When Sean was born doctors predicted he would not survive past birth because of a rare bone disorder that stunted his growth and caused his bones to be extremely fragile. Despite these challenges, he's taken a stand for a quality of life that has reached millions of people around the world, including Sir Richard Branson, President Clinton, and his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Sean has appeared on everything from The Oprah Show to online videos with hundreds of millions of views. The Biography Channel did an hour feature on his life called, “Three Foot Giant.”
His message has been heard at live events in over 16 countries and 48 states over the past 23 years. Sean's latest book, “Get Off Your But” has swept the US and been released in almost a dozen languages around the world.
As a board certified therapist, Sean uses humor and compassion to develop a fun environment where individuals open their hearts and minds for lasting empowerment to occur.
One of the most original and influential voices in the humanitarian arena, Dr. Samantha Nutt, a medical doctor and a founder of the internationally renowned non-profit War Child, is a speaker who is constantly in demand. For over 15 years, she has been at the front lines of many of the world’s major crises, in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Darfur. These experiences have given her unique insights into the brutality of modern conflict: why it begins, what sustains it, and what must be done to prevent children being held in its terrifying grip.
In addition to overseeing War Child Canada, Dr. Nutt is a staff physician at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is also the author of the bestselling book Damned Nations, a distillation of her observations from providing hands-on care in some of the world’s most violent flashpoints.
Dr. Nutt is a respected authority for many of North America’s leading media outlets. She is a regular foreign affairs panelist on the acclaimed news program, CBC’s The National, and her written work has been published by The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Maclean’s magazine, Reuters, The Ottawa Citizen and The Huffington Post, among many others. She has also appeared in Time, Chatelaine, and More magazines, and on CTV National News, Global TV News, NBC Nightly News and BBC World News Service, to name just a few.
Dr. Nutt was named one of Canada’s “25 most influential figures” by The Globe and Mail; one of “Canada’s Five Leading Activists” by Time magazine; and one of “200 young global leaders” by the World Economic Forum. She was awarded the “Order of Ontario” in 2010, and appointed to the Order of Canada in 2011.
Dr. James Rouse inspires audiences by teaching the fine art of maximizing Human Performance — both in business and in life.
As an Author and Speaker, he has written 11 books and has shared the stage with notables such as Dr. Oz, Shaquille O’Neil, Robin Sharma and Sir Richard Branson.
As a Human Performance Clinician, he has worked with the NFL, the NBA, MLB, Google, Whole Foods, Tegna Media and other High Performing organizations from around the globe.
As a seasoned Entrepreneur, he has successfully created and built companies in Media, Consumer Packaged Goods and Nutraceuticals, which have gone on to generate millions of dollars in Sales.
As a High Performing Athlete, he was a sponsored IronMan Triathlete, he has successfully summited numerous peaks in the Himalayas and pushes his own personal limits each and everyday.
He lives in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies where he practices High Performance Living, Giving, Ruckusmaking, and Growing alongside his wife Debra and their 2 daughters.
Alvin Law is a proud Canadian and highly gifted speaker. Alvin has been presenting his compelling life story to groups across Canada, the United States and around the globe since 1981. He is a trained broadcaster, fundraiser and musician.
Alvin has played a direct role in raising over $175,000,000 for charity. He’s also dabbled in acting, in a life highlight, played an armless preacher in an episode of the hit television series The X-Files.
He has appeared on countless telethons (well over 100 since 1976) and media features, and has been the subject of two award winning television documentaries. The first, Alvin, His Best Foot Forward, was shown across Canada in 1978. The second, Broken Promises, focused on the plight of Canada’s Thalidomide victims and after its Canadian showing was seen on American Public Broadcasting’s Frontline. Re-named Extraordinary People, it was nominated for an Emmy Award. Alvin has appeared on The Joan Rivers Show, CBS’s How’d They Do That, CBC’s What On Earth and ABC’s Frontrunners. Their segment about Alvin won an Emmy Award.
Alvin formed AJL Communications Ltd. in 1988 and has since brought his Attitude Revolution to over 2 million people (and counting) on five continents around the world. He’s earned over One Million Miles with Air Canada, and has the highest tier membership at both Hertz and Avis (yep… he drives!)
In 2009, Alvin was inducted into the Canadian Association of Speakers (CAPS) Hall of Fame.
So there’s this kid. He lives in the small town of Imperial, Nebraska. He’s got a 2.4 GPA. He’s a bit of a troublemaker. To top it off, his name is Mike Smith.
Sounds like your average, ordinary kid, right?
In his senior year of high school, Mike realized that being ordinary was a choice.
Since then, Mike has never stopped believing that he can do whatever he puts his mind to. That hard work, dedication, and the reckless pursuit of his passions can turn his life into something extraordinary; that he is the only one who can control his legacy.
For over a decade, Mike has done just that…And he’s never looked back.
From his humble beginnings in Imperial, NE, Mike has since founded two non-profits and influenced hundreds of thousands of youth in high schools, universities, and adults in boardrooms nationwide. Mike lives his life as a "professional teenager" that doubles as a motivational speaker, consultant, and ambassador.
