Speak Hard Conference

Virtual | 08 April, 2021

All breakout sessions are delivered under topic strands.  A full, detailed schedule will be made available in the coming weeks including workshop titles and descriptions.

Topic Strands

  • Leadership & Advocacy
  • Traffic Safety
  • Drug & Alcohol Awareness
  • Wellness & Mental Health
Speak Hard Conference Logo

Congratulations to our Winners of the Kyle Willkom Book and the Speak Hard Conference T-Shirts

A giant thank you to all who entered our contest. We were completely blown away by the response. In the next few days we will be personally notifying the winners to make sure they receive their prizes!

Tom Gorsline – Kyle Willkom Book

Ciara Cowing- Kyle Willkom Book

Samantha Young – Speak Hard T-Shirt

Tonya Vannasdall- Speak Hard T-Shirt

Alexandra Baldock – Speak Hard T-Shirt

Bella Quintal – Speak Hard T-Shirt

Nicole Galbraith – Speak Hard T-Shirt

Jessica Howard – Speak Hard T-Shirt

Elaine Boles- Speak Hard T-Shirt

Steve Grey – Speak Hard T-Shirt

Check Out Our Speak Hard Conference Schedule

9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Keynote Address - Kyle Willkom

Kyle Willkom

Kyle Willkom of Action Packed Leadership

Kyle Willkom is a keynote speaker, author, and entrepreneur. He is the Founder of Action Packed Leadership, LLC – a leadership development company focused on helping young people become the best versions of themselves. He is also the Founder of Teaching You Money - a platform to help young people learn more about finances. Through Kyle’s speaking, books, and online resources, he has reached hundreds of thousands of young people with messages of kindness, positivity, and action. In his free time, Kyle enjoys going on outdoor adventures with his wife, Danielle, eating pizza, and watching Milwaukee Bucks basketball games.

10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

Kyle Willkom

Kyle Willkom | Action Packed Leadership
Leadership & Advocacy
Fortunately Unfortunately

Life is full of ups and downs. In this fun and experiential workshop, Kyle Willkom discusses how young leaders can respond to whatever life throws at them with creativity and hope. Kyle believes our actions over time will define our outcomes. This workshop is all about how to take positive action consistently to get the best results possible.

Marie McGrath

Marie McGrath | TextLess Live More & SADD
Traffic Safety
TextLess Live More 101

In this workshop, students will learn about the mission of TextLess Live More and how to deploy our programs in their schools and communities. This will include important information about the dangers of distracted driving, root causes of digital distraction, mobilization techniques, and event ideas.

Sherrie Miller and Max Konon | Youth Prevention Specialists with
Tri-County Mental Health Services
The Power of the Youth Voice in Advocacy

Based on the success of Youth With Vision’s Advocacy efforts, participants will learn what steps to take, how to include youth in Advocacy efforts, and how to get legislators and policy makers to listen and become a partner with youth and your local coalitions.

11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

Marie McGrath

Marie McGrath | TextLess Live More & SADD
Wellness & Mental Health
Distraction & Digital Wellness

In this workshop, students will learn about the mission of TextLess Live More and how to deploy our programs in their schools and communities. This will include important information about the dangers of distracted driving, root causes of digital distraction, mobilization techniques, and event ideas.

Kyle Willkom

Kyle Willkom | Action Packed Leadership
Leadership & Advocacy
The Creativity Gap

Building a fulfilling and purpose-filled life takes creativity. Yet, many people don't take the time to enhance this skill. This workshop is all about diving into your creative energy to develop the foundation of the kind of life you want to live.

Chris Dzurick

Chris Dzurick | ACT Missouri/Missouri SADD
Leadership & Advocacy
So You Want to be a Youth Ambassador

The Youth Ambassador Program is Missouri's premier youth opportunity for teenagers with a passion for youth substance abuse and risky behavior prevention. Participants have the opportunity to:

    • Learn from prevention specialists in nine education trainings • Communicate observations of emerging youth issues
    • Provide training and resources to other youth groups and coalitions
    • Lead and facilitate all general sessions at Speak Hard
    • Advocate with legislators at Prevention Day at the Capitol
    • Develop and execute a statewide youth-centric prevention project
This workshop will focus on the opportunity for youth, including a history of the program, opportunities for involvement, and showcasing of past projects.

