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Keynote Speakers


October 13 - What Were You Thinking?  Communicating With Teens About Sensitive Topics

On any given day, the average teen may be dealing with mood instability (e.g., anxiety or depression), mild head injuries (e.g. concussion) or substance abuse. These issues are complicated by the fact that the teen years are an intense period of social, emotional and neurological development. This comedic, yet content-rich program focuses on adolescent brain development and how to communicate this information effectively. Dr. Bellace will not only present information on brain development in a fun way, but also discuss how adults can integrate this information into their everyday interactions with teens.

Matt Bellace, has a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology (the study of the brain and behavior), and the author of the book, "A Better High" (Wyatt Mackenzie, 2012).  He is  a contributing author for the National Geographic Kids book series, "This or That."  His "How to Get High Naturally" program encourages over a hundred thousand students a year worldwide to pursue natural highs and make healthy choices.

Book Signing Immediately After Session

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Dr. Matt Bellace

Dr. Matt Bellace
Brain Development & Mental Health
April 5, 2019

October 14 - What comes after tragedy? Forgiveness

On one awful night in 1995, Ples Felix's 14-year-old grandson murdered Azim Khamisa's son in a gang initiation fueled by drugs, alcohol and a false sense of belonging. The deadly encounter sent Khamisa and Felix down paths of deep meditation, to forgive and to be forgiven -- and in an act of bravery and reconciliation, the two men met and forged a lasting bond. Together, they've used their story as an outline for a better, more merciful society, where victims of tragedy can grow and heal. Prepare to be moved by their unimaginable story. "Peace is possible," Khamisa says. "How do I know that? Because I am at peace."

Azim Khamisa is an inspiration. Azim delivers his inspirational message to a world in desperate need of forgiveness, peace and hope. Following the murder of his only son Tariq in 1995 through a senseless, gang-related incident, Azim chose the path of forgiveness and compassion rather than revenge, and this amazing choice led to the establishment of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF) and the subsequent forgiveness movement which has reached millions.

Book Signing Immediately After Session

Azim Khamisa & Ples Felix
April 6, 2019

Azim Khamisa & Ples Felix

Tariq Khamisa Foundation

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October 15 - Inspiration and Hope for the American Dream

As the son of a housekeeper, Dr. Luff grew up in an impoverished environment. At an early age he was thrown into the role of father figure to his three younger siblings while lacking a strong male role model for himself. Dr. Luff’s greatest ambition was to become the first member in his family to attend college – a dream challenged when his family became homeless during his senior year in high school. Despite homelessness and discouragement from guidance counselors to attend college, Dr. Luff aggressively pursued his dream and was accepted into Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts to pursue a Business and Human Resources Management degree. Five years later he was chosen as the Student Commencement Speaker for his class and preceded then President of the United States, Bill Clinton. President Clinton was so impressed with Dr. Luff’s leadership, tenacity, and grit for success that he invited him and his mother to the White House.

Extremely devoted to youth development and family empowerment, he has created and directed social service programs throughout the United States and Asia. Dr. Luff was even recognized as a recipient of the esteemed San Diego Channel 10 Leadership Award as a caring resident “who goes above and beyond to make San Diego a better place to live by improving the quality of life for those who need it most.” His core values and belief in faith, discipline, action, and hard work led to special appearances at the Fleet Center (formerly the Boston Garden), the White House, the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, and the Crystal Cathedral’s “Hour of Power” television broadcast, to mention a few. Dr. Luff’s life is a tale of inspiration and hope for the American dream that has impacted hundreds of institutions and thousands of people around the world.


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Dr. Doug Luffborough