Testimonials from my speaking engagements.

I have had  the pleasure and privilege of doing over 370 Motivational Talks since early 2009
Here are some of the testimonials I have received. There are many many more plus the feedback I get from many of them makes me the million dollar winner of Gabon.

Gillian Larson is amazing woman who has inspired me to never give up. She has the spirit for living life to the fullest. I admire what she has done and how she has affected so many that know her or heard about her! I had the pleasure of having dinner with her at our NAFE meeting! She lights up a room when she walks in, she is full energy for life!

Sharon McCoy

Gillian Larson brought an inspiring and positive tone to our annual National Honor Society induction ceremony.  Her experiences as a contender on the CBS program Survivor Gabon were interwoven with her challenging mantra to attain the most challenging of life’s goals – “Dream it, Believe in it, Prepare for it and Do it!”  Gillian’s presentation reached the faculty, students, parents and extended families at our program. With a wonderful sense of humor and a positive approach, she captivated and encouraged each one of us to reach for the best in our own lives. This was a wonderful way to make a special night extraordinary.

Eleventh graders in my English classes at Vista Murrieta High School were thrilled to have Gillian Larson “pop in” to visit. She was invited by our administration to participate at a rally to celebrate the success of our student effort during the CST testing that semester and had provided a wonderful campus television spot to challenge the student body to give its best during the weeks of the testing.  After my students completed a journal response to her motto for reaching goals, Gillian was introduced and interacted with the class in an open dialogue about her adventure and about the students’ life goals. The day included a class photo with our “star” visitor and an inspiring question and discussion session.  Gillian brought a fresh and positive approach to a diverse classroom population.  Her pictures and motto remain posted on the classroom assignment boards.

Arch Aitcheson. English Teacher  Vista Murrieta High School, Murrieta, CA

Gillian Larson entertains, encourages, and brings hope.  My sixth grade students were excited when they heard a member of the hit show Survivor was going to speak at their school.  As I watched my students as Gillian spoke, I saw them sitting still, engaged, and eager to ask questions when the time arose.  This is unusual for my sixth grade class as they aren’t easily engaged, let alone sitting still.  Gillian speaks in a way that helps you visualize what it’s like to be on a reality show.  She goes into detail about her experiences trying to get on the show as well as when she was on the show.  She brings along her Survivor torch and the shirt she wore on the show which really brought the show to life.  The students were in awe.  More importantly though, Gillian talks to the kids about hope, perseverance and living their dream.  GO FOR IT!  I wanted Gillian to know how much we appreciated her taking time out of her day to talk to our school, so I asked my students to write a thank you letter to Gillian.  I told my students I would not be reading their letters because what they had to say was for Gillian and not for me.  I asked the students to write about what they liked most about the assembly and what dream they wanted to pursue.  A week later our class received a letter from Gillian.  Gillian Larson wrote a personal letter to my sixth grade class thanking them for their letters.  She also included survivor photos personalized to each student.  The kids were so excited.  Thank you Gillian for showing my students that if you have a dream you can achieve that dream by working hard and never giving up!
Susan Meath.  Sixth Grade Teacher    Peyton Elementary School
Stockton, California


Gillian came to Helix High School to talk to my students about following their dreams.  My students are considered at risk of not graduating.  They have had very little success in school, but have all showed the desire to succeed.  I invited Gillian to talk about Survivor and the lengths she went to get on the show.  She spoke about much more.  Gillian’s talk reinforced what I was trying to teach them in terms of setting goals and achieving them.  For months after her visit, they were still quoting her saying “Dream it” and “Don’t give up”.   Not all were big Survivor fans; however they all became Gillian Larson fans after she spoke.  I still see many of them in the halls and they ask if she is coming back.

