Alex Sheen

Alex Sheen, the founder of Because I Said I Would, speaks with students about the importance of promises on Sept. 26. Sheen said he hoped students would take away that talk is cheap, self-control matters, and promises matter. 

Alex Sheen, founder of “Because I said I would,” a non-profit organization focused on emphasizing the impact keeping promises can have on humanity, came to speak at Emporia State Sept. 26.

Students piled into Webb Hall to hear Sheen speak. When they walked in, they saw each seat had a set of ten promise cards.

“I think it’s cool to get (his story) spread out and I think (his) story is important,” said Lexi Felkins, sophomore elementary education major.

Sheen started promise cards—simple white cards with the phrase “because I said I would” in the bottom right corner. The goal is to symbolize the promise and to follow through with that promise.

“We have sent over 11.3 million promise cards to over 153 countries all over the world by request only,” Sheen said. “People will write things on these cards like ‘I will not kill myself.’”

These cards can be simple or complex. Sheen has visited other universities all of the United States, presented a TED Talk and spoke as the commencement speaker for his own alma mater, Ohio University.

“If you think about what the word promise means it's literally a statement telling someone you’ll definitely do something or something will happen in the future,” Sheen said. “(The) future is interesting because humans are almost uniquely capable of thinking about the future.”

At the end of the speech, students were invited to purchase books, t-shirts or pictures with Sheen.

“He really opened my eyes about how a simple promise could help someone so much,” said Payton Bolte, freshman psychology major. “Just because it’s a simple promise to you doesn’t mean it’s a simple promise to someone else.”

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