2022 Keynote Speakers
As a teen, Pamela Schuller had the worst diagnosed case of Tourette Syndrome in the country, a touch of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and a whole lot of pent-up anger. She spent years depressed, suicidal, and wishing her differences away. Over time, she started looking at her life differently and turned her obstacles and challenges into the very fuel that propels her.
Now an internationally known disability and mental health advocate and professional stand-up comedian, Pamela’s stories of growing up in a body she had no control over are engaging, powerful, a little bit heart-wrenching, and unapologetically funny.
Pamela has spoken and performed in seven countries, in every state in the US, and for more than 90,000 kids, teens, and professionals. She holds a BA in Psychology and Youth Outreach Through the Arts and an MA in Child Advocacy and Policy, and post Masters certificates in Executive Coaching and Leadership in the Digital Age from MIT.
She has grown that skillset into a repertoire that teaches kids and teens to be proud of who they are, communities to be deeply inclusive, and corporate teams to be innovative and learn to make smart, bold moves. She can be seen on Buzzfeed, Doctor Mike Videos, and NBC and she has worked on inclusion and accessibility with Disney, Google, Wells Fargo, and GEICO to name just a few.
Pamela doesn’t just “tolerate” what makes her different; she embraces it, loves it, and finds the funny in it... all while challenging her audiences to do the same.
Check out Pamela's Instagram and her website
Tasha Johnson, Ph.D.
Tasha Johnson, Ph.D., educational strategist, is the Senior Director of Youth Development and Equity at YMCA-USA. She is an expert in teacher and leadership development and urban education, with international and domestic experience developing transformative actions that translate research to practice. Her portfolio includes published works on character development, social emotional learning, teacher leadership and school improvement.
Sydney Jensen, a Georgia native, is a ninth-grade English teacher at Lincoln High School in the epicenter of America's heartland: Lincoln, Nebraska. Lincoln is one of the nation's top cities for refugee resettlement, and students at Lincoln High speak more than 30 languages. Jensen also serves as an instructional coordinator working with new and veteran teachers to provide instructional support and mentorship and is an adjunct professor at Doane University where she teaches a course on being Trauma-Informed and Trauma-Responsive. In recognition of her work in the classroom and the school community, Jensen is the 2019 Nebraska Teacher of the Year.
She is a passionate advocate for increased mental and emotional wellness support for both students and the teachers who serve them. When she is not teaching, she is advocating to policy leaders about the importance of supporting teacher wellness. In 2019, she gave an official TED talk on the impact of secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue on teachers who work with students experiencing trauma. Her talk has received over 2.6 million views to date.
Jensen earned her BsED in English Education from the University of Georgia in 2013, and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Doane University in 2020.
Check out Sydney's Instagram
Suzanne McCormick is the 15th person and first woman to lead YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the Y — a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Collectively, the nation’s YMCAs engage 11 million members — 4 million of whom are under the age of 18 — annually.
Suzanne became President and CEO of Y-USA in September 2021. She has 27 years of experience as a local and national executive leader in the nonprofit sector, most recently as U.S. President for United Way Worldwide and a member of its global management team. As President, Suzanne was responsible for helping the 1,100 United Ways across the U.S. build more resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities. Under her leadership, the United Way tackled community challenges with innovative, equitable and systemic solutions. She also served as the executive sponsor of United Way’s Women United Global Leadership Council.
Previously, Suzanne spent five years as President and CEO of United Way Suncoast in Tampa, Florida, where she led a strategic plan to break the cycle of generational poverty, drove fundraising growth and increased community impact. During her tenure, she was Chair of the United Ways of Florida, one of the largest United Way state associations. She also served as Chair of the United Way Network Partnership Group, which focused on developing and leveraging powerful philanthropy initiatives, and the National Professional Council, which advised the CEO of United Way Worldwide on strategic initiatives. Prior to leading United Way Suncoast, Suzanne spent 13 years at United Way of Greater Portland in Maine, including four as President and CEO.
Suzanne’s nonprofit leadership career also includes CEO roles at both the American Red Cross of Southern Maine and the People’s Regional Opportunity Program in Maine.
The NonProfit Times recognized Suzanne in the Power & Influence Top 50, its annual celebration of the nonprofit sector’s top executives and strategists, in 2021. She serves on the Independent Sector Board of Directors.
Suzanne holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Duke University and is an alumna of the Peace Corps, through which she spent three years teaching English in Thailand.
Get in touch with Suzanne
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