Assembly Programs




Goal coach Jim Wiltens' expeditions have taken him to the furthest corners of the world. The stories he has brought back will hook your audience. Imagine diving with great white sharks off the coast of South Africa or being surrounded by headhunters on a remote river in the Amazon. What would it be like to be marooned on a deserted island off the coast of Canada or find yourself dangling 600 feet above a canyon floor in Nepal about to swing into a cave-city that no one has visited in centuries. Woven into these stories are powerful goal-setting techniques he uses to turn dreams into reality.

In this assembly students will:

  • Take the first step towards turning a goal into reality

  • Learn the goal-setting secret used by John Goddard, the man the L.A. Times calls the "real Indiana Jones"

  • Be inspired by stories of students coached by Jim who have become dream-makers

  • Discover how to overcome obstacles that stand in the way of a goal

  • Learn the psychological principle that makes goal-setters the most successful people in the world

Both my brother and I were in your classes and were so inspired that we helped a small elementary school in Tanzania. As fourth and fifth graders we started a lemonade stand and bake sale to raise funds. We have not stopped fundraising and now the school has its own water pump, internet and computer access, and self sustaining garden to feed kids during breaks. The source of our involvement has a lot to do with your life lessons.
— The Wagstaffes


English classes were boring until the seventh grade—then Jim met Mrs. Fowler. She taught the true meaning of nouns, verbs, and adjectives. 

Jim will hook your audience with stories of the inspiration and perspiration necessary to become a published adventure writer. What is it like to be buried alive? How do you apologize to a cobra? Would you go eyeball to eyeball with a sea monster? He will also introduce you to some of the characters he has met on assignments. There's the man who steers battleships to war–on a pond. Would you like to meet dinosaur bandits in the Gobi Desert? How do you interview a prospector while he is holding a gun to your head?

Things your students will learn:

  • Techniques used by great writers––which students can start using in elementary school

  • Where to put your best material in a story

  • How to hook readers so they won't be able to put your writing down

  • One of the least used, but most important techniques a writer can use to make a story interesting

  • How to use VAKing to bring a story to life

  • Why great writers are re-writers

  • What it takes to turn words into dollars

  • Why writing can be a heck of a lot of fun

Inspire your students with a unique look at English through the eyes of a professional writer.

Jim's writing background:

Jim served on advisory boards for the San Francisco Chronicle's Outdoors in the Classroom Program and the San Jose Mercury News Venture section. He has written hundreds of articles which appeared in such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle, Bay Area Parent News Magazine, San Jose Mercury News, Paddler, Black Belt Magazine, Outdoor Canada, Camping Magazine, and Skin Diver. Jim has received Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism award 3 times for his parenting column which appeared in 35 publications across the United States and internationally. He is also an accomplished technical writer, producing material for Apple Computer, Polymetrics, and Arrowhead Industrial Water. His books include Edible and Poisonous Plants of Northern CaliforniaGoal Express!No More Nagging, Nit-picking, & NudgingMemory SmartRemember What Your Read, Individual Tactics in Waterpolo and Camels, Skulls, and Cobras