As the Founder for THE BAY, one of the few non-profit skateparks in the country, Mike works with young people from all walks of life, encouraging them to pursue their passions and live out their dreams. Since its first inception in 2011, The BAY has grown into more than just a skatepark - it's a 30,000+ square-foot youth outreach center that focuses on skate, art, music, coffee, and community.
He is also the Founder of Skate For Change (SFC), a youth movement that empowers skateboarders to give back to the homeless in their communities. SFC chapters have now spread to 80+ major cities worldwide.
Mike is also the Co-Founder of Find Your Grind (FYG), a career education platform for schools that connects students to the jobs and lifestyles of the 21st century. FYG's mission is simple: to expose, enlighten, and educate students and teachers to the possibilities of tomorrow.
Mike’s passion and momentum hasn’t gone unnoticed. He’s been featured by multinational companies and organizations like YPO, Special Olympics, Red Bull, State Farm, TD Ameritrade, and Jostens. He’s partnered up with brands that he believes in to catalyze change in schools and businesses across the country. Even professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler has taken notice of Mike’s drive and shown his support both personally and philanthropically through his Sheckler Foundation.
Your life isn’t ordinary. You matter. What you will do with your life will boil down to one question:
What do you want to be remembered for?
Michel is an accomplished motivational speaker and author of the graphic novel, Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War. Michel grew up amid the terror of the Great War of Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Much of his childhood was ravaged by the death and decay of a war that claimed the lives of 5.8 million people; his father included, and forced him to be a child soldier.
Now a student at the University of Toronto finishing a specialist in African Studies, he speaks to different audiences inspiring them to believe in their ability to fulfil their purpose and have a sense of hope through social responsibility.
PostSecret creator, Frank Warren introduced the world to a collection of highly-personal and artfullydecorated postcards mailed anonymously from around the world, exposing the soulful secrets we never voice. What started as a community mail art project, quickly exploded in popularity; since PostSecret’s inception in 2004, Warren has received over 1,000,000 anonymous secrets on homemade postcards.
Warren’s project has raised over $1,000,000 for suicide prevention and earned him the Mental Health Advocacy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 and an invitation to the White House to share his thoughts on mental wellness in 2016. PostSecret’s website is the most visited advertisement-free blog in the world and has won three Webby Awards for “Best Blog on the Internet”. With over 2,500,000 views, his TED talk os one of the most watched in the popular series.
All six PostSecret books published have been featured on the New York Times bestselling list, with PostSecret Confessions on Life Death and God reaching number one. PostSecret postcards have been exhibited at the renowned Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Visionary Art Museum in Maryland. Currently, the postcards are on exhibition at the Smithsonian US Postal Museum in Washington, DC.
Phil is passionate about creating amazing school culture. He has spoken to thousands of schools across North America, empowering both students and educators to transform their campus’ climate. Phil’s dynamic and transformative message to youth and adults enhances the quality of life for each individual, school, and community.
As a motivational speaker, keynote, consultant, husband, father, and friend, Phil aims to be a force of enthusiasm and encouragement in the world. Phil is also the creator of the successful Link Crew program now used by hundreds of schools across North America!
Cara Filler is Driven to Inspire. For the last 18 years, Cara has shared her powerful positive leadership and prevention programs with more than 2 million people in 5 countries. She empowers students, teachers, parents and complete strangers to make everyday choices count. Why? Because if it causes just ONE person to care more, speak up and stand out – IT’S ALL WORTH IT!
The road hasn’t always been ‘easy’ for Cara. The day before her 18th birthday, Cara’s world was devastated and forever changed when her identical twin sister, Mairin, was killed in a high speed car crash. From that day forward, Cara committed to helping others put life and its challenges in perspective.
Cara keeps it real. She’s an incredible storyteller, a bad dancer, and totally unashamed to make a fool of herself.
Cara loves singing, dancing with her son, visits to Panera Bread – Mmm soup! and she’s Canadian. Eh. Just for fun, ask her to say any of the following words: sorry, Mom, about, decal, route, North Dakota or pasta.
At just four-years‐old, Molly Burke’s world became a little bit darker: she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare retinal disease causing loss of vision. Despite this, and the ensuing obstacles and hardships she faced, it wasn’t long before she began bringing light into the lives of others. Molly began public speaking at the age of five as an ambassador for The Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada. Since then, she has inspired thousands with her story.
Over the years, as Molly’s vision deteriorated, her confidence and optimism only strengthened; but not without struggle or adversity. As a student she was tormented by bullies, and suffered from depression and anxiety. It wasn’t until she found the strength to face her challenges, and the courage to reach out to others, that she came to see the light and find hope.
As a motivational speaker, Molly has travelled the world sharing her story with youth, families and corporate organizations. She has spoken on We Day stages across North America and the UK in front of audiences as large as 20,000. Molly has shared stages with some of entertainments biggest names; Demi Lovato, Macklemore, Martin Sheen and Magic Johnson, to name a few. She has worked with activist like Martin Luther King III, Archbishop Demond Tutu, Malala Yousafzai and the Kielburger brothers.
Ed Gerety is an entrepreneur, author and one of the top professional youth speakers and leadership trainers in the United States. His inspirational and powerful programs have taught over 2 million students in all 50 states and Canada the life skills essential to develop as leaders in school and in life.
