Senator Johnston recently spoke at Teach for America benefit dinner in Connecticut, where he shared lessons of leadership from his days as a high school teacher and principal.

In his remarks, Senator Johnston shares two stories about “what’s possible and what’s next” when it comes to education reform at the school level. He talks about how he led his school to be the first public high school in Colorado to have 100 percent of its graduating seniors get into a four-year college. He also shares an emotional story of how he learned, as the principal of an alternative school for young people in custody, about the value of teaching young people about truth and hope.

Those are the moments of hope that remind us that all things are possible. Truth without hope is failure; but hope without truth is fantasy. It is only through the both of those that you see what is possible. . . . It is only in those moments where you’re able to confront truth at its harshest, and hope at its most powerful, that you believe that dramatic change is possible.

The speech has gotten rave reviews. A columnist for called it “the best speech about education — ever.” Others on Twitter have called it “incredible, inspiring, and tear-provoking.”

Watch the speech for yourself below, and then share it with friends.

Mike Johnston (Mississippi Delta ’97) – State Senator, Colorado from Teach For America Events on Vimeo.