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Keynote Speakers


April 5, 2020 - 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

April 6, 2020 - 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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April 7, 2020 - Strategies Proven to Inspire & Engage EVERY Student

Christian is the author of the internationally recognized book The Resilience Breakthrough: 27 Tools for Turning Adversity into Action, and the founder of the Why Try Program.

Coming from a blended family of 12 children, Christian spent most of his childhood years on the streets. In a neighborhood just outside of Washington, D.C., he was exposed to a wide array of social problems, which opened his eyes to the many injustices that exist in our world today.


Christian used his personal challenges, his degree, his career as a social worker, and his understanding of people from all walks of life to create the WhyTry Program, and more recently the Resilience Breakthrough for Youth Program.

Christian’s programs use a multisensory approach to teach resilience to youth of every learning type. Over 2 million students have been taught with the WhyTry Program in over 20,000 schools, making it one of the fastest-growing programs of its kind. WhyTry is implemented in all 50 states and in countries throughout the world.


Christian’s personal mission is to ensure that all human beings are given the opportunity to thrive, regardless of social or economic status, race, background, or other personal obstacles. His engaging presentation provides people with the specific tools necessary to develop resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

Book Signing Immediately After Session

Christian Moore
April 7, 2019

Christian Moore

Why Try?

why try