Whether he’s speaking to students, educators, or parents in middle school, high school or top colleges such as Northwestern University, Fordham University or the University of Southern California, Ed has the unique ability to connect with the hearts and minds of his audiences about real issues. He firmly believes that it’s never too early or too late to improve yourself, to start following your dreams, or to strive to be a leader.
These skills, which include respect, character, gratitude, leadership, attitude, and making a difference, are outlined in Ed’s book, Combinations: Opening the Door to Student Leadership. He has completed the Boston Marathon three times and lives on the seacoast in New Hampshire with his wife and two children.
Judson Laipply is an enigma wrapped in anomaly inside a quandary. He’s the world first YouTube celebrity with the video of his finale “The Evolution of Dance" holding the top spot for most watched and most liked video for 4 years (until Justin Beiber hit puberty) and his video was the first to ever hit 100 million. Beside being a dancing viral video sensation he is also a 20-plus year veteran of speaking.
Armed with a Master’s Degree in Education Judson combines comedy and content in a way that is playful, kinetic, engaging, and memorable. He is a former NCAA athlete, current Ironman triathlete, and a lover of travel.
Patrick is an award-winning speaker and leader, transforming campuses and communities across North America. For over a decade, Patrick has been empowering today’s leaders to be tomorrow’s impact, using his unique blend of humor, storytelling, and pop culture savviness. His unique style garnered him a Certified Speaking Professional ® designation by the National Speakers Association, an honor earned by only the top 10 percent of speakers worldwide. As a trained communicator, improvisor, and high school educator, he is an entertaining experience that is relatable, relevant, and real for any audience, from youth and youth leaders to advisors and professionals. Patrick continues to serve and lead by working with renowned organizations such as Kiwanis.
Patrick lives in San Diego, California, with his wife, Jessica and their cat, Cella. He enjoys sailing, cooking, and cheering on his alma mater, The Arizona State Sun Devils.
For more information, visit www.pmaurer.com
Dr. G is a respected parenting and youth development expert, Deborah Gilboa, MD, is the founder of AskDoctorG.com. Popularly known as Dr. G, her passion for raising kids with character makes her a favorite family physician, media personality (NBC CBS, Fox, ABC, Wall Street Journal and more) author, speaker and social influencer. A mom of four boys, she inspires audiences with relatable stories and easy tools to develop crucial life skills in teens.
Dr. G will join stupendous students and Educators to talk about how to grow the leaders we have at home and the classroom into the leaders of tomorrow. Find out what problem your students and your own children want to solve and give them the tools and traits they need to solve it!
Check out her work at www.askdoctorg.com.
Orlando Bowen’s mission is to inspire people to be GameChangers in the lives of others. GameChangers show up in ways that powerfully influence the path, perspectives and possibilities of those they interact with.
Orlando has been motivating youth and corporate audiences for years, both through his inspiring keynotes as well as through his role as the passionate and dedicated founder and Executive Director of One Voice One Team Youth Leadership Organization, a charity based in the Greater Toronto Area.
Orlando’s “S.W.O.L.E.”™ Leadership Development Program empowers people to serve with passion and vision. The acronym “S.W.O.L.E.”™ stands for Self respect, Work hard, Overcome adversity, Lead by example, and Excellence.
Orlando has been recognized for his work by; Being awarded a 2012 African Canadian Achievment Award, 2013 Queens’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, a National 2014 Harry Jerome Award for Community Service and a 2015 National Youth Empowerment Award.
Alan Stein is world-renowned performance coach, speaker, podcast host and social media influencer. He currently serves as the Director of Performance for Pure Sweat Basketball and is an internationally renown expert on improving basketball-specific athleticism.
Alan has over 15 years of experience working with elite high school, college and NBA players (including Kevin Durant and Victor Oladipo) including work for the Nike Skills Academies, McDonald's All-American game, Jordan Brand Classic, NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp and the CP3 Elite Guard Camp.
Alan is the creator of the Elite Jump Training Program and is the host of the Pure Sweat Basketball Show.
As a scientist, broadcaster, author, coach and athlete, Dr. Greg Wells has dedicated his career to understanding human performance and how the human body responds to extreme conditions.
Dr. Wells is an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Toronto where he studies elite sport performance. He also serves as an associate scientist of physiology and experimental medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children where he leads the Exercise Medicine Research Program. There, he and his team explore how to use exercise to prevent, diagnose and treat chronic illnesses in children. Previously, he served as the director of sport science at the Canadian Sport Institute, and taught elite sport coaches at the National Coaching Institute.
Throughout his career, Dr. Wells has coached, trained and inspired dozens of elite athletes to win medals at World Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. He has studied athletic performance in some of the most severe conditions on the planet, like the Andes Mountains and the Sahara Desert.
Shannon Oleen is a motivational speaker, life coach, and entrepreneur from Kansas City, Missouri. She seeks to help people live their best lives through personal brand development, goal mapping, and work/life fusion.
After graduating from William Jewell College with a double major in Communications and Political Science, Shannon developed her own brand as an energetic tour-de-force serving as a former NFL Cheerleader, a Pryor Leadership Fellow, and an entrepreneur. Shannon has consulted and performed executive recruitment searches for major corporations around the country. She also spent two weeks living on a canoe in the Everglades (twice) and helped crocodiles with personal development from a very very very far distance.
