Deanna’s story begins in her junior year of high school, when she began struggling with her body image, depression, and overall feelings of inadequacy. Not knowing how to process these negative emotions, Deanna turned to food in an attempt to cope and eventually developed an eating disorder. What she tried to play off as “just a diet” eventually consumed her entire life. When she went away to college, her life became a cycle of restricting, bingeing, self-harming, and not sleeping. She reached a point where she couldn’t see past the darkness and attempted suicide.

After returning to treatment, she learned to challenge her negative thoughts and find healthier ways to cope. Once she discovered that the thoughts and feelings that led her down that path were not as uncommon as she thought, she was inspired to speak out about her experiences in the hope of showing students they are not alone and that help is out there. Deanna became involved with the National Eating Disorders Association, for which she has raised over $10,000 towards eating disorder prevention, treatment, and education. She also serves on the executive board of the Drexel University chapter of Active Minds, empowering other students to speak about mental health.

Deanna is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.


Read what organizations have to say about Deanna:

“Deanna was really adaptive and responsive to our needs. She had her presentation but was not afraid to divert from it and hit the other aspects of mental health that were really applicable to our student population.” New York Hall of Science (NY)

“Deanna was so wonderful! She held the boy’s attention and gave them valuable tips without overwhelming them. She was one of the best speakers I’ve heard.” Malvern Prep (PA)



As a child, Evan was one of the best-performing students in his elementary school. He achieved one of the top scores in the state in a standardized math test, and was enthusiastic about his classes and learning. At the same time, he was experiencing panic attacks and generalized anxiety, but at this age, he didn’t know how to verbalize what he felt inside. The lack of being able to express his feelings, mixed with the fact that his anxiety was somewhat sporadic, led to him accepting these things as if they were just a part of his personality.

Once Evan entered his final year of middle school, things took a turn for the worse. His anxiety was no longer random, but rather an everyday battle. Still believing it was a personality trait that he just needed to learn to live with, he told nobody in his family about these feelings. The daily panic attacks and generalized anxiety would soon be followed by depression, and eventually problems with substance abuse. The combination of all of these things created a life where he felt he had no control. Still, he never asked for help. Eventually, Evan transformed from someone who had once been a friendly, hardworking student into a person who treated others poorly, all while treating himself even worse.

About two and a half weeks into his senior year of high school, Evan found himself in a situation he couldn’t have ever imagined; he was arrested, kicked out of his high school, and spent his 18th birthday on house arrest. Mentally, he was at his lowest point and truly thought this was the beginning of the end. After one particularly combative interaction with a friend, Evan had what he calls his “ah-hah!” moment. It was the first time he became aware of how his actions were affecting those around him, as well as himself. That day, Evan made a commitment to himself to get through his problems no matter what, and he never looked back. He rediscovered his enthusiasm about learning and his work ethic, putting them to use in modifying his lifestyle and creating a positive mindset. Evan was able to completely turn around his situation and his prospects for the future.

Today, Evan has found his passion in functional health care, and encourages others to combine lifestyle changes with traditional treatments in order to have the best chance at seeing optimal results, both in their physical and mental health. By sharing his story, Evan hopes to spark the “ah-hah” moment for others who are suffering, inspiring them to speak up and ask for help.

Evan is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.


Read what organizations have to say about Evan:

“Evan was an excellent presenter and very easy to understand. He was able to relate well to his audience of youth and young adults.” Youth Move Conference (PA)

“Evan gave a fantastic presentation. He honest story was impactful and real for our students. His passion for finding appropriate coping strategies/treatment were motivational, allowing our students to understand the importance asking for help and not being afraid to share how you are feeling.” Garnet Valley High School (PA)


Since she was nine years old, Emma has felt the weight of anxiety, even without having a name to call what she was feeling. Her parents set expectations for her to succeed academically and personally. She became a high-achiever in an attempt to fulfill these expectations and hide the growing symptoms of her anxiety. The recognition she received for her achievements made her a prime target for bullying, both in school and on her track team.

Trying to remain “the girl who can do it all” added depression to her anxiety, leading to panic attacks. She didn’t have a name for what she was feeling so she didn’t know she could ask for help. She saw many doctors for the physical manifestations of her mental health issues, all of who told her, “No, there’s nothing wrong.” She knew that wasn’t the case and kept searching for answers. It wasn’t until she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder that Emma felt freed from the weight of not knowing what was going on inside her head. Emma’s story is one of self-advocacy: when the world is telling you you’re wrong, you have to fight to find someone who will give you the right answers.

After transferring universities and moving back in with her family for additional support, Emma has developed healthy coping mechanisms to prevent her bipolar disorder from ever having total control over her life again. She has found writing to be a healthy and supportive outlet to express her feelings. Through her writing, she can monitor any new developments and consider what actions will have a positive impact in processing what it is that she’s experiencing. Emma has found essential oils help keep her balanced and a favorite weighted blanket can provide extra comfort when she feels in need. She shares her story of recovery to inspire other people to advocate for themselves and find their own path through recovery.

