Speaking Engagements

Speaking

Testimonials:

“Helaina Hovitz connected with my middle school students immediately and kept them engaged for over an hour. She discussed complicated social issues in a way that made them accessible to adolescents and challenged them to think more deeply.  She’s a magnetic blend of caring counselor, cool big sister, and harbinger of hope.”

—Kathryn Walseman, Middle School Teacher, Virginia

“Ms. Hovitz really brought the experience of 9/11 to life for my students, who sometimes have difficulty with empathy and understanding the world beyond their own community. She told the kids about what happened on that day and how it has affected her in a thoughtful and insightful manner.  Their questions were welcomed and it allowed the students to have a personal connection to the events of September 11 in a way that a news article could not. Immediately after the conversation, the students asked our library to purchase copies of Ms. Hovitz’ book so that they could explore her life further. As a teacher, any request to continue learning means the lesson and the interaction with “real history” were of value.”

—Denise Stanfa, Teacher, Heineman Middle School, Illonois

Students and Schools:

One of the most amazing responses to this book has been the outreach I received from kids across the country who emailed me with poems, words of encouragement, and, most importantly, their questions. In answering their emails and setting up video chats with kids in classrooms from Alabama to Wisconsin, I realized that there was a real need to educate children on the topics of:

  • Living through 9/11 directly as a young person
  • How our current state of affairs has been informed by 9/11 and the events that followed
  • Turning dark struggles into positive outcomes.
  • Suicide and crises prevention
  • Overcoming hardships like bullying, trauma, mental health issues, and everyday teenage angst
  • What PTSD, depression, anxiety disorder, and addiction/alcoholism look and feel like
  • Fighting stigma around reaching out for help on any number of health and mental issues
  • The ways in which the written word and journalism can be used as a tool to help educate and inspire social change
  • How my journey led me down this career path of writing positive news after working towards an improved worldview

If I can’t make it in person, I’d be happy to set up a Skype/Video chat!

Professional Speaking Engagements on Psychology, Addiction, Recovery:

  • The way Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects young people in complex ways- from childhood to young adulthood
  • The current prevalence of PTSD, anxiety disorders, and addiction in relation to those affected by 9/11
  • Coping with the everyday trauma that occurs for any number of reasons, like natural disasters, acts of war or violence like mass shootings, domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape, an unstable living environment, an alcohol parent, medical trauma, and other causes
  • The young adult’s response to the cumulative impact of trauma from 9/11, everyday stressors and other interpersonal, societal or disaster-related traumas
  • How PTSD and addiction/alcoholism co-occur
  • The ways that PTSD inform our choices and our behavior as young people, women, and adults
  • Why PTSD is so often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and why the disorder can often present as something else
  • Effective courses of treatment
  • Ways to make the distinction between social binge drinking or problem drinking and addiction in young adults
  • Differentiating social binge drinking from alcoholic drinking or self-medicating in young people

Journalism, Social Entrepreneurship, Media for Social Good:

As an editor, freelancer, co-founder and editorial director of a start-up digital news site dedicated to people and organizations working to make a better future, I can discuss:

  • The challenges we face as journalists in 2017
  • The modern media and journalism landscape as a medium for social good and social change and involvement
  • Creating our own opportunities to forge meaningful careers
  • Navigating the obstacles and road blocks to a career as a journalist writing stories of impact
  • Our responsibility as journalists to continue to cover meaningful and well-reported news in a way that is accessible and relevant to consumers in a modern-day digital world, especially as it pertains to social media

Please contact me directly at HelainaWrites@gmail.com to discuss any of the above.