She has worked with TV personalities all across the country including Nancy Grace, Chef Anne Burrell, Lisa Guerrero, and Lydia McLaughlin and has a regular segment on CBS’s Better Kansas City where she speaks on the importance of big goals and organized, relentless perseverance.
When not on the road, Shannon enjoys relaxing on the lake, spending time with her cat, and pretending she’s not binge watching Netflix.
Since his very first show in 1989, Ian Tyson has strived to entertain and inspire people across North America with his unique brand of “Comedy with a Message”. Ian’s passion is always on full display during his presentations, with high energy, humour and heart-warming relatable stories of overcoming obstacles and making a difference in the lives of others.
An author, award-winning stand-up comic, master story-teller and insightful entertainer, Ian has performed for millions of people at the middle school, high school, college/university level and corporate clients in his career across the continent and around the world. His keynotes have been creating positive change for hundreds of thousands of people every year.
A 2009 winner of the “Leader of Distinction” Award, Ian served for 4 years on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Student Leadership Association, and was a co-founder of Youth Leadership Camps Canada.
Hannah has been referred to as the “swiss army knife of facilitation” —no matter what the situation, she’s got the perfect activity ready to help move a group forward. With over 15 years of experience working as a facilitator, trainer and consultant in the social enterprise, nonprofits and education space, Hannah’s people-centered approach to problem-solving has helped teams and organizations meet their goals to better serve their stakeholders.
Hannah has a Masters of Art in Leisure Studies from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor's Degree in Recreation Management from Acadia University. In her research, she focused on studying optimal learning environments, program evaluation, transfer of training, positive youth development and productive organizations.
Earlier in Hannah’s career, she served as the Director of Leadership at Me to We, a social enterprise focused on leadership programs (like camp, international service-learning travel, conferences, workshops) to empower youth to make difference in the world around the social issues they care about. At Free The Children, Hannah facilitated philanthropic initiative workshops to increase corporate employee engagement programs around local and global social issues.
For a number of years, Hannah has been running her own consulting company offering services in facilitation, training and organizational development. Recent client work has focused on training organizations on facilitation skills capacity, implementing innovation and design-thinking methods and developing the millennial workforce in how to be effective people and team managers.
She has designed and delivered dozens of practice labs and professional development workshops focused on group facilitation skills including, planning and preparation for collaboration, managing challenging personalities, active listening and positive team dynamics. Clients served have included The Design Gym, General Assembly, Dozens of Youth Development.
Hannah is a proud Canadian living in Brooklyn, New York with her awesome husband and two joyful boys, Zev and Ezra. She loves grilled cheese sandwiches, rain and reasons to laugh really really hard.
Mark Black doesn’t just teach resilience to his audiences, he embodies it. Born with a life-threatening heart defect, Mark underwent two open-heart surgeries before the age of one. He battled his condition and it’s limitations for twenty-two years when at 23 years old, Mark was suddenly faced with the biggest challenge of his life.
His doctor informed him that without a rare and dangerous heart and double-lung transplant, he would not see his 25th birthday. He found himself living in a hospital, waiting for a life-saving transplant. Three years later, after receiving his second chance at life, he was running marathons.
Since receiving his second chance at life Mark hasn’t wasted a moment. He is a Certified Speaking Professional, a designation held by less than 1000 speakers in the world. He has inspired more than 100,000 people in more than 350 presentations.
Mark lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada where he spends as much time as possible with the most important people in his life; his wife Marise and their children.
Peter Katz is a JUNO Award, Canadian Screen Award and 2-time Canadian Folk Music Award-nominated singer-songwriter who has spent the past 10+ years touring nationally and internationally to capacity crowds. He has sold out premiere venues from the National Arts Centre in Ottawa to the Harbourfront Centre Theatre in Toronto, to the legendary Paradiso in Amsterdam.
In addition to his career as a performing singer-songwriter, Peter has a tremendous passion for working with youth. He has been a proud mentor for the School Alliance of Student Songwriters (SASS) for over 10 years and also spends a month every summer in the mountains of Alberta doing character building retreats with high school students through the FACES program (Facilitating Awareness through Character Building Experiences for Students).
Peter is also a 2-time TEDx fellow and gifted public speaker, being called on to give keynote talks and presentations to everyone from the 4000 delegates at the International Aeronautical Federation Conference (alongside Cirque Du Soleil and Commander Chris Hadfield) to countless workshops and presentations across the country.
In 2011, the year before the Olympics, Sarah was unfortunately diagnosed with a stress fracture in her left femur (thigh bone), which tragically sidelined her for 9 months. With the Olympic year fast approaching, Sarah was eager to get back on the track following a gruelling recovery and rehabilitation program. When she was finally cleared to run, the London Olympics were only 8 months away and few people believed Sarah would be able to overcome such a devastating injury and ultimately compete in the Olympic Games.
Fortunately, through hard work, perseverance and an unwavering belief in herself, Sarah ran Olympic standard, won the Canadian championships, and was named to the 2012 Canadian Olympic team. At the games, Sarah made it through the heats to the Olympic semi-final round. She placed herself in the top 24 in the world and was one of the youngest competitors in the field.
