Skip to main content

South Valley Riverton Journal

Live in Real Life event brings hope to teenagers, parents with concert, motivational speaker Justin Osmond

Feb 03, 2023 11:35AM ● By Morgan Olsen

Motivational speaker Justin Osmond spoke at January’s Live in Real Life event (Justin Osmond/

Riverton City hosted a Live in Real Life event on Monday, Jan. 23, at Riverton High School. The Live in Real Life program was started in 2018 to combat the rise in anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses among teenagers. 

“The program started following a School Safety Roundtable that Mayor Trent Staggs convened with school officials, public safety officials and city staff,” said Riverton City Communications Director Casey Saxton. “A large part of the discussion in that meeting surrounded the need to combat the growing trend of anxiety, depression and mental health challenges that youth experience today. We’ve added a music component to several of the events as a way to attract and engage the audience.”

The program has featured guests like Collin Kartchner, Katey McPherson, Nathan Osmond, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Columbine survivor Craig Scott in years past. This year’s guest was Justin Osmond. 

“Justin Osmond, the second son of Merrill and Mary Osmond, was born with a 90% hearing loss that went undiagnosed until he was 2 years old,” Osmond’s biography states. “Justin currently runs the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund, a charity that helps deaf and hard-of-hearing children around the world with the gift of hearing. He also operates a production company called O2 Events & Productions. His focus is to help motivate and be a bridge builder, which encompasses the needs for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and their families all around the world.”

The Live in Real Life program aims to reach teenagers and their parents through a message of hope and resilience as they go through the inevitable challenges of life. 

“Our goal is to provide a regular event where both middle and high school age students and their parents can learn from the experiences of others who have successfully dealt with anxiety, depression and mental health challenges and what they can do to find that same success,” Saxton said. “We’ve strived to de-stigmatize talking about these issues and bring awareness to resources that are out there to help people navigate these complex issues when they face them.”

Riverton City, along with Riverton High School and Jordan School District, puts on this event twice per year and the information shared with the community has been consistently pertinent to issues affecting middle and high schoolers in the area. 

“It has had a positive impact on the community,” Saxton said. “We often receive really good feedback about the Live in Real Life program from those who attend and from schoolteachers and administrators.”