Penny Lorenz

Penny Lorenz & Skyler Gray | Think First
Leadership & Advocacy
ThinkFirst- Use Your Mind to Protect Your Body

The presentation opens with a well-trained speaker explaining the basic anatomy of the central nervous system and the permanent physiological changes caused by a brain or spinal cord injury. Students learn the common causes of these injuries, ways to prevent them, and who is most at risk. Also stressed is the fact that although these injuries are permanent, they are often predictable and preventable. The most effective component of the program features the personal testimony of a ThinkFirst Voices for Injury Prevention (VIP) speaker. VIP speakers are people who have sustained a brain or spinal cord injury, due to a motor vehicle crash.
The VIP explains how the injury occurred, describes life before and after the injury, and talks about what it's like to be young and live with a disability. Students listen closely when a peer says, "I can't feel or move my legs anymore," "Dating is really different now," "I don't use the bathroom the way I used to," "If I'd worn my seatbelt, I wouldn't be paralyzed," or "I never thought this would happen to me." ThinkFirst Missouri VIP speakers are carefully selected for their ability to identify with and motivate young audiences.

12 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Lunch & Learn

Session is Repeated Every 20 Minutes

ThinkFirst will be presenting research on how traffic accidents have been affected by COVID, sharing data from before and during COVID.
Choose one of the three session times.

1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Emma Sandbothe
Emma Sandbothe
Courtney Buscher
Courtney Buscher
Jazmine Luebbert
Jazmine Luebbert

Emma Sandbothe, Courtney Buscher, Jazmine Luebbert |
Blair Oaks Random Acts of Kindness
Wellness & Mental Health
Standing Up to Bullying

We will be talking about our experiences with bullying and how our fight to end bullying began. We want other students to know that they are not alone, and we can all stand up to bullying. We will also talk about The Random Acts of Kindness Club which is where our story begins.

Kim Halfhill

Kim Halfhill | KH Consulting
Leadership & Advocacy
Which Direction Do You Point?: A Tool for Navigating Leadership

Strengths, personalities, and communication styles have a huge effect on how well we can lead others! Do you know your personality and leadership strengths? Can you identify them in others? In this interactive session, you’ll learn about yourself and get tips for working with and leading people in your school and your community. Come ready for some fun and lots of great tips you can begin using to make a big impact!

Joyce Lara

Joyce Lara | MO DHSS
Drug & Alcohol Awareness
What's Up with Teen Vaping?

Before COVID-19, vaping was a national epidemic due to the alarming rates of youth electronic cigarette use. Given the pandemic and national shutdown, many have wondered if it’s still an issue and the potential risks of COVID-19 and vaping. This session will dive deeper into these questions through interactive learning and participant discussion.

Dylan Ivy

Dylan Ivy | Louisiana SADD
Traffic Safety
Rock the Belt


2:00 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.
Closing Session & Awards

Anthony Butler

Anthony Butler | The VIP (Violence "I" Prevent) Movement, LLC
I Got Bars...Bring Your Bars Too!

Let's creatively confront some authentic issues that are near and dear to our hearts! So much has occurred in 2020 on top of the typical challenges we all face in the area of violence, crime, suicide, drug...prevention and more. Join me as I drop some brilliant bars that will educate and resonate with this past year! I will also have an open mic session where some of you can voluntarily share your bars (Talents and Treats) too! Bring Candy Bars, Granola Bars, Cookie Bars, Fruit Bars, Ice Cream Bars...You Name It...That can be shown on the screen. Listen to and appreciate some of your peers share their original prevention rhymes, raps, poetry, songs, etc. too! FYI...If some didn't know, "Bars" is a slang word used when someone shares some great rhymes while speaking, rapping, sharing poetry, singing, etc.! NOTE: Some of you will get an opportunity to share a 60 second or less original prevention rhyme, rap, poetry, song, etc. that speaks to how you became stronger this past year. Please come prepared to share and we will select a few of you to share your bars!"