Since those games Sarah has added to her National Championship Gold medal count and most recently won a silver and bronze medal at the Pan American games in Toronto.
To see how stupendous she is watch this NEW video about her journey: http://goo.gl/18nP9f
Scott Hammell has been entertaining professionally since 1998. In the eighteen years since, the four-time Guinness World Record holder has hung upside down from a hot air balloon while locked in a straitjacket and chains for a feature spot on the season premier of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, dangled by his ankles and juggled for over a minute and a half, successfully completed a card trick while skydiving, jumped from an airplane while blindfolded and handcuffed, juggled live explosives and caught a bullet fired from a high powered sniper rifle for a feature length documentary for Super Channel.
Scott’s speech topics are as varied as his skill-set, but there is one enduring philosophy: find your passion, and make it happen. Over the years, Scott has been honoured to share the stage with a host of inspiring people, including Al Gore, Mia Farrow, Jesse Jackson, Stephen Lewis, Samantha Nutt, and Robert Kennedy Jr among many others. He has recently signed a deal for his own television series which is schedule to start production soon.
Alison Springer is a Youth Communications Specialist based in Calgary, Alberta. She has co-written curriculum used in Junior High Schools throughout Western Canada, and has developed and facilitated programs used in Calgary’s Youth Judicial System.
Alison works with many diverse audiences ranging from street kids, student leaders, faith based youth groups, students with high needs, aboriginal youth and ESL students. This broad scope enables her to speak not just to the masses, but to the individuals among the masses.
As the Founder of Young Woman of Power a non-profit organization that provides conferences, workshops and mentorship for young women ages 12 to 30, Alison is committed to seeing girl culture change in Canada. Alongside general assemblies, Alison provides talks specially geared towards girls.
Alison has become a leading resource in developing and establishing change in the girls at the schools she works with.
Matt is an Ambassador of fitness and green living for youth via his Run for One Planet platform. For 30 years, Matt’s career in voice over and films has connected him with millions of children around the world through the cartoons they’ve grown up with and the iconic characters he’s lent his voice to, like: “Raphael” in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or “Tender Heart” on the Care Bears, to currently voicing “Ton Ton” on the Emmy Award winning series for Dream Works, on Netflix, Dino Trux.
It is his passion for our planet’s long term health, the health and fitness of our children and like his childhood hero, Terry Fox, running in service of something larger than oneself – that inspired this popular voice actor to run his message 11, 000 miles around North America, one marathon at a time. Along with his friend, Steph Tait, they co-founded Run for One Planet. From May 2008 to May 2009, they ran a marathon each a day, inspiring over 50,000 kids in 220 school presentations around the continent, to take small daily steps to improve our planet and their long term health. The legacy and positive impact they had on the children of Canada and the United States landed Matt and the Run for One Planet team, the Governor General of Canada "Meritorious Service Medal."
Those who know Matt see his unlimited energy in everything he does. His mission is simple: “To inspire in the world, with his energy and his love of people, running and our planet”. Accomplishing this mission with every word, every character and every single step he takes.
Capri has just returned to Canada from a journey around the world to 80 countries with her family where she sung the national anthem of each country in the national language to raise money for orphaned, abandoned and abused children. Entitled "Around the World in 80 Anthems", Capri was invited to sing at such venues as the Marseilles Opera House, the Luxembourg Peace Forum, Carnaval Uruguay, the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival and at over 40 SOS Children's Villages around the globe. Capri recently did a TED Talk at the largest TedX event in Asia and has enjoyed being a guest speaker at We Day for the past two years.
Capri has just set a new Guinness World Record for "most national anthems sung in their host countries in one year" and a documentary about her journey will be released soon. She is thrilled to be a guest at the Global Student Leadership Summit and hopes to continue to raise awareness for orphaned and abandoned children through her speaking and singing around the world.
Sara Westbrook, motivational speaker, author and singer uses her positive UPower message to break through to youth facing challenging times and tough emotions. UPower concerts are a unique way to connect with youth and to share a powerful, effective choice making formula through speaking & singing.
“Life can be rough sometimes, especially in our school years. People may challenge how we look, where we come from, how we act and what we believe. What has made the biggest difference in my life, is knowing I can’t always control the circumstances, but I always have the power to choose my reactions, my actions and my beliefs. This is what I call our UPower.”
Sara Westbrook's musical career began at the age of 11 as a paid performer. At the same time her mom enrolled her in motivational classes. Realizing that music and personal stories are a powerful way to communicate, Sara started including her life experiences and lessons learned in every song she wrote and in every story she shared.
“I had a difficult time dealing with the divorce of my parents, low self-esteem and the death of my dad. I want young people to realize that they are not alone and that it is possible to move through challenging times.”
UPower concerts on Confidence, Resilience & Mental Well-Being have been presented to over 250,000 students, educators and parents across Ontario.
Please visit Sara at www.sarawestbrook.com
Teambuilding guru Dr. Jim Cain is the author of more than a dozen books filled with team and community building activities from around the world, including the Teamwork & Teamplay International Edition which presents 51 of Jim's favorite activities in 16 different languages.
Jim is known for his legendary train-the-trainer programs and his active techniques for building leadership, anywhere in the world.
