Breakout Sessions

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2024 TNSTRONG Summit Breakout Sessions

If you are registered for the 2024 TNSTRONG Youth Summit and have not registered for your Breakout Sessions Sign Up Today to Reserve Your Spot:

Championing Self-Talk – Chris Romulo  

Chris a retired Muay Thai champion, adapts the mental strategies from his successful fighting career to empower today's youth. Chris illustrates how overcoming negative self-talk, harnessing one's strengths, and rewriting personal narratives can lead to triumphs both in and out of the ring. This workshop provides students with practical tools to reshape their thinking, fostering resilience and positive decision-making. Combining his proven ring strategies with interactive activities, Chris guides participants in tackling challenges like substance abuse, equipping them to navigate life’s hurdles with confidence and strength.   

Unpacking (&Repacking!) our Book Bags – Brittany Richmond

Teens today carry a lot around with them. More so than they let people see. Mental health struggles seek to do one thing: Isolate us. And it is in isolation that teens seek to connect through peer pressure or risky behaviors. Using the visual metaphor of backpacks, Brittany takes students through an interactive workshop in which they will get the chance to connect, hear from each other - through open discussion and small group activities. The purpose is to show students how connecting and talking to others can remove some of that weight off their shoulders and start to replace these things with what brings them joy! Teens will start to identify what they carry around in their backpacks (mentally and emotionally) that they carry well but is heavy in their day to day. Brittany will share with the students how, when things get exceptionally heavy, it can lead to risky behaviors such as tobacco and substance use and abuse. Risky behaviors such as these are not healthy and do not serve us. She walks students through the difference between these behaviors and those that are healthy and serve us - and how we can start to find the things that bring us joy and implement them into our lives.    

Unleashing The Warrior Mindset: Embrace Challenges and Conquer Life! – Antonio McMatch

Antonio with lead a fun and interactive presentation where students will understand the importance of a clear mindset, social awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, where they see themselves.  So young people are you going through a stage in your life where you feel lost, confused, or conflicted? Do you feel like you're disconnected from the people around you, friends, or even with yourself? Are you feeling a lack of motivation or a lack and understanding of your true purpose? Do you yearn for friendships and relationships? Or do you just want to upgrade your life to the next level? 

Roane Prevention Coalition – Nathan Wray 

Nathan shares his personal journey from youth tobacco use and navigating adverse childhood experiences to cultivating emotional regulation and mastering mindset resilience. Participants will gain insights and actionable techniques to identify, understand, and manage their emotions. Attendees will explore the role of adaptability in
personal growth, understanding how a flexible mindset can lead to improved problem-solving, increased resilience, and enhanced overall well-being. Participants will delve into the neurobiological impact of nicotine on
developing brains, exploring the specific risks and consequences associated with youth tobacco use.   

TNSTRONG Youth Ambassadors 

First-Hand Experience as a TNSTRONG Ambassador: This session will highlight our experience as a TNSTRONG Ambassador and explain why we would love to have others join us in our fight against nicotine. An interactive will be done to show the dangers of nicotine. 

Center for Black Health Equity – Dr. Bolden  

The session will focus on youth advocacy, PUP laws, tobacco-free school policies, and peer-to-peer education. The session will provide some key elements that address how young people can build capacity and advocate for changes that will both protect their health and resist the targeting of both the tobacco industry and the political system. It will also provide tools for peer-to-peer education and cross-cultural collaboration leading to direct positive interventions. 

Why Not? – Matt & Phil (Media) 

The more we experience throughout life, the more growth and confidence we develop.  Matt and Phil dive into the importance of embracing a "Why Not" mentality and how the healthy-risks you take now plant seeds for your success and your future.  Take steps to map and plan out your future self and growth.    

Life Maze 

Life Maze is a role-playing game that teaches real-life consequences. The maze serves to aid the students in realizing how their choices impact their future. Students begin the maze by drawing random situations that depict choices that involve alcohol, drugs, sex, and other risky behaviors such as tobacco, texting and driving, vandalism, and bullying. Some of the consequences are based on healthy choices; some are on unhealthy choices. Depending on situations and consequences are randomly drawn, students work their way through the maze visiting various stations, manned by community professionals. The situations drawn may lead to the pregnancy clinic, counseling, emergency medical services, arrest (with toy handcuffs and a 'mock', unlocked jail), wedding day, STD clinic, military career, domestic violence, educational outcomes, banking and finance, and/or healthy relationships. Role-play will occur at these stations with professionals. This role-play does not involve actual testing of any kind. It is our hope that students participating in the Life Maze learn the emotional, physical, and financial consequences of their choices. 

Vaping and Mental Health: The Cheat Code to Prevention – LeeAnn Foell, LCSW  

This workshop addresses the intersection of drug prevention and mental health, a training that most youth don't get from their prevention programs! Based on professional experience in mental health therapy with teens, Leanne found that addressing mental health is essential for helping teens to navigate drug prevention. Especially in their unique environment today. Instead of scare tactics, this workshop utilizes fun activities, skills practice, new mental health research, and inspirational stories. Outcomes for attending: Young people confidently walk away with 3 tangible skills to use to help either themselves or their peers with tobacco/nicotine prevention. SKILLS THAT THEY ACTUALLY WANT TO USE. 

Adult Only – Stashed Away – Engaging and Educational Substance Misuse Prevention/Intervention – Dana Reno   

An interactive presentation on current drug trends for any adults interested in how we can be a part of the solution to youth substance misuse.  This engaging presentation will walk you through how substance can be concealed both at home and in public.  Adults will have opportunities to see first hand how easy these products are available to young people.  Everyone will take a look at their own home and find ways they can properly store and dispose of products such as medication. The purpose is to help adults be educated and proactive in fighting the opioid and vaping epidemics.

Adult Only – The Addicted Brain – Lauren Fields, LCSW  

Historically addiction has been something that has been characterized as a “lack of willpower,” “a moral failure” or “a character defect”. With the brain science that has emerged over the last 10-15 years, we are now understanding that addiction is a disease that effects specific regions of the brain. This understanding has allowed for more targeted treatments that have lead to better outcomes, as well as generated ways to assist with
prevention. Please join Lauren as she seeks to shed light on the disease of addiction by increasing the participants awareness of the areas of the brain involved, risk factors for developing addiction, tactics for prevention and
reduce the overall stigma associated with addiction.   


Information attached in the TNSTRONG Welcome Packet