Ben Glenn seems to have a personality well-suited to speaking to a room full of middle school students. He’s high energy, darting from one side of the room to the other while telling stories about his life that leave every teen in stitches.
Then the lights go off and the chalk comes out. He draws on a large black canvas with the same high energy, but with a focus that he admits is missing in other aspects of his life. In the span of just moments a sunset and mountains appear near a lake. Otherworldly planets float above the clouds as palm trees appear near the mountains.
As Glenn’s show continues, his drawings come to life. The music gets louder, with more energy. The lighthouse he just drew actually has a light shining from it. The silhouette of a family suddenly appears on the beach he just drew.
Glenn, a motivational speaker, performer and educator from Indiana, spoke to middle school students at Dakota Meadows Middle School and to confirmation students from area ELCA churches at Christ the King Lutheran Church Wednesday. His speed chalk drawing and presentations center around being creative and overcoming adversity as he tells stories about his struggles with Attention Deficit Disorder.