Today’s Students are Tomorrow’s Future

“Adolescence is a time for young people to have a healthy start in life. The number of adolescents reporting poor mental health is increasing. Building strong bonds and connecting to youth can protect their mental health. Schools and parents can create these protective relationships with students and help them grow into healthy adulthood.” — CDC

Join our Free Webinar on June 15th from 11:00 a to 12:00 p CST

Subject: Resources For Creating a Mental Health Ecosystem

  • Too many students are slipping through the cracks, 2019 CDC survey stats show the following, approximately:
    • 1 in 3 high school students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40 percent increase since 2009
    • 1 in 6 youth reported making a suicide plan in the past year, a 44% increase since 2009
  • Solutions are often reactive, responding to a crisis
  • Proactive programs educate, screen and measure so programs can be added and removed as needed to maintain good student mental health
  • Better Together: working together with amazing partners provides a mental health ecosystem

Register Below

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Speaker Bios

Connected Mind

Peggy Banks, VP Community Outreach is a PMP certified Project Manager who has an extensive background in both IT as well as the healthcare industry.  Her management background entails team leadership, business analysis, project management, as well as process and procedure definition and design. Her role with Connected Mind allows for relationship building with schools, businesses, and clinic systems.  

Zero Suicide Institute at the Education Development Center

Julie Goldstein Grumet, Ph.D. is Vice President of Suicide Prevention Strategy and the Director of the Zero Suicide Institute at the Education Development Center. She provides strategic direction to health care systems to improve the identification and treatment of people at risk for suicide. She has collaborated on numerous grants and publications about systems-based approaches to suicide prevention. Julie’s primary responsibility is to advance the development, dissemination, and effective implementation of comprehensive suicide care practices in various settings. She has expertise in behavioral health transformation, state and local community suicide prevention, quality improvement, and the use of evidence-based practices for suicide care in clinical settings. Julie has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from George Washington University and lives in Silver Spring, MD.

Pathways to Empower

Donna Volpitta, Ed.D Founder & Education Director

As Founder and Education Director of Pathways to Empower, Donna makes the brain science of resilience and mental health easy to understand and apply. She is a board member for the One Revolution Foundation, a Global Presence Ambassador for Parenting 2.0, and a member of both the Global Mental Wellness Initiative and the Character Collaborative. Additionally, she is an author and sought-after speaker.

As a former classroom teacher with experience in both general and special education, Donna will always be an educator at heart. She holds a doctoral degree in Learning Dis/Abilities from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is the mother of four adolescents.


Jonah Salita is an entrepreneur and creative consultant. He’s the co-founder of Diall, and the creator and creative force behind Vasco Creative, an early-stage creative consulting firm. Jonah’s entrepreneurial spirit started when he stumbled into the creative world after designing his own tennis apparel brand because he was too small to fit into the “cool” looking adult clothes.

In 2020, just 3 months after founding Vasco Creative Salita co-founded Diall, a mental health startup educating students on mental health and wellness before they reach crisis.  The Diall app makes it easy to improve your mental health in a way that’s enjoyable, via Pathways, Support and Content.

Jonah is both Portuguese and American and currently resides in Lisbon. On the horizon, he is looking to bring his experience and passion for solving the world’s greatest problems to angel investing in early-stage impact ventures.

Shadows Edge

Lacey Vernon is a social media content creator, illustrator, and animator for the mental health game Shadow’s Edge. She spends a lot of time talking with players across the game’s social media accounts to better understand how to make the game better for getting through challenges and frequently participates in the game development process. She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Animation in 2017 and strives to make the world a kinder and more human place with the skills she learned there. Because as Dr. Suess said – “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, it’s not going to get better – it’s not!”