Through all of her struggles, Emma has learned that the most important thing to remember is that “crazy,” a word so many people throw around when talking about mental health, is just a concept. She believes that no mental health issue can have power over you if you take the right steps to develop coping mechanisms that work for your individual needs.

Emma is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.


Read what organizations have to say about Emma:

“Emma’s presentation was engaging and relevant to the topic. She was professional and fielded all questions with ease.” Collegium Charter High School (PA)

“Emma was a pleasure to have. We have received significantly positive feedback from students and administration. Student’s quoted Emma as being ‘real and able to relate to us’.” South Western High School (PA)


As a child, Kristen experienced significant trauma, including her mother attempting and completing suicide.

When she reached her preteen years, Kristen didn’t know how to manage what she was feeling and turned to alcohol, drugs, and self-harm to mask the pain that she so desperately wanted to keep locked away. The alternative was facing the issues related to her childhood trauma and she did not know how to do that. As a result of this she suffered with debilitating depression and anxiety that affected her in her everyday life. She continued these negative coping skills, including negative self-talk, which drove her down to a very dark place. Quickly, she arrived to a bottom she thought she would never leave.

After going to treatment, where she learned how to replace her negative coping skills with positive ones, she worked hard to incorporate those habits into her life. Kristen attended a recovery high school to finish her education and went on to college. She has many therapy experiences that have proven to be wildly successful, and attends support groups regularly to maintain her ongoing sobriety and abstinence from negative coping skills. Kristen, being a young person in recovery, proves it’s never too late or too early to get the help you need. She has spoken on panels and at board meetings to help educate others in an effective manner break the stigma around mental health and substance use disorder.

Kristen is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.


Read what organizations have to say about Kristen:

“Kristen was so passionate and professional. Many of our students provided feedback that the emotion that she put into her presentation made it very powerful.”  Stanley K. Landis Building (PA)

“Kristen was excellent! She hit it right on the nose with the message in her presentation and the emotion and passion that you could feel while she spoke, made it even better.”  Visitation BVM School (PA)

“Kristen has an amazing delivery that conveys her passion for helping others understand the struggles of kids with mental illness and substance misuse. She gives loved ones hope that it is possible to have a productive and meaningful life. One day at a time.” Upper Moreland HS (PA)

“Kristen was *phenomenal!* She arrived early, was professional and was a skilled and engaging speaker. You could hear a pin drop in the room while she was speaking and could feel every person in the room attuned to her story and message. The fact that she is still a young person delivering this presentation adds to the power of her message. Our presentation was for educators and mental health professionals but we loved her so much we want to bring her to our high school to speak directly to our students. I can’t recommend Kristen enough!” Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 (PA)


Kelly was raised in a wonderful and loving family, however, something never felt right. She didn’t feel a-part-of or good enough growing up. The people she was surrounded by supported her and loved her unconditionally, yet her mind told her otherwise. Her feelings felt so big and her thoughts felt so loud that she began to feel entirely alone. In an attempt to gain others’ love and acceptance, she strived for absolute perfection in all of her endeavors. However, this created anxiety and a deep fear of failure.

All this negative energy and self-talk eventually fueled Kelly’s attempt to achieve “the perfect body.” She quickly found herself in the midst of an active eating disorder. Her binging, purging, and obsession with how she appeared drove her to a place of despair. In an attempt to escape her eating disorder, she began using drugs and alcohol while in middle school. Her attempt at escape only led to more bondage, as she became physically dependent on these substances. Her drug use led her to abandon all of the activities and relationships that she once loved. After being arrested multiple times and having her freedom at stake, she made the brave decision to seek help by attending a drug and alcohol treatment facility. During this time, she learned how to cope with her substance use disorder, her negative relationship with her body, as well as the anxiety and fear of failure she had experienced growing up.

Thanks to the dedication she shows to her active and ongoing recovery, Kelly now lives a positive life full of travel and adventure. She hopes to help other young people cope positively with their internal thoughts, making sure they reflect the unconditional love that is in the world.

Kelly is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.


Read what organizations have to say about Kelly:

“Kelly did a phenomenal job. She had the students’ attention from the minute she started to speak. You could have heard a pin drop in an auditorium of over 1,000 students and staff. Her message really resonated with a number of our students who were referencing it days later when coming in to talk to guidance counselors and in follow-up discussions with teachers. Students were able to relate to her description of how she felt and the pattern of behaviors that occurred over and over again, starting with just one thought. We loved having her here and would highly recommend her.” Lampeter-Strasburg High School (PA)

“Kelly is a very effective speaker. Her persona is one high school students can relate to. Kelly was able to convey her message in a meaningful manner and help students open their minds to seeing mental health beyond the stigma.” Oxford Area High School (PA)

“Kelly was AMAZING! We had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from the students, teachers and administration about Kelly’s presentation and how her story left a positive message with students. We greatly are looking forward to (hopefully) having Kelly speak again next year at our school.” Northley Middle School (PA)



Jordan is a public speaker who discusses the mental health issues and disorders that affect so many of us. He is a survivor of a suicide attempt during his senior year in high school and shares his powerful story of fighting depression and finding recovery.

