I have been very impressed with Chris Schaffner as a professional contact in my general field of youth at risk. I profited from his well-organized and highly informative work, and found him to be highly knowledgeable in his field of expertise and practice.

Fr. Dean Borgman

Charles E. Culpeper Professor of Youth Ministries

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Conversations on the Fringe deal with the issues that everyone knows exists, but are afraid to talk about.  They are equipping the church to be ready to respond to these issues so youth have a chance to deal with the pain of growing up today.   UYWI is so thankful we have them on call for the urban leaders in our network.

John Lewis

Western Regional Director, UYWI (Urban Youth Workers Institute)

Anyone who can make it beyond a year in Youth Ministry is my hero. Chris has over a dozen years working with and ministering to hurting and broken teenagers. Chris blogs about important and current adolescent topics through his site: Conversations on the Fringe. When I reflect on his words and his passion for youth, I never fail to see youth ministry from a different perspective. Get to know Chris and his ministry to teens and you won’t see your ministry the same either.

Paul Turner, Director, Disciple Project Ministries

Over the past several years I have had the good fortune to operate in similar Chicago charitable circles as Chris and witness his steadfast commitment to those who society often takes little time with. I admire his willingness to continually persevere on the behalf of the less fortunate at personal cost.

I recommend you take time getting to know more about him and his work. I believe you’ll come away as impressed with his character and integrity as I have.”

Jimmy Spencer, Founder, Love Without Agenda

Chris is an engaging public speaker, and I believe he will be very effective working in the addiction recovery field. I gave a presentation on listening skills for parents at South Side Mission as part of a program that Chris brought to them. At other sessions, I had the opportunity to observe Chris as he gave his presentations. He has a compelling personal story to tell, and I believe he will continue to impact the world for good in many capacities.

Caryl Schlicher, math and English tutor, Illinois Central College

I support Conversations on the Fringe because I work with teenagers every Monday – Friday in my classroom. I teach English, but my role is much greater than that. Teachers have to be good role models, show compassion, listen for what we are not hearing from our students and try to keep them motivated to learn, despite a myriad of personal problems. I need every tool I can get to try to empathize with my students. Conversations on the Fringe is one of the best tools for me. It helps me to gain an understanding of perspectives my students might be experiencing so that I can be on alert if a student needs serious help. Each time I read a posting, I am brought that much closer to a student in need. As I educate them, I educate myself, too.

Angie Stoke-Pittman – High School English Teacher

Conversations on the Fringe has my support in bridging the gap between society and the mental health community. As a senior in college, I have high hopes to impact and educate others about many mental health issues that are continually changing. With the help of the people involved in the Fringe, more people are being educated and informed on issues they may have not been told about elsewhere. They use a non-threatening approach to their audiences in order to educate them. The Fringe speaks of mental health issues that may seem uncomfortable to talk about with teens, parents, and others to better their lives.

Kaitlyn O’Shea – Youth Ministry College Student and Supporter of CotF

Thank you to Chris Schaffner for delivering a powerful, informative, motivating, and interactive message to our junior high and high school students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Along with highlighting the dangers of drugs and alcohol, Mr. Schaffner talked about healthy choices our students can make and stressed how it is important and helpful to treat others well.
Mr. Schaffner was able to connect with our students in both a fun and informative manner.  He empowered our students with information in efforts to help and encourage them to make positive choices. The feedback I received from students was a great appreciation for Mr. Schaffner’s fun and informative speaking style vs. being a part of a more traditional “don’t do this” speech. 
Mr. Schaffner has a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge through his work and research as a certified addictions counselor.  He was able to share his experiences in a riveting manner that really prompted our students to stop and think about their choices. 
Delavan C.U.S.D. #703 is very thankful and appreciative of Mr. Schaffner’s presentation.  He is truly making a difference in the lives of young people. 
Principal Dr. Matt Gordon