Rick Fortin, Helix High School, San Diego

Gillian Larson is an inspiration to people of all ages.  Her positive and energetic attitude is contagious.  She helps others believe that they can do anything they set their minds to, reminding them that they each have a “fire” that burns within that no one else can extinguish.  Her message will give any group of adults or children a feeling of empowerment which will in turn enhance their lives.  Our school felt privileged to have her as our guest speaker. Andrea Borrell  PALS Preschool, Temecula. Ca

“Gillian has a message that motivates us all to dare to dream, and do something about it!  Our group left the event energized and excited to pursue their interests, even though the average age is about 70 years young”!       Katie Clemens,  Publicity for Fallbrook Woman’s Connection


You and I have been connected since February of 2003 and during that time your dream of 8 years came to fruition. Your REFUSE TO FAIL demeanor has fueled me to aspire an aim to eradicate the notion of a homeless Veteran by 2035! I am humble and honored that you agreed to be part of our November 1, 2008 grand opening in Fallbrook CA in honor of Veterans Day to share your REFUSE TO FAIL journey with us. The fuel you have given me was nicely distributed to those you spoke on that day and many have enjoyed meeting you in person. Since that day of our grand opening, we have just yesterday signed on a total of 71 American Veterans as Learners with the aim to eradicate the notion of a homeless Veteran. You were and continue to be an inspiration to us all and thank you so very much for setting the bar so high! God Bless and always know, you are part of our life and dreams. Semper Fi,  Albert R. Renteria CEO and President,

A Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business www.ARRenteria.com

Your talk was very inspiring!  It provided the clients at Wellness WORKs!  an understanding that a positive attitude and perseverance are critical in achieving success.  And, that if we want something badly enough, we have the inner resources within us to achieve it!  Thank you for the wonderful example you set to all of us!

Diane Feneck, Coordinator,  Wellness WORKs!

California State University, Stanislaus


I want to “Thank You” once again for your truly inspirational story.Your message of, Dreaming, Believing, Preparing and getting it Done is so relevant for both children and adults alike. I would strongly Encourage anyone with a team or who teaches others, to have you Share your message of persistence, hope and the value of the journey. Thanks again for your wonderful story and the vision you had.

CORY STEPANEK. CLTC Genworth Insurance Agency, Inc.”

I want to directly thank you for the inspirational assembly you provided for our students at McKinley Elementary School .  Our students demonstrated active participation and interest in the motivational words and the interesting pictures of your “Survivor” journey.  I know that you touched more than a few students to dream big and never give up.  On behalf of McKinley staff and students, Thank you!!

Sonia Ambriz, Principal  McKinley Elementary School, Stockton. Ca  95206

I thought the assembly was fantastic. Gillian did a wonderful job of keeping her audience spellbound. Usually, assemblies don’t cover so much geography combined with the strong message about the importance of having drive and motivation. Of all my years in the business, this was the best assembly The assemblies were for grades 3-8 and each grade level felt that you did a great job adapting to the age group. This is the response from one of my teachers.  I heard this echoed from many others as well! “

Dale Borgeson,  Principal,  McParland Elementary School.  Stockton Ca.

Thank you so much for speaking to and inspiring our group.  You were a HUGE hit! We loved your story of persistance and how it finally paid off for you.  You are really a very inspiring speaker

R. Lange . Vice President Aviara Women’s Club


Thanks for a terrific presentation at Kiwanis in Valley Center, a really great program.

B Rohrer. Program Chair. Kiwanis Valley Center

Nice video your speech was very inspirational 🙂                                                          

High school Student.Roseville

You are SO awesome! You came to my school today (Woodcreek Highschool in Roseville, CA). You were so inspirational to me. You have done all of these amazing things and have been all over the world. Thank you for speaking at my school.

Student Woodcreek High. Roseville


“Hello, You spoke at my son’s school (Parker Whitney) today and he came home so excited. He was so inspired by your message of dream, believe, prepare and go after what you want.”.

Donna. A parent

“When Gillian spoke at Reality Changers, our inner-city students from disadvantaged backgrounds learned how to become true survivors in life.  One of our 11th graders said it best: ‘Gillian, you’re amazing!'”

Christopher Yanov, Executive Director.  Reality Changers San Diego

The members ejoyed your presentation Gillian.
Some have said it was the best yet. A tough bunch to please and you won them over.

Phillip Tonkin. The Exchange Club of Magnolia Center.

Gillian came to our co-op and was amazing. Her story was so motivating, and she taught us a lot about planning for your goals, believing in them, and going out and doing them, and about perseverance, belief, and initiative. She is truly an inspiring person.
Olivia Lofstrom. Home school Co-op. Boston



1 reply
  1. Richard O. Granados
    Richard O. Granados says:

    Can you speak @ Kiwanis Club of East Rialto on 2/2/11 , El Rancho Verde Country Club, 7:30 am. Breakfast meeting starts 7:00 am. Interests in your story
    re: the Show : Suvivor & Moviational skills.

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