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SALT LAKE CITY — Music, funny faces, impersonations — it's the way one Utah man is changing how kids feel about themselves.
Entertainer Jason Hewlett travels the world making people laugh, but recently his focus shifted to helping kids. He often does contests and the winner of the free Head to Heart assembly by Jason Hewlett and Johnny Covey was recently announced as Thomas W. Bacchus Elementary in Kearns.
Hewlett makes a living doing funny faces and impersonations of people like Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. He even does a great Elton John.
Hewlett is a confident person now but that wasn't always the case.
"I grew up in Park City and I found out I was the weird kid on the bus the very first day. Everybody kind of made fun of me because I had a big mouth, and I showed them the big mouth," he said.
As a 5-year-old, that big mouth made Jason feel awkward and bullied. But over the years he learned to use it and other talents to make a career.
However, after December 14 , 2012, it wasn't just about making people laugh anymore.
"When Sandy Hook happened, that just blew my mind," he said, "thinking I have to go help kids. I have to give them a shot before they're 5 years old and hearing a message that can actually change their life."
Hewlett began sharing a message called Signature Moves, which helps kids find what makes them unique. He then teamed up with Johnny Covey to share a new message of getting kids out of their heads and into their hearts.
"Instead of thinking I'm ugly, I don't want anyone to look at me, I started (making faces). Now I was living in my heart. That's where it came from me," he explained.
"The feeling of being in your head is so awkward because we are awkward," he continued. "We are so constantly concerned with what others think."
He and Covey also connects with kids through jokes, impersonations, music and dancing. They get even the shyest kids out of their heads and into their hearts.
"By the end they realize they have a choice. They can choose to sit back in life and be stuck in their heads and never get out and make a difference, or get in their heart and dance. That's the coolest thing in the world," he said.
In his own home, Hewlett lives his message, teaching his four young children to do the same.
His 7-year-old son Redford said, "We go up to people and say, 'Do you want to be our friend?'"
"I can entertain them," Jason Hewlett said, "and I can make them giggle. But if I'm not making them walk away with something tangible, with something they can use, what's the point?"