Main Speakers and Breakout Session Clinicians
David Edward Garcia
David Edward Garcia is the only 5-language-speaking-motivational-comedian on the planet! David empathizes with diverse students who face challenges because he was once considered an "at-risk student" himself before defying the odds and graduating with a bachelor's degree and then earning his Master's Degree. He has motivated children and mature adults in some of the greatest metropolitan cities of the world: Los Angeles, New York, Sao Paulo, Paris, and London.
His upbringing facilitated his multi-culturalism/ multi-lingualism, which make it easy to relate to diverse audiences. While his native languages are English, and Spanish, David's has also presented in French and Portuguese in his international tours. (He also speaks Italian, bringing his language total to five-for now.) He was voted North America's #1 Youth Motivational Comedian by Top Youth Speakers of America in 2013. After he is done speaking, you won't know if he's a comedian with an amazing message, or the most hilarious speaker you have ever heard.
Lenny Williams is one of today's most gifted leaders in inspiring youth and countless individuals to pursue their career and educational dreams. Counted out early because of lackluster grades and being lured by the wrong lifestyle, the under 30 year-old professor has flipped his negatives into positives and built a platform that utilizes his voice to make a difference. Today, Lenny has spoken to over 100 public / private school districts in NJ, NY, CT, MA, MD and Washington D. C. and orchestrated workshops for adolescents at Universities such as Yale, Rutgers and New Jersey City University. As an educator and speaker, his mission is to be a voice to reach generations and a reminder that greatness can be achieved against all odds.
Joseph Shepard, originally from San Diego, California, is currently pursing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Wichita State University. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in May 2016 from Wichita State. While in Kansas, Joseph has come to appreciate the unique challenges and opportunities that come with his diverse background. Joseph is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Community, Operations, Recovery Empowerment and currently serves as the Social Media Liaison for Brandon Johnson, Candidate for District 1 City Councilman. Joseph was elected as Student Body President of Wichita State University twice and has since been bestowed the Emeritus Status honor. He aspires to inspire youth and young adults to accomplish their goals despite the obstacles and setbacks that may occur in life. Through his recently established non-profit organization, Resilience Speaks, he aims to empower disadvantaged youth through social justice training, academic assistance and leadership development.
Joseph believes the best way to change systems and environment’s which hinder the progress of marginalized communities is through advocacy, policy and social justice reform. As a 2011 recipient of the California State Legislator Scholarship, which is given to only 10 seniors in California each year, Joseph uses his platform to expand the opportunity he's been given to other disadvantaged youth. Upon graduation in May 2018, Joseph aspires to get involved in local politics and work in Higher Education in efforts to educate and empower students to fulfill their purpose and passion in life. A few of his accomplishments include: Author and creator of ResilienceSpeaks.com, host of Resilience Speaks Podcast on 95.9 KSUN; Wichita’s Community Radio Station, Wichita State University 2016 Senior Honor Man, Wichita State University 2015 Man of the Year Finalist, Wichita State University 2015 Advocate Award recipient, 2015 Urban Professionals Collegiate Impact Award recipient, 2017 Wichita Business Journal “People on the Move,” and he was recently selected as part of the Wichita Business Journal Emerging Leaders Class of 2017.
Jeff Dess is a writer, professor, public speaker, and emcee of Haitian descent. Born and raised in Jamaica Queens, Jeff Dess stayed in New York City and hit the poetic and leadership scene full force in 2001 at St. John's University. Along with receiving a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature, his career at St. John's would mark the beginning of a journey towards a variety of literary genres and leadership types.
Jeff Dess is the author of four books of poetry. His latest Deconstructing Ratchet (grew bab books, 2014) provides a poetic conversation on the complexity that is Ratchet and the culture that surrounds it. He has performed, spoken, and presented across the nation at various institutions and universities. With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt, Jeff Dess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. He currently serves as the Assistant Director of Campus Life at New Jersey City University and don't forget he will always keep it funky.
LaToya Green found in speaking about issues that mattered. Observing the ability of individuals to inspire change, from pulpit to community politics, LaToya was inspired to use her voice to pull people together. Currently, as the Director of Debate and professor in Human Communication at California State University Fullerton, as well as a lecturer in argumentation, performance, and identity, LaToya finds herself at the forefronts of emerging discussions among young people interested in discovering ways to meaningfully engage the world around them.
Born in the urban core of Kansas City, Missouri to a single mother who worked deeply in the community to improve the quality of life for its citizens, particularly individuals who are underserved and stuck in a cycle of structural violence, LaToya learn early what it means to invest in people. You get out of people what put into them and getting people to “but into themselves” is a strategy LaToya has embraced as most effective to spur change. In a social climate that so desperately needs leadership and individuality, she has cultivated for pulling helping individuals find discover the purpose within.
Clarissa Carrillo Martinez
Miss Carrillo migrated with her family at the age of ten years old from Durango, Mexico. She knows the challenges of having to battle fears, financial worries, and even stereotypes to accomplish dreams and aspirations. Despite the obstacles, she was able to discover that the impossible can become possible. With the help of her AVID class, she had the ability to break the chain: graduate from high school, and become the first from her family to go to college. She was fortunate to attend Emporia State University and graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. One of her greatest accomplishments was to get recognized and received a scholarship from the United States Hispanic Institute for her work, and leadership involvement in her community. Through her experiences and work with Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland and youth ministry, she continues to help others find their inner leader. Encountering many challenges have helped her learn that every day counts, and if we decide to wake up our inner leader, we will be a step closer to accomplishing a dream. Ms. Carrillo is a current DACA recipient, and believes that we are all dreamers that have the strength to accomplish our goals and dreams. She is a strong believer in how the impossible can many times become possible.
Antonio Talamo is a higher education professional with experience working in student activities and advisement. He is the coordinator for commuter students and programs at Montclair State University. He has grown from a go-to-class-go-home student to a professional who is passionate about giving students the best college experience at any level. He is a huge sports fan who loves the New York Giants and the Boston Red Sox and swears he is the reason the Red Sox broke the Bambino curse.
|8:30AM-9:45AM||Registration and Breakfast/Pictures with Corky|
|9:45AM-11:00AM||Morning Opening Speaker|
|11:00AM-11:50AM||Breakout Session 1|
|1:30PM-2:15PM||Breakout Session 2|
|2:15PM-3:00PM||Breakout Session 3|
|3:00PM-3:15PM||Closing Assessment and Evaluation|
You! Yes You! You have what it takes!
Learn how to stay motivated through the difficult times and overcome the challenges by awakening your inner leader. Learn to no let your past, fears, or stereotypes define your present or your future. Get re-energized to make your day count and take a step to make the impossible become possible.