Jen Pate is a young geographer and entrepreneur fascinated by human-environment interaction. She has been running a community-interest film company and leading/participating in expeditions as well as social and environmental responsibility projects for almost 10 years. She lives in Canada where she runs a sustainable outdoor recreation park called Windmill Lake, which blends water- and land-based activities with environmental education (www.windmill-lake.ca).
She has been Filmmaker, Mission Coordinator and Mission Leader on a series of international sailing voyages raising awareness of plastic in marine and freshwater environments. She works to promote social and environmental change through her newest initiative Love Your Greats (www.loveyourgreats.com) and co-runs an adventure series called Leisure With Purpose to inspire others to get outdoors and help protect the places we enjoy.
She is a Global Biodiversity Ambassador for the Ibex Earth Our World: Our Choice Campaign, Member of the Great Lakes Commons Leadership Committee, Board Member of the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, Board Member of Blue Bayfield and Member of the Main Bayfield Watershed Advisory Committee.
You can learn more about Jen here: www.jenniferpate.com
Nick Foley is the founder of Celebrate the Hero and Move for Inclusion. Both are initiatives that motivate and empower people of all ages to make a difference by propagating good through action.
Celebrate the Hero initiative, focuses on the positive that students facilitate on a daily basis, Celebrate the Hero most provides sustainable programs and presentations to schools, communities, business and sports teams all over Canada.
Most recently Move for Inclusion took Nick on a coast to coast bike trip from Victoria BC to St John’s NFLND, stopping at various locations to speak about Inclusion of all people without bias. Nick was able to complete his 8312 km journey on July 25th, 2015 after 95 days on the bike. On his ride Nick spoke to thousands of people on the importance of creating a culture of understanding and acceptance.
Nick is the very proud father of beautiful Brynn, from whom he has learned more than he ever thought imaginable. She has been, and continues to be the greatest teacher in his life.
Mike Pearse is currently co-owner and Managing Director of Camp Tawingo in Huntsville, Ontario. Camp Tawingo welcomes over 1300 campers each summer for a Residential Camping experience. It has been in existence for 52 years. For two years (1999-2001) he was the Principal of Tawingo College, a small Independent Day School on the grounds of Camp Tawingo. From 1989 to 1999, he was a teacher at Oakridge Secondary School in London, Ontario teaching English, Drama, History, and Society: Challenge and Change.
Mike graduated from the University of Western Ontario with the Gold Medal in Psychology and the Chancellor’s Prize for the highest graduating average in the Faculty of Social Sciences. He earned his Bachelor of Education degree from Althouse Teachers’ College, where he won the J.W. Bowden Memorial Award for academic and teaching excellence.
While at Oakridge S.S., Mike received the first-ever graduating students’ award for teaching excellence as well as the city-wide Bishop Townsend Award for teaching excellence. He coached the school Hockey and Senior Boys’ Soccer Teams and was the advisor to the Students’ Council, the Drama Club, the Oakridge Cabaret, the 30 Hour Famine, Grade Nine Welcome Week, and “Virus”, the first ever Oakridge Leadership Conference.
Mike has been a Motivational Speaker and Workshop leader since 1988 and has spoken at high schools and conferences in Canada, the United States, Venezuela, and Japan. Mike is married to Tia, co-owner of Tawingo, and together they have three great kids – Christopher, Tyler, and Carson.
For decades Gill has been inspiring Leaders, to find their ‘Super Powers’ and share them with the world! As a Life Coach, Gill challenges learners of all ages to discover their own personal strengths and use them to transform into leaders in their own lives and the lives of others.
In her first career as a secondary school teacher, Gill taught in classrooms located in: a detention center, a psychiatric hospital, a home for teen Moms, an American International School in Saudi Arabia, an alternative school where students brought their babies, and 4 Canadian high schools. Embracing challenges and transitions, and facing them full on, is Gill’s idea of fun! Creating leaders in times of change and challenge is her mission.
Gill’s workshops inspire audiences to discover their own signature powers. Her sense of humour and fun add a spark to her sessions! Gill adds interest and understanding with references to the latest breakthroughs in neurosciences. Her workshops are designed for future leaders who seek to make a difference in their lives, the lives of others, their communities, and their worlds.
Since 1992 Andy has been to over 3000 junior & senior high schools, conferences, universities & colleges in every Canadian province and 40 states! Every year, over 105 schools, over 30 youth leadership conferences, plus 40 or more university, college, camp, and community organizations are inspired by Andy! He has appeared at all 10 provincial student leadership conferences & 34 state conferences! Andy has spoken at two US national youth leadership conferences and eight Canadian national student leadership conferences.
Through his hilarious comedy and true-life stories, Andy delivers a message that everyone can relate to. His presentations are unique due to his international experiences, the personalization of each talk to the activities of the school, and his high-energy style. Andy's message are complemented by his experiences as a student leader, as a past director of a leadership camp, as a parent of children in school, and his active community involvement. His shows are part pep rally, part comedy show, part inspirational keynote, part hands-on leadership training.
Dave Conlon was an activity director at the secondary school level for over 26 years. He has chaperoned over 120 dances and knows how to get a cow into the principal’s office.
