Professional Development, Presentations & Workshops
Designed with purpose to have participants LEARN through targeted education, GROW with being equip with tools for change, and be INSPIRED to make positive changes.
Dynamic, interactive and personalized presentations vary from keynote addresses, professional development, facilitating workshops, and webinars. Speaking engagements available for: Organizations, Parent Groups, Community Agencies, Religious Centers, Schools, and any other focus group.
Self-Care for Educators:
Finding Your Best
Not Settling for What's Left
Three M's to Success:
Mindset & Motivation
Real Feedback from Participants
I enjoyed the information presented. It was engaging and allowed me to think about the information in a different perspective.
I learned a lot and I really liked the examples you presented to clarify what was presented and ideas to implement in class.
I found great value in this workshop. It made me rethink how I will structure my behavior management plan in school.
So very helpful. Best PD I've taken!
Very enthusiastic and dedicated to the theory and practice.
It made "sense." Many of the ideas presented are realistic and can be successfully implemented in class.
Well done - informative. I like that you were honest and shared personal experiences (even the not-so-good ones 😊).
The presenter was animated, and varied the activities with both powerpoint and hands-on experiences.
The presentation was amazing! Vanessa kept us all engaged and really helped me to understand mindfulness nad how to practice it at work and at home.
It totally met my needs and taught me how to practice mindfulness in the classroom.
So mindful and beautiful tone of her voice and tone to this beautiful presentation. Very clear and fun listening to it.
I thought it was a great experience and would love to take part in more like this one today.
I learned so much! It was fun and the presenter was great! She was funny and engaging!
She kept me interested the whole time. I really liked the presentation, with getting out of our seats and participating.
Very informative, great visuals on the slides, as well as personal narratives and experiences.
She was a great presenter. She made it interesting and relatable.
The Amiga Moms Social
Vanessa created AMIGA MOMS from the need of Latina mothers needing resources to become less stressed mothers. The mission of The Amiga Mom Social and the goals of the upcoming program for the 21st Century Latina Mother seeking to become a more patient and mindful parent.
The first Amiga Moms Social was a sold out event with Latina moms and non-moms creating a support network and learning about mindfulness and its benefits.
Vixen Workout Event
Vanessa co-sponsored an Amiga Moms event which brought women of all ages and backgrounds together to discuss women empowerment and mindfulness through a fun workout called Vixen Workout. The event was filled with an amazing workout, laughter, self-care, and a heartwarming discussion on mindfulness and women empowerment.
Vanessa was invited to be a speaker for participants of "Cocktail & Color" where Amiga Moms were also invited. The event was phone-free which allowed participants to be fully present and free from outside distractions. In addition to sharing basics about mindfulness, Vanessa led participants in a mindful coloring activity which had them reflect on present emotions in their lives.
Mindful Parenting in the Park
Vanessa teamed up with children's illustrator Jisely J to bring an event called "Mindful Parenting in the Park" to parents and their young children of ages 2-5. Vanessa shared about mindfulness and led a variety of activities to increase and strengthen positive relationships between mother and child.
Back to School: Parenting 101
Parent responsibilities greatly increase as kids start the academic year - forms to sign, clothes to buy, lunches to pack, tests to study for... and the list goes on! Vanessa collaborated with General Pediatrician Dr. Divina Lopez to present Back to School: Parenting 101. This event covered important medical and educational information beneficial to all parents of children in preschool and early elementary school.
The Latin Experience Podcast
As a guest on The Latin Experience Podcast, Vanessa discussed aspects of parenting in Latino household, therapeutic programs beneficial to children and how to access them, and how to become an informed Latino parent. Vanessa also shared the mission of The Amiga Mom Social and the goals of the upcoming program for the 21st Century Latina Mother seeking to become a more patient and mindful parent.
The Latin Experience Podcast is available on Sound Cloud.
Through the Eyes of a Therapist Podcast Guest
Cristal Martinez Acosta, LPC, NCC is a licensed counselor out of Texas. She is the creator and host of the Through the Eyes of a Therapist Podcast. Cristal invited Vanessa to be a featured guest on a 30-minute discussion on Becoming a School Counselor.
Through the Eyes of a Therapist Podcast is available on ITunes, Spotify, Podbean, iHeartRadio, Castbox, Stitcher, and Google Music.
