Parkland school presentation marks launch of Tampa Bay author's North American Student Speaking Tour

On April 12 Tampa Bay author, Roslyn Franken, travelled to Parkland, Florida, to speak to survivors of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people. She brought hope and healing to the class that was attacked by the gunman with her parents' amazing story of survival and triumph over tragedy as Holocaust and atomic bomb survivors as told in her book entitled, Meant to Be. This event launched her Student Speaking Tour in Florida, the U.S. and Canada.
Roslyn Franken with Parkland shooting survivor
Roslyn Franken with Parkland shooting survivor
PARKLAND, Fla. & TAMPA, Fla. - April 24, 2018 - PRLog -- Roslyn Franken knows about hope and healing when it comes to survival and  overcoming adversity. Her mother survived the concentration camps of Nazi Europe, including Auschwitz.  Her father survived the Nagasaki atomic bomb as a prisoner of war in Japan. At 29, Roslyn survived cancer to become a long-term survivor.

Her presentation for the Parkland school shooting survivors about her parents' inspiring story and their positive influence on Roslyn as the daughter of these two remarkable survivors marked the launch of Roslyn's Student Speaking Tour in Florida and across the United States and Canada (

Ivy Schamis, the History of the Holocaust Educator at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School said, "We've been grappling with how to deal with this and one of the things we had for healing was to invite Roslyn Franken to come speak…Roslyn was able to bring such a positive experience to my students as they were feeling so down about everything...She brought so much brightness and hope to the students and just watching the way they were watching her when she spoke was just amazing. The kids were very enraptured by what she said and we are so thankful she was able to come to our school because any little bit of healing helps and Roslyn Franken did a lot of healing."

"We all have a choice in life. We can be bitter or we can choose to be better. So that message, I think, really resonated with the kids. You survived, and you're here, and that's why you need to make the most of your life, like my parents did," said Franken.

From speaking at high schools in Canada, Roslyn learned the positive impact she could have on young people. When asked why they think it's important for youths their age to know this story, students' replies included:

"This really inspired me to fight for my goals, and to never give up, and just to keep going and to do well in school and never give up on my dreams, and even if I go through bad stuff, it's just that there's always hope in life."

"I appreciate how Roslyn is reaching out to kids our generation and inspiring us and telling us all about these different things…I appreciate the fact that she's not sugar-coating anything and she's actually educating us and she's making a great impact on us."

Roslyn's presentation in Parkland was her first school presentation in the United States and what she intends to be the first of many more nationwide.

Roslyn is inviting schools to participate so that she can give their students the unique opportunity to:
  • Foster their awareness, compassion and empathy for the experiences of victims and survivors of WWII in Europe and Asia.
  • Increase awareness about the dangers of discrimination, indifference and what hatred and evil can lead to.
  • Enhance understanding about the Holocaust, so future generations will be spared the horrors of genocide.
  • Be encouraged with a greater spirit of interfaith and interracial tolerance, community, respect and peace so needed in our world today.
  • Promote the role of positive mental attitude in overcoming adversity and living a life of hope and gratitude.
  • Be inspired by the courage, determination and perseverance of John and Sonja Franken in their fight for survival, finding love and rebuilding their lives in a meaningful way.
A feature film adaptation of Roslyn Franken's book, Meant to Be, is also currently in development through Five Star Studios Inc.

For more information, media interviews and to invite Roslyn to speak at schools, and help fund Roslyn's Student Speaking Tour, visit, call 613-843-0155 or send email to

Elliott Smith, PR Agent


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