Leadership Institute prepares to host former TEDx speaker in SUB

Reaching over 3.15 million people in 150 different countries, Alex Sheen’s organization has made a global impact. Sheen is the founder of because I said I would, a nonprofit dedicated to to improving humanity through making and keeping promises. Sheen will be speaking at MSU Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the SUB Ballrooms, an event organized by the MSU Leadership Institute.

Sheen’s organization blossomed from the eulogy he delivered at his father’s funeral; during the eulogy Sheen described his father as a man that stuck to his word and never broke a promise. He then encouraged the audience members to record promises on small cards, which had the words “because I said I would” printed on them. MSU Leadership Institute Student Associate Beau Bridgeman described Sheen’s simple message as “something we felt was monumental.”

His eulogy, which took place in Cleveland, Ohio, began to circulate through social media and viewers were inspired by his idea. His sentiment grew into a global project as his organization began sending “promise cards” for free to over 3.15 million people in 150 countries.

Sheen’s youthful air and energy makes young people listen, according to Bridgeman. “He’s from a younger generation. He’s got that passion and that liveliness to him that really resonates with students.”

Sheen has used the momentum as a platform to showcase his commitments to keeping promises. A few of the promises that he has fulfilled include volunteering at 52 nonprofit organizations in a year, walking from Cincinnati to Cleaveland, a stretch of 240 miles, in 10 days, assisting with recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy and sponsoring trips to Disneyland for children with cancer. MSU Leadership Institute Associate Christopher Ross said, “Not only is his speaking style very energetic and very youthful, more so than that his dedication to fulfilling the promises he has made is [impressive].”

Described as a dynamic and talented public speaker, he has appeared on CNN, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, NPR, Fox News, Los Angeles Time, CBS Nightly News and ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, among others. He was selected as a Steve Harvey, “Harvey’s Hero,” has been featured on the cover of Spirit Magazine and was the closing speaker at TEDxUtica and TEDxYouth@Austin. Thomas McGrath, another leadership institute student associate commended the impact of Sheen’s work. McGrath said, “Once we watched [his talks] online and looked deeper into his website [we] saw the lives he’s changed.”

Liz Vinson, also a student associate at the leadership institute, cited the gravity of Sheen’s impact with an example of a man who gave up years of his life to keep a commitment. “It’s so inspiring that a gentleman confessed to vehicular manslaughter and is in prison because he felt that he made a commitment to honor the gentleman he killed and his family,” Vinson said.

Sheen’s keynote lectures have been attended by as many as 8,500 people in a single event and his posts have garnered attention on the popular site reddit.com. Sheen puts 100 percent of the profits from his speaking engagements towards because I said I would.

While Sheen’s talk is free and open to the public, tickets must be obtained in advance for seating purposes. Tickets are available at all Bobcat ticket outlets including the Bobcat Ticket Office, Rosauers, the AskUs Desk, or by calling 994-2287 or online at ticketswest.com. There is a handling charge per ticket for those ordered over the phone, online or at Rosauers. Sheen’s lecture is sponsored by the MSU Leadership Institute, ASMSU, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply, Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, MSU’s Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success, Northwestern Mutual, KGLT and the VOICE Center.