I am what you could call a very serious person. I was drawn to my profession, the quality field, because I had a tendency to judge everything by results and effectiveness. Shawn Gardner, and his work, immediately demanded my admiration and respect for the qualitative results witnessed in the young boys he led our group in mentoring, which happened to be both of our passions. Shawn Gardner showed me how an older person, such as myself, could take my passion, life experiences and seriousness and effectively help mold the lives of fatherless boys in ways they would accept and appreciate. Calls from a mother asking for interventional help with their sons is one of the highest accolades an effective mentor can receive because no one knows what is working more with their troubled sons than their mothers, qualitative measurement.
Shawn Gardner, was the first person I had met who not only equaled my passion when it came to helping our boys in need, he exceeded it, and this in itself demanded my respect. Shawn, a single father raising three girls on his own at the time, used his experiences to start programs for single fathers, teen fathers, and youth. All were effective, all were a need. People without passion for what they do will tell on themselves, but those with the passion of Shawn Gardner, in my opinion, cannot be mistaken as someone just doing a job, and this you can depend on being recognizable to your intended audiences.
I have been fortunate to have seen the fruit of our work. Young men who speak and carry themselves in the recognizable and familiar teaching we had discussions and debates about in their younger years. This is the fruit of effectiveness; this is the fruit of Shawn Gardner who has much adoration from me.
James Wagner, Department of Corrections
During the mid 2000’s when we were looking for former offenders to come to speak to current probationers and parolees about how to be a success in the community, I recommended Shawn to my fellow supervisors and assistants and he readily participated in several events. Each time I heard him speak I left impressed by his communication skills.
In late 2010 I was on the host committee for a training conference that was to be held in Louisville sponsored by the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA). I was chosen to moderate a panel discussion on ex-offenders who had successful re-entered the community and Shawn was the first person I called on to sit on the panel. He stole the show and left the attendees quite impressed. Shawn has continued to be an asset for our department as he often addresses our offender population on how they too can be a success.
I cannot think of a finer example of a true success story of how the system can work as it is supposed to work as it has with Shawn. It is inspirational to hear his story of how he overcame so many obstacles that were thrown his way that way too many would have used as an excuse for failure.
Dr. Gardner has been my voice of reason in various situations. He has an eloquent way of coaching and developing one’s way of thinking, which positively influences one to make rational decisions.
Today far too many of our youth face challenges that quite frankly they are not equipped for especially as it relates to bullying. Fortunately, Shawn L. Gardner, PhD., has the answer for the youth of today. Through Dr. Gardner’s conflict management and martial art program our students were provided the tools necessary not simply to defend themselves, but they were empowered to take control of their environment and realize most times conflict can be avoided through taking responsibility for one’s actions. Thank you, Dr. Gardner, for your passion and commitment to our youth.
I have a different reflection on Dr. Gardner and how his services were utilized. I simply covered Dr. Gardner’s life journey for an article for the University of Kentucky’s newspaper. While interviewing Dr. Gardner, his life experiences and stories impacted and influence me in ways that cannot be explained. From a simple interview, I was heavily influenced on the way I view life through the lenses of Dr. Gardner. Dr. Gardener helped me find my why and to understand my purpose in life. With the things that was discussed in our conversation, he helped me understand the importance of giving back and assisting with paving the way for those to come after me. Dr. Gardner has an influx of experience, knowledge, and skills that makes him extremely qualified to assist individuals in numerous capacities. I would highly recommend Dr. Gardner to anyone that I come in contact with. If I have a say, he’d be known as a man with an impactful skillset and life-changing story that can leave an everlasting impact on your life.
As soon as I met Shawn Gardner, I knew he was
on a journey to positively impact those fortunate enough to cross paths. Just as I suspected, he has inspired and
encouraged others to be their best selves. With his common sense approach, his blueprint strategy is a road map for success. I’m so glad we meet; you will be too!