Stories of Resilience
Resilience is the strength of spirit to recover from adversity. Dr. Maria Mercedes Dominguez - a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist - hosted a series of guest speakers on the topic of resilience. Vanessa was invited to speak upon building and cultivating resilience in children on a 30-minute session on Instagram Live. The discussion also included answering questions from the audience regarding a variety of aspects centering in building children's resiliency levels.
Bright Start Your Day
Professional Development for public school staff in Washington Township of Warren County, New Jersey alongside colleague Dr. Enmanuel Mercedes.
The three-hour professional development introduced the concepts of emotional intelligence and creating a mindfulness practice for educators. The presenters connected the valuable notions of emotional intelligence and mindfulness to students and how teachers can "Bright Start" students' days with greetings to build community, mindful activities, and daily affirmations.
Bullying No More: Confident Caring Kids
Bullying impacts children, teens and even adults in the workplace. Being bullied significantly impacts individuals for years beyond the initial insult. It is our job to teach kids to stand up for themselves and to teach all kids to be kind to each other.
Dr. Ann Louise Lockhart's, a pediatric psychologist based in San Antonio, Texas, invited Vanessa to be a guest contributor on her awareness summit held on Instagram Live. The hour-long discussion provided information, knowledge, and concrete tips for parents, caregivers, educators and therapists on how to help children combat mistreatment in schools.
NJ School Counselor Association Fall Conference
The New Jersey Department of Education has approved the NJSCA School Counselor Evaluation Model to appear on its list of approved evaluation models in the state. The Department approves and supports the voluntary use of the counselor evaluation model developed by the NJSCA. It is a model that has been thoughtfully constructed and recognizes the scope of work that counselors perform.
At the NJSCA 2018 Fall Conference Vanessa and Dana Karas, Director of Counseling in Franklin Township Public Schools, presented "Are You an Effective School Counselor: A New Perspective on Your Evaluation" to counselors, supervisors and directors of counseling programs interested in implementing the NJSCA evaluation model in their districts.
Mindfulness Webinar for the Universal Woman
As a current buzz word, many confuse mindfulness for meditation or yoga, but it goes farther beyond the two. It is a practice which may improve relationships with others, work efficiency, and overall happiness.
This hour-long webinar was presented exclusively to members of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated. It introduced the concept of mindfulness and provided the scientific research which shows how practicing mindfulness can structurally change the brain, how it decreases anxiety and how it can improve the ability to handle stress. The webinar also shared simple strategies and practical exercises on how to infuse mindfulness into busy schedules.
Legal One &
New Jersey School Counselor Assoc.
The Role of the Middle School Counselor
The New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) Legal One and the New Jersey School Counselor Association (NJSCA) co-sponsored a School Counselor Certificate Program located in Monroe, New Jersey.
The morning session was conducted by David Nash and covered legal aspects important to school counselors. Vanessa was invited to lead a 2-hour breakout session for the afternoon, in a relaxed setting, presenting best practices and practical ideas for middle school counselors.
New Jersey School Counselor Evaluation Model
The New Jersey School Counselor (NJSCA) Executive Board meets every October with other counseling executive boards from NY, PA, DE, CT, RI, MA and VT for the North Atlantic Region Leadership Summit in Norwood, MA. Vanessa was invited to work part of a team which worked on revising and updating the NJ School Counselor Evaluation Model. It is a model that has been thoughtfully constructed and recognizes the scope of work which school counselors perform.
The New Jersey Department of Education has approved the NJSCA School Counselor Evaluation Model to appear on its list of approved evaluation models for the state. The department approves and supports the voluntary use of the counselor evaluation model developed by the NJSCA.
New Jersey School Counselor
Researched and wrote "Understanding the Latino Identity through Culture, Family & Multicultural Counseling."
Poster board was presented at the New Jersey School Counselor Association Conference. Paper was published in the conference proceedings.
Bergen County K-8 School Counselor of the Year
Bergen County School Counselor Association (BCSCA) presents one K-8 counselor with a K-8 School Counselor of the Year award each year. Submissions for this award are chosen from students who independently nominate their school counselor. In 2012 I was chosen as the recipient of this award out of a pool of qualified nominees. The award was presented at the BCSCA 2012 awards dinner.
The College of New Jersey's School Counselor of the Year Award
The College of New Jersey presents one graduate with the School Counselor of the Year Award every year. The recipient of the award is chosen by TCNJ's Counselor Education faculty. I was honored to be presented with this award on the same evening as being inducted into Chi Iota Sigma International Honor Society for Counseling Professionals.