Leslie Charles developed much of her expertise on motivation, stress, and resilience based on experience. With a "late bloomer" background involving hardship, poverty, and loss, this resourceful and resilient edutainer blends personal struggles with professional accomplishment, bringing a rich palette of real-life experiences and inspirational examples to those who hire her. You can plan on a program that people will relate to.
Thanks to a history that promises always to keep her humble, Leslie brings a high level of sensitivity, respect, and disarming humor to her audiences. Whether she is presenting a keynote, training seminar, or workshop, people appreciate her down-to-earth delivery, her in-the-moment presence, and sense of the absurd. How could Leslie not have that perspective with this kind of background:
- dropped out of high school after finishing 10th grade
- married at 16, mother of three children by age 20
- reentered high school at age 23, dropped out again
- displaced homemaker, age 25
- worked full-time for 2 years, at a poverty level wage
- completed her GED (high school equivalency) at age 29
- attended Lansing Community College on a welfare grant
- graduated with honors, LCC Associate Degree, age 31
- graduated with honors, BA in Communication, Michigan State University, age 40
- youngest son, Robbie killed in a work accident, 1984
- two living children, Ron and Cathy
- four grandchildren, Elissa, Ashley, Samantha, Kris Jr.
As someone who presents programs on stress, motivation, and self-development Leslie practices the principles of reflection, relaxation, and resilience in her personal life. Her modest home sits in the middle of a four-acre oak woods where wildlife abounds. She and Rob, her partner of 34 years, enjoy their cultivated shade-tolerant plants along with a small butterfly garden that peacefully coexists within its natural surroundings.
A horse owner for over thirty years, Leslie reluctantly gave up the equestrian lifestyle and dressage competitions in 2005. As a lifelong learner always seeking to broaden her horizons, she immediately took up a new physical pursuit to fill the void. It's called disc golf. Not only is she actively involved in a local women's league, she also competes in tournaments across the country.
In July 2008 Leslie broke the disc golf world distance record for women in her age category. Her name appears with other world record holders on the World Flying Disc Federation site (wfdf.org) under "world records." Her plan to surpass her existing record distance of 185 feet is yet another example of her desire to keep learning, improving, and stretching her comfort zone, subjects she covers in her presentations.