“My mother was a teacher, coach and administrator so I grew up learning about the struggles and rewards of the profession.  I have two goals in any teacher program – make them laugh and provide information that they can use.”  

Keynotes:

 

Title:  What Were You Thinking?  Communicating With Teens About Sensitive Topics

Target Event: Professional Conferences, Teacher In-Service

Ideal Audience Size:  50+

Duration:60 minutes plus Q&A

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. Typically, the program runs for 60 minutes plus time for Q&A.

Outcomes:

  1. Participants should understand how to more effectively communicate with teens around sensitive topics (e.g. failure and rejection).
  2. Participants should understand some of the recent research on adolescent brain development and how it might impact their classroom.
  3. Participants should understand some of the current research on resilience and how to encourage greater resilience among students.
  4. Participants should have fun and enjoy a positive message.

 

Title: Talking to Youth about Pot, the Developing Brain and Behavior

Target Event: Professional Conferences, Teacher Inservices

Ideal Audience Size:  50+

Duration:60 minutes plus Q&A

 

Description:

More young people these days believe, “weed is like salad.”  This funny, but sadly inaccurate statement is consistent with data showing that young people have a lower perception of risk when it comes to regular marijuana use (Monitoring the Future Survey, 2010).  This perception is only strengthened by the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, the proliferation of marijuana “as medicine” and the promotion of marijuana through pop culture.  Given this situation, what chance does any adult have to convince a teenager that, “weed is definitely not salad?”   This program, presented by clinical neuropsychologist and professional youth speaker, Dr. Matt Bellace, will provide insights into how to have an effective conversation with youth on this important topic. 

Outcomes:

  1. Understanding the latest neuroscience research on marijuana and the developing brain
  2. Presenting the neuroscience research to youth in an effective and age-appropriate fashion
  3. Dealing with “hecklers,” who seem almost compulsive in their effort to minimize the risks of marijuana
  4. Using humor appropriately to engage young people in the conversation    
  5. Empowering the silent majority of youth non-users to speak out and be agents of change

 

Workshop:

Title: Brain, Behavior and Addiction

Target Event: Professional Conferences, Teacher In-Service

Ideal Audience Size:  50+

Duration:60 minutes plus Q&A

The adolescent brain is uniquely vulnerable to risk-taking and addiction, both potential outcomes of binge drinking and drug use.  The drug of choice for young people remains alcohol – nearly a quarter of 12th graders reported binge drinking in the past month (Monitoring the Future Survey, 2010).  However, there has been a recent increase in teen use of marijuana and prescription drugs.  Neuroscientists have started to develop a clear understanding of the cognitive impact of adolescent binge drinking and drug use.  In this workshop, teachers will be presented with this information to help support young people in making healthy choices.

 

Comedy Show:

Title: What's So Funny?

Target Event: Comedy Night, Conference Entertainment

Ideal Audience Size:  50-500

Duration: 90 minutes

Description:  “What's So Funny” is an inspirational stand-up comedy show that uses laughter to uplight and entertain teachers and staff.  The show includes Dr. Matt Bellace and two other nationally touring stand-up comedians.  Past performers have included comedians Joe Matarese, Ted Alexandro and many more.