Jordan is a nationally recognized mental health advocate. In 2008 he addressed a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill. In 2010 he was chosen as one of the “Best of Philly” for his work in public speaking and advocacy. In 2012 he was honored with an Emerging Humanitarian Award from retired San Francisco 49ers player Nmadi (Nam-DEE) Asomugha (Awesome-Wah) and the Asomugha Foundation.



He has been featured in People Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today. Jordan has appeared on ESPN’s E:60 and Outside the Lines, as well as Dr. Phil, The Ricki Lake Show, CNN, the Early Show and Good Morning America. He has been featured in three documentaries and his piece, “Unbreakable” with E:60 was nominated for an Emmy. Most recently, you might have seen Jordan at the White House for the National Conference on Mental Health, hosted by President Obama and Vice President Biden.

Jordan has been speaking on his story and mental health all over the country for the last 8 years. He’s spoken in 32 different states and 3 different countries. His presentation is meant to inspire, educate and allow others to know they’re not alone.

Jordan is based in Philadelphia, PA. Speaking engagements beyond 120 miles may require a fee for travel expenses.


Read what organizations have to say about Jordan:

“Jordan’s presentation was so engaging and full hope. He was prepared, relaxed and confident in his delivery. His audience still brings up the positive impact that it had on them all. His presentation skills were excellent. His adjustments based on his audiences functioning levels were appropriate and the interpretation of his presentation was not lost. He answered questions by our clients after the presentation and he helped them feel good about wanting more information from him. We feel very pleased with his professional presentation, wish him well in the future and appreciate the growth/strength he instilled in this audience.” Catholic Charities Delaware House Partial Care (NJ)

“Jordan was exceptional. He pulled the audience in and made them feel comfortable with a very heavy topic. He brought humor in at the perfect times, which lightened the moment. He spoke about suicide with no shame or secrecy, and I think that made our students more courageous to face their own struggles. I even believe because of the timing of Jordan coming to our school, it helped a male student to come to me to express that he was seriously contemplating suicide and feeling hopeless. That student is now headed into intensive residential treatment to get help. Jordan played a part in that. JORDAN IS A GIFT TO THIS WORLD! I now truly know why he survived. THANK YOU JORDAN!!!” Tabor Academy (MA)

“Jordan did an amazing job relaying his story to our students and connecting with them. He held their attention and allowed us as counselors to have many follow up conversations regarding the topics he discussed.” Lumberton Middle School (NJ)

Brandon R. Everett, RN, BSN, CMT

Brandon was first introduced to mindfulness while working as a Registered Nurse in a bustling inner city Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. The practice proved so transformative and healing that he resolved to do whatever training was necessary to offer the practice to others in a thorough and authentic way. In 2017 he graduated from a rigorous two-year, 900-hr Meditation Teacher Training. Since graduating Brandon has shared mindfulness broadly— from grade schools to graduate programs, and in hospitals, universities, workplaces, and community settings throughout PA, NJ, and NY. He takes tremendous joy in adapting his presentations and instruction to meet the particular needs and interests of the varied populations he teaches. His instruction emphasizes the practical application of mindfulness to daily and working life. In 2020 he will be launching the Living Wisdom Podcast, intended to make quality mindfulness instruction and practice more widely available.


Deb Cyb, MA

Deborah has been practicing mindfulness for 15 years. When she first started practicing she was moved by how mindfulness simultaneously reduced stress and increased mental well-being. Having been an educator for many years, she naturally saw how mindfulness could be used to enhance learning and school environment. This led to merging her two passions and creating mindfulness programs for students and educators. Deborah is a certified Mindful Schools Instructor and has studied extensively in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the Mindfulness Institute, Center Of Integrative Medicine at Jefferson Hospital, in Philadelphia.

Melissa Harrison, MA, LPC

Melissa Harrison, MA, LPC

Melissa is a licensed clinician with extensive experience with anxiety and eating disorders. In addition to speaking with Minding Your Mind since 2015, she co-founded the Center for Hope and Health in 2014 where she is a specialist in evidence-based treatment, primarily Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Practicing as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Pennsylvania, she has received specialized training in the most cutting-edge treatments for eating disorders, OCD, and PTSD. She obtained a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from West Chester University in 2011. Melissa worked as both a primary therapist and treatment team leader over the course of four years at the Renfrew Center. She has also received specialized certification and supervision in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy-Enhanced from the University of Oxford in addition to Prolonged Exposure and Exposure and Response Prevention from the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania. Melissa has also completed a specialized fellowship in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for a variety of disorders and clinical issues through the University of Pennsylvania at the Center for Cognitive Therapy. Melissa has also been featured on local media including FOX29 to discuss mental health in adolescents as well as depression and suicide. Melissa is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and West Chester University.