He is the Program Director for the Canadian Student Leadership Association (CSLA), prepares national newsletters, sells all the CSLA resources, maintains a leadership website, corresponds with CSLA members through a monthly e-letter and still manages to get his laps in the pool! As a newbie grandfather, he is excited to just stand on the sidewalk with his granddaughter and wave at the bus driver for kicks.
Josh Yandt was bullied for years. After his father passed away, he became even more depressed and anxious. He lost all hope. Feeling invisible and unwanted, Josh’s family moved and he started at a new high school. On his first day at this new school, he mustered all of his courage and decided to make a change in his life by finding one gesture of kindness he could do over and over again. He decided to hold doors for classmates. Day after day, he held doors open in the morning, at lunch and after school.
At first, his classmates thought he was strange, but he stuck with it. Eventually, the other students grew to love Josh and his gesture of opening doors for others. For the first time in his life, classmates were nice to him and was treated with respect. He wasn’t invisible any more. Opening doors made the bullying stop. His gesture of kindness, as simple as it was, changed him and it started to change others too! He found purpose, meaning and a sense of belonging.
Matt is an international speaker, leadership facilitator, published writer and a passionate advocate when it comes to the challenges and issues that young people face today.
For over 10 years, Matt has been a leader on the topics of youth leadership, social justice and personal development.
He has traveled around the globe speaking to and working with over 75,000 young people, educators and adults on topics such as personal leadership & development, social emotional learning, and working with youth to create positive change in themselves, their communities and the world.
Matt has a strong passion for personal development and helping others be their best when it matters the most.
In his spare time, Matt loves growing moustaches, reading about zombies, and awkwardly running across the street...
Joe Richards is a Summer Camp Professional. For the past 10 years he has been the Executive Director of Pearce Williams Camp in Iona, Ontario. Joe has worked at summer camp since the summer of 1988.
Joe believes strongly in the power of summer camp - it changed his life and now his mission is to help change the lives of others.
Jeff has been entertaining and empowering people for many years! As the Student Activities Council Advisor and Leadership Teacher at Waterloo-Oxford DSS, he leads one of the largest and most impactful leadership programs in the province of Ontario. He is an engaging and experienced speaker and
From an early age when he convinced his entire kindergarten class to change their boots to the wrong feet to match his, Jeff has had a natural way of connecting with people and moving them to action. A genuine motivator, Jeff is always striving to learn more and do more. You can learn more about Jeff at www.jeffgerber.ca. He is excited to meet you and work alongside you to better your school community!
After an 8 year career making children’s cartoons, and teaching digital animation at Centennial College, Amy began to get an inkling that this was not the industry she was going to grow old in. Almost immediately after that thought entered her awareness, she accidentally (if there is such a thing) found herself on a path that would merge all of her skills and passions together.
She is now the co-founder and visionary of “The Groove EDGEucation”, an organization that uses dance, movement and music as a tool to educate and motivate youth and teachers by engaging the BODY, BRAIN and BEING. We call this tool “The GROOVE”. She facilitates GROOVE workshops in schools across the country as well as creates holistic and kinesthetic resource material that allow teachers to infuse their approach into different areas of school curriculum. Giving young people the opportunity to realize the amazing abilities they already have within has become one of her favourite hats she wears with The Groove EDGEucation.
She certainly did enjoyed her years in animation, however she is so grateful to have stumbled upon and stuck with her current path so she can share it with you today. Though she still makes sure she catch the latest animated movie when she can…cartoons are her favourite!! Hope to see you at the next GROOVE Dance Party!
Barry Orr is the Sewer Outreach and Control Inspector for the City of London, Ontario with over 20 years of experience in environmental and wastewater fields. He is an active member and spokesperson for the Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group in Ontario, is a member of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association, the Water Environment Association of Ontario and the Canadian Standards Association.
He is the author of “The Toilet Toll” and “Revisiting: The Toilet Toll” article’s published in Water Canada’s Magazine, as well as one of the sewer professionals featured in Canadian newspapers and media networks like CBC, CTV, and Global featuring segments on “not flushable." Barry’s work has even caught the attention of the Japan Sewage Works Association and in January 2017 Barry presented across Japan.
The Standards Council of Canada and the International Standards Organization appointed Barry as an expert representative on their "flushable" workgroup and in June 2015 Barry received the Water’s Next Award for the Government sector. The selection panel noted, “Mr. Orr is both a leading voice and tireless advocate within the wastewater and water treatment sector, creating positive change and identifying clear and costly problems and then advancing very practical and doable solutions.”
Barry’s greatest passion is outreach. Over the years many students have heard Barry’s plea; “Toilets are not garbage cans”. One of Barry’s favourite outreach opportunities was with Mr. Scott Howe, a teacher from Woodland Heights in London, ON and his grade 7/8 class. They worked first hand on evidenced based analysis of the dangers of flushable wipes. Mr. Howe and a student from his class will be joining Barry during the Summit to share their leadership success stories.
For more information on Barry Orr please visit https://twitter.com/yourturnorr
Rebecca is an educator and leadership consultant. She has been working with youth for over 15 years. She is currently the Director of Leadership at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School and has a leadership consulting firm, Empowell. She completed her MA in leadership at Royal Roads University and is now dedicating her career to igniting the leadership potential within her students and clients.
