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2023 Keynote Speakers

Monday Keynotes

Brian Coleman & Olivia Carter - Candid Counselors

Brian Coleman and Olivia Carter, the 2019 and 2021 ASCA School Counselors of the Year, created the Candid Counselors podcast to explore the fun, failure, and friendship they've found on their journeys as school counselors!  Their work together primarily focuses on normalizing the learning and growth that goes into the school counseling work and highlighting the value that school counselors bring to their communities.

Keynote: You Are the Magic

As school counselors, we have experienced a difficult few years both personally and professionally. Where do we go from here? Brian and Olivia, 2019 and 2021 ASCA School Counselors of the Year (and Disney super fans), will discuss ways that you can reignite that spark in your heart and find the magic in your school counseling program!

Participants will:

  • Brainstorm strategies to reduce/prevent burnout and promote personal wellness
  • Discuss equitable, student-centered engagement strategies
  • Identify ways to elevate the school counseling program and use it to advocate for students

Workshop: Oops! We Did It Again

Mistakes can be uncomfortable, awkward, and even painful. Yet, as school counselors, we know that reflection is essential for learning and growth. Listen to Brian Coleman and Olivia Carter, 2019 and 2021 ASCA School Counselors of the Year, get candid about their own school counseling mis-ups, blunders, and flat-out failures - and what they've learned from these experiences along the way.

Participants will:

  • Reflect critically on themselves and their counseling programs
  • Identify common school counseling pitfalls and discuss how to avoid them
  • Brainstorm strategies to reduce/prevent burnout and promote personal wellness

About the Candid Counselors

Mr. Brian Coleman was the 2019 National School Counselor of the Year and the first African-American winner of thisprestigious honor. He was also a 2019Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Upstander Award recipient for his commitment to LGBTQA+ youth advocacy. Coleman has spent the last four years traveling the country as the cartwheeling "Unicorn Counselor" speaking on issues ranging from comprehensive sexual health education and counseling program design to counselor identity and engagement strategies within the school community.  He is in his ninth year withJones College Prep where he has served as Counseling Department Chair for five years. At Jones, Mr. Coleman has overseen counseling programming for seniors and freshmen, sophomore sexual health education, JCP’s student mentorship program, and the school’s LGBTQA+ student organization JonesPride. In recent years, he has also participated in DePaul University’s “Here We Do” and McDonald’s “Black and Positively Golden” promotional campaigns. He has also contributed to pieces forCNBC, Forbes,Teen Vogue, andNPR among others.  Coleman is a proud graduate of Northwestern University as well as DePaul University where he was named the College of Education’s 2019 Alumni of the Year (and, recently, became an Adjunct Instructor!)  He also serves on the Educational Advisory Board for and as the President of the Illinois School Counselor Association.  He enjoys all things unicorn, most things theatrical, and a good amount ofprofessional wrestling!

Olivia Carter is a junior high school counselor in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts in School Counseling from Southeast Missouri State University. Prior to her current role, she was the elementary school counselor at Jefferson Elementary in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where she developed a counseling program that promoted positive, trauma-informed changes throughout the school.  Olivia is currently serving as Past-President of the Southeast Missouri School Counselor Association. She also serves on the Missouri School Counselor Association Board of Directors, Programming Committee, and has been recognized as an Emerging Leader. In 2019 she was recognized as the Missouri School Counselor of the Year, and she is honored to have been recognized as the 2021 School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association.In her eleven years of working in public education, she has written for Forbes, collaborated with Education Week, and served on panels for the Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Education. Being a mother to two young children has ignited Olivia's passion for equity-centered, trauma-informed comprehensive school counseling programs.

Tuesday Keynote

GRAMMY Award – nominated artist SaulPaul has garnered an international reputation as a musician with a message. Part rapper/part singer-songwriter, SaulPaul is an entertaining artist who blends his voice, his guitar, and his loop pedal to create a live show that is nothing less than an experience. SaulPaul shares his art with his heart and has been inspiring audiences through his music. From performing at two TEDx Talks, five Super Bowls, America’s Got Talent, SXSW, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Austin City Limits, SaulPaul has performed nationally and internationally in theaters, concert venues and festivals across the country.

About SaulPaul
SaulPaul is a 3X GRAMMY Nominated Musician with a Message. He has also presented 3 TEDx Talks, performed at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and been featured on America’s Got Talent. His life story of transitioning from tragedy to triumph has been told on screen via the documentary Tower to Tower as well as via his memoir Be The Change.

Recognizing an inherent responsibility to give back, SaulPaul founded the SaulPaul Foundation. The SaulPaul Foundation is a launchpad for young people. And a platform for community members to serve as community leaders through acts of kindness, volunteerism and philanthropy.

Most recently, SaulPaul founded Change Water, a socially conscious bottled water company that donates to the local community with each case of water sold.

So far SaulPaul’s Change Water has donated 100 scholarships to 100 schools in 32 states impacting 75,000 students. Twenty percent of these students, roughly 15,000, chose to pay it forward and participated in the #BeTheChange Challenge. Collectively these young #ChangeMakers volunteered 64,000 hours!

Whether via art, entrepreneurship or community service, SaulPaul is committed to #BeTheChange.

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