Updated: Jan 6

Stacey Bess, author and award winning educator, has a great insight into the hearts of children in need. Best known for her book “Nobody Don't Love Nobody", which was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "Beyond the Blackboard.” Stacey is someone who will leave an imprint on your heart and inspire you to act.

After Bess published her first book and gained the support of the Utah community, people began to notice Bess and her unusual success with “hopeless” children. She has won prestigious local and national awards. A highlight came when she was honored with the esteemed National Jefferson Award, along with First Lady Barbara Bush, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackman and Ambassador Walter Annenberg.

A dynamic, speaker, Stacey Bess engages groups large and small, sharing the lessons she learned that changed her life as she taught hundreds of homeless children. Her story continues to change lives as her audiences are inspired to become involved in their communities. She continues to be a leading advocate in the nation for the educational rights of impoverished children.

Stacey Bess and Emily Vancamp on the set of "Beyond the Blackboard"

In 1987, at the age of 23, Stacey was exhilarated to land her first teaching job but soon her excitement turned to fear when she learned the school had no name and the address was a homeless shelter near the viaduct in Utah.

Take us back to the first day of school, how did you feel when your map said you reached your destination. You were only 23, it was your first teaching job, what stopped you from not walking out that day?

Stacey: “I married really young and I had a couple of things happen in my life that really developed me. I had cancer at 23, I was married at 16, almost 17, they were events that taught me great empathy, they taught me that I could rise above and gave me understanding, so when a mother or father were terrified about this new situation they found their families in, I understood fear.

In the beginning I taught K through 12 and that was hard, but I wasn’t a young naïve 23-year-old. I had married young, I had a pregnancy young and I had cancer young. I had lived and understood some of the trauma they were going through.”