She believes that having a strong sense of self and developing a variety of leadership skills are important for academic and future professional success.
The works of Leadership gurus, Kouzes and Posner, and Senge have inspired Rebecca to create an empowering leadership development experience. Many of Rebecca’s students and clients have reported that the work she does with them has changed their lives.
Michel Lafrance is a passionate educator and school administrator who has been making a difference in the lives of youth for nearly 25 years. He is described as a leader, a coach, an innovator and a visionary.
Michel is devoted to helping others succeed, dedicated to having a positive impact on the lives of students, parents, and teachers, committed to continuous learning, and driven to contribute to the development and implementation of a vision for the next generation of schools.
Since he was a teenager, he has had a keen interest in leadership and this has further developed throughout his career. Michel will share the leadership secrets that he has learned along the way and provide you with the necessary information and motivation to guide you through the steps to progress from an emerging leader into an accomplished leader.
Michel will also share the research, insights and stories that will be highlighted in his upcoming book Inspiring Leadership.
Joel Hilchey wants to change how people think about success, because too many people spend their time doing stuff they don’t really care about.
Joel thinks a lot about success, and he’s proud to be a true renaissance man. He studied environmental engineering, teaches sustainability at McMaster University, writes about leadership, and is often remembered as the speaker at conferences who juggles mousetraps. Mostly though, he tries to be a good dad, husband, and friend, so he only really works part-time.
Joel has two books - one that’s illustrated, and another one about becoming fearlessly creative. He founded a youth engagement initiative called The Beanstalk Project, is chair of the board of the world-renowned Hamilton Children’s Choir, and sang for 10 years in (arguably) Canada’s best barbershop quartet. He recently started taking circus classes, and he also loves to travel, cook, do yoga, and taste exotic foods, but that stuff is just for fun.
You can learn more at www.joelhilchey.com.
Bob discovered his passion for leadership when he co-founded his school's grade nine orientation and mentorship program; a co-worker asked for help at a staff meeting and he stepped forward. Bob never imagined that he would stumble upon his kindred spirits in the Student Activities world; it just takes a moment for something wonderful to unfold. He now teaches a dynamite Leadership program involving over 150 students at Huron Heights Secondary School in Kitchener, Ontario. Bob’s students, the Huskies, were recognized three years in a row at the Ontario Student Leadership Conference for having the ‘Most School Spirit.’
Bob has spoken about what he calls ‘the human curriculum’ at school assemblies, professional development sessions, graduation ceremonies, a Gay-Straight Alliance conference, and most notably a powerful TED Talk called “Kids These Days.” His mission is to spread the good word about today's positive school culture and to share what he has learned about developing young leaders.
Ada McKim is a former high school teacher of Canadian Law and World Issues. During a sabbatical in 2017, she co-founded the Global Goals Educator Task Force. It’s mission: to promote and support the use of the inspiring UN Sustainable Development Goals within schools, organizations, and education events. This team of #TeachSDGS teachers has members from all continents and has partnered with multiple UN bodies and The World’s Largest Lesson.
Ada is also the part-time editor of What in the World? and The Global Times -- current events resources for students across Canada and the U.S. The passion for global education stems from a 2010 class project that morphed into a fifty school network linking learners from North America and Uganda via Skype. Ada has three daughters aged 10 and identical 8s. She enjoys playing with her family and/or dog, dates at Cineplex, and managing multiple Twitter accounts.
Karl hails from the rural and remote part of Zimbabwe in Southern Africa and attained his basic education in schools with limited resources. Coming from such a difficult background, he struggled with a lot of identity crisis. Amid all this, he kept focused, persevered and saw himself having an ability to be the change that he wants to see in his life and the global community.
Through risk taking influenced by a lot of drive and determination, Karl furthered his studies in different countries in the field of education, theology and global leadership. Karl's most recent educational accomplishment is a Masters of Arts in Global Leadership in Intercultural Contexts from the University of Gloucestershire.
He is now a qualified and professional educator, trainer, mentor and leader. He draws from a wide range of multicultural experience working in different national and international organizations, including the United Nations, in Zimbabwe, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Drawing from his vast experience and education, he travels widely and empowers young people to acknowledge that they are global citizens and leaders in their capacity. Each one of them have a mandate to unleash the potential in them that facilitates solid and sound decisions that bring lasting positive transformation in their families, communities and the global village at large leading to sustainability.
Maya Chivi is a 2x-TEDx Speaker, Author, and survivor of Anorexia, Bulimia, and depression. Overcoming her mental health challenges as a teenager without professional help, Maya inspires students to believe in their power to transform their lives.
An advocate for gender equality, Maya has spoken on the importance and impact of raising girls and boys with equal rights and opportunities at TEDxMontrealWomen and during a keynote speech to the Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Commission. She was also the first person in the Middle East to speak on live, international TV about LGBTQ children’s rights for unconditional love. It’s one of her proudest moments!
Over the years, Maya’s been privileged with the opportunity to motivate thousands of individuals around the world to make positive changes in their lives. She holds an MA in Educational Leadership, Dean’s Honour List, from McGill University, and a BA in Child Studies with Distinction and Dean’s Honour List from Concordia University.
We will be adding more speakers, so keep checking back!