Before telling his story to Fresno High School students, many of them didn't know much about the nearly 7 foot tall scholar. "I didn't know anything about him. All I knew is that he was Oprah's man," said sophomore Tiffany Eason.
While Graham is probably best known for his relationship with the former talk-show queen, he has made a name for himself as an educator and motivational speaker. "It's like the elephant in the room. You kind of break the ice and talk about it but the message is for young people. It's not how other people define you, it's having the power and tools to define yourself," said Stedman Graham.
Graham spoke to around thirty students in the Men's and Women's Alliance at Fresno High, a program helping at-risk youth succeed in their personal and academic lives. "My grades weren't that good before then but since I got back in this class, it started helping me a lot more," said sophomore Tony Centeno.
It's speakers like Graham that push students to appreciate themselves and those around them. Love, the four-letter word is the key to everything in life says Graham. "That's the most powerful word in the world. You are what you love, you are your passions, you are your skills, you are your talents," said Graham.
In his presentations, Graham tries to get students involved. "He motivated me because now I see him doing what he likes to do and I can do what I want to do now," said Eason. It's that involvement that is helping the students discover their identity and build confidence to succeed in life.