown.org to learn more about it. You can also read about our press conference here: http://itbriefing.net/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=706430&theme=Printer.

After that event, I had the opportunity to meet Erin Gruwell, the teacher whose story is portrayed in the movie “Freedom Writers.” She was in town for a conference with teachers from across the country, and she spontaneously invited me to tell my story to her audience.

Thank you to everyone with Everytown for inviting me to be a part of the Be SMART campaign, and to former National School Boards Association President Ed Massey for introducing me to Erin. It was a day I’ll never forget!

Newspaper article in California

Thank you to writer Laurie Williams with the Redlands Daily Facts for writing this story on me before my talk at Solid Ground Christian Fellowship Church in Redlands, California on April 19.



Many belated thank yous!!

I apologize – it’s been a couple of months since I have posted on this website. Between travleing for speaking engagements, substitute teaching and just being a mom, time has gotten away from me.

In the past couple of months I have spoken at Murray State University, Vienna High School (Illinois), First Methodist Church (Murray, Ky.), Tennessee Farm Bureau Young Leaders Conference, Seventh-Day Adventist Church Youth Congress (Louisville), Glasgow Middle School, University of Illinois Extension 4H Pre-Teen Conference, Solid Ground Christian Fellowship Church (Redlands, Calif.) and Century middle and high schools (Illinois). I met so many wonderful people in each place, and cannot express how grateful I am for the opportunity to speak to your organizations. I hope my message continues to have a powerful effect on everyone. Together, we can make a positive difference in this crazy world. 🙂

An incredible video on Missy…

Last fall, a new web-based entity called The Mental Health Channel wanted to feature Missy for the first of its “Healing Principles” segments. A production crew flew into Paducah from Austin, Texas, and created what I would consider the best piece ever done on her. The Mental Health Channel has captured Missy in a way that nobody else has. This incredible 6-minute video is who she is and what she is all about. If you want Missy to speak at your school, church, company or event, and you need to convince the decision makers to bring her in, have them watch this video. It’s absolutely fantastic!


–William Croyle, co-author of I Choose to be Happy

Thank you to so many!!

It has been a very busy couple of months for me between my work and home life, but I just want to say thank you to everybody who has hosted me for talks in the last couple months – Alpha Omega Pi sorority at Murray State University; Murray High School; First Baptist Church in Gilbertsville, Ky.; Reidland Middle School; Livingston County Middle School; Madison Southern High, Foley Middle and Farristown Middle schools in Berea, Ky.; and the Family Counseling Center in Vienna, Illinois.

Thank you everyone! 🙂

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This Week’s Happiness Quote

“Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections."

― Bob Marley


Missy and her co-author, William Croyle, will be happy to accommodate you with interview requests. Please contact Mr. Croyle directly through his e-mail.