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Helping to Lead the Way!

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Helping to Lead the Way!






Over the years we've discussed video games, aircraft, and people who played an amazing role in aviation history. Today, CombatACE is proud to shine the light on a young cadet in the United States Air Force JROTC. An organization that makes it a mission to “develop citizens of character dedicated to serving nation and community.” The organization is “grounded in the Air Force core values”, which are, “Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.” When it comes to Anthony Conklin, a 16 year old acting Cadet Captain within his JROTC Unit, you will see each of those values in all he does.


Barbara Owens, CEO of Speak Life, an anti-bullying organization, directed CombatACEs attention, to a young man who is helping lead the way for a new, Central Arkansas, chapter of Speak Life. The new chapter has been founded by Kim Helm who states “Mr. Conklin has supported our mission statement by choosing to make a difference. He stands by our mission statement fully on a daily basis by not bullying, judging, or separating people. He wants to help everyone feel that they have a place to belong in this world and is helping us find positive ways to channel these kids into areas they fit in.”


Yes, Speak Life is an organization that helps the victims of bullying find a place to fit in. They also prevent certain victims from committing suicide. However, do not mistake this organization as a giant shoulder to cry on. Their CEO, Ms. Owens, constantly spreads the message of holding on to your strengths, and moving forward with the positive things. Mr Conklin told CombatACE what he likes about Speak Life; he states “What I find fascinating about this Speak Life organization is the fact that we, as a community, can be the difference makers. While bullying will never stop, we can be the reason it slows down in our community!”


And the reason one Central Arkansas Speak Life chapter will make such an impact is Mr. Conklin. As Ms. Helm states “Anthony has already superseded my expectations for what a 15/16 year old would be capable of. He is an exceptional young man with a super heart. He gives his all in everything he does including this organization. If I could turn back time and be half the kid Anthony is – I'd have gone further in life!”


Anthony is heavily involved with coordinating events that the Central Arkansas Speak Life plan to role out soon. He's also designed their website, as well as the website for his local school district. He's coordinating with fellow student and various community leaders to move the Speak Life agenda forward. Below is the interview that we did with Mr. Conklin.










Hello Anthony, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. To get started could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Anthony Conklin and I am currently 16 years old. I live in Austin, AR. I am acting as a Cadet Captain within my Air Force JROTC unit. I am super involved within every organization that I play a part in. I take everything that I participate in very serious and value my role within those organization.


What are some of the things that motivated you to join your local JROTC program?

At first, just receiving the P.E. credit motivated me to join the local JROTC program here. Then knowing and seeing the difference I can make within the corps and the community made me continue to stay super involved within my organization.


What is a job that you like to do when you get out of school?

When I get out of school I will act as a correctional officer while I am in college. Post college I will become a Arkansas State Trooper or an Officer in the United States Air Force. Both of these jobs will maintain the military structure, which I like.


We understand that you are spearheading the activities for an organization in your area called Speak Life. What motivated you to join this anti-bullying organization?

What motivated me to join the anti-bullying organization, Speak Life, was seeing that a change was needed within our community. I want to continue to be a difference maker within my communities and surrounding communities.


What are some of the things that you do for Speak Life?

Some things I do for Speak Life is act as the Secretary, act as the webmaster for our newly created website: speaklifebeebe.org. This was created by me.


What do you find fascinating about the Speak Life organization?

What I find fascinating about this Speak Life organization is the fact that we as an organization can be the difference makers. While bullying will never stop, we can be the reason it slows down in our community!


What do you hope others will learn from your actions and from the organization?

I hope others will learn that they can all be difference makers and make our community a better place by my actions.


Has working with the Speak Life organization taught you anything? If so the care to

In just a short time, Speak Life Beebe has already taught me that people do care. That there are people willing to bridge the gap between bullies and their victims. share some of those lessons that you learned during your time with Speak Life?


What are some of the memories that you will try to cherish as long as you can from your time with Speak Life?

As of now, we've only had board meetings. I will cherish those until we start having these amazing events we are currently putting together.



Editors Note: Stay tuned, because we're going off mission next week. I was very curious about Speak Life and reached out to Barabara Owens who agreed to tell me a little more about her organization.

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What a beautiful, moving thing, my best wishes to this guy and the organization!  Having suffered from bullying and (subsequent) depression, I know how difficult it is for someone to recover. I once thought there was no one that cared about me, and that was a big mistake. There were loved ones I didn't notice or forgot about.


I wish there were organizations like this in my country, today's threat is cyber-bullying as well.

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