Speaking Engagements, Presentations, Workshops
With almost two decades of public speaking experience on topics related to children, education, mental health, mindfulness and well-being, Vanessa is dynamic, personable, and makes presentations practical and applicable.
Presentations and workshops are designed with purpose to have participants LEARN with targeted education, GROW with tools for change, and leave INSPIRED to make positive changes.
View below for video segments and publications.
Gallery of Events, Public Speaking Engagements, and Publications
Click on each image to view or read event description, video or publication.
December 2020Training for the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence on "Navigating School Processes to Support Students Learning Needs & Families During COVID-19."
November 2020Training for the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence on "Risk Factors of Suicide in Children and Adults."
November 2020SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL LEARNING IN THE TIME OF COVID. Sponsored by the Newark Museum of Art and The Worry Woos.
Panel begins at 2:01:30
October 2020Training for the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence on "Talking to Teens and Families about Race in the Therapeutic Space"
August 2020The Latina Mom Legacy Podcast
5 BACK TO SCHOOL STRESS REDUCING TIPS TO HELP YOU DURING THIS COVID ERA
August 2020NBC's Today Show with Hoda and Jenna.
Vanessa was interviewed and answered questions during a two-part segment of going Back to School during the Pandemic.
July 2020July's Amiga Moms Mindful Meet-Up.
Vanessa led a discussion and guided meditation on the aspect of navigating friendships as adults.
July 2020Advocates for Children of NJ's Virtual Parent Town Hall Discussion: Childcare & The Pandemic.
Vanessa discussed the importance of mindfulness for mothers and children in the time of the pandemic.
June 2020AMIGA MOMS JUNE MINDFUL MEET-UP
The June Mindful Meet-Up was held virtually due to focused on the theme "I am Enough." Participants were led in conversation and guided meditation.
May 2020NJ MOM Mompreneur of the Week.
Vanessa was interviewed as a featured entrepreneur and NJ mother of the week.
May 2020AMIGA MOMS MAY MINDFUL MEET-UP.
Vanessa led a discussion and guided meditation on adjusting to the new way of being during the pandemic.
May 2020IMPLEMENTING MINDFULNESS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
Webinar for Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.
April 2020AMIGA MOMS MARCH MINDFUL MEET-UP
The April Mindful Meet-Up was held virtually for the first time due to COVID-19. Participants had the opportunity for "real mom talk" regarding the pandemic and were led on a guided meditation to bring peace and ease to their minds and hearts.
April 2020BERGEN IN COLOR INSTAGRAM LIVE
Bergen in Color's founder Tevera Francis led a panel discussion on "Prepping for the Other Side of COVID-19."
March 2020AMIGA MOMS' MARCH MINDFUL MEET-UP
The March Mindful Meet-Up held on International Women's Day 2020 focused on the theme "I am Enough." Participants were led in conversation and guided meditation.
January 2020MINDFULNESS FOR PARENTS
Vanessa provided an hour long presentation to parents of the North Bergen Special Education Parent Advisory Group.
January 2020REGION V / INTERREGIONAL TRAINING
Vanessa provided two 2-hour trainings focused on Mindfulness and Self-Care to paraprofessionals in Bergen County.
January 2020January's Monthly Mindful Meet-Up hosted by Amiga Moms provided participants with the opportunity to build a supportive network, to be led in guided meditation and to have genuine discussions regarding Resetting Your Mindset while creating Vision Boards.
December 2019December's Monthly Mindful Meet-Up hosted by Amiga Moms provided participants with the opportunity to build a supportive network, to be led in guided meditation and to have genuine discussions regarding Managing the Holiday Stress.
November 2019AMIGA MOMS NOVEMBER MINDFUL MEET-UP
The first Monthly Mindful Meet-Up hosted by Amiga Moms was in November 2019. Women were given the opportunity to build a supportive network, to be led in guided meditation and to have genuine discussions regarding Finding the Calm in the Chaos.
November 2019"YOU CAN TOO" PANELIST SPEAKER
Vanessa was invited by Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. at The College of New Jersey to be a panelist at their "You Can Too" event. Vanessa provided insight on tools necessary to succeed in college and discussed after college expectations.
October 2019MELINATED MOMS' SEEDS of BRUNCH
Vanessa was invited by Melinated Moms to speak at their annual Seeds of Sisterhood Brunch. Vanessa spoke of the importance of mental health for mothers of different backgrounds.
September 2019BACK 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.
August 2019MINDFUL 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.
July 2019AMIGA MOMS and COCKTAIL & COLOR
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.
June 2019AMIGA MOMS & VIXEN WORKOUT
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.
May 2019AMIGA MOMS 1st CONFERENCE
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.
March 2019THE LATIN EXPERIENCE PODCAST
As a guest on The Latin Experience Podcast, Vanessa discussed aspects of parenting in Latino households, therapeutic programs beneficial to children and how to access them, and how to become an informed Latino parent. Vanessa also shared the mission of Amiga Moms and the goals of the upcoming program for the 21st Century Latina Mother seeking to become a more patient and mindful parent.
December 2018THROUGH THE EYES of a THERAPIST NATIONAL PODCAST
Cristal Martinez Acosta, LPC, NCC - licensed counselor out of Texas - is the creator and host of the Through the Eyes of a Therapist Podcast. Cristal invited Vanessa to be a featured guest on a 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.
November 2018RESILIENCE SUMMIT
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.
October 2018NJSCA FALL CONFERENCE 2018
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 model in their districts.
Vanessa and Dana served as the revision team which revised the evaluation model in 2018.
October 2018BULLYING NO MORE
Bullying impacts children, teens & adults in the workplace. 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, TX invited Vanessa to be a guest contributor on her awareness summit. The hour-long discussion provided information, knowledge & tips for parents caregivers, educators and therapists on how to help children combat mistreatment in schools.
August 2018BRIGHT START YOURU DAY
Professional Development for public school in Washington Township of Warren County, NJ alongside colleague Dr. Enmanuel Mercedes.
The two 3-hour PDs introduced 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 & daily affirmations.
May 2018NATIONAL WEBINAR for LAMBDA THETA ALPHA
This hour-long webinar was presented exclusively to members of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated. It introduced the concept of mindfulness, provided the scientific research behind it, and the benefits of mindfulness.
December 2017LEGAL ONE & NJSCA
The NJ Principals & Supervisors Assoc. (NJPSA) Legal One and the NJ School Counselor Assoc. (NJSCA) co-sponsored a School Counselor Certificate Program located in Monroe, NJ.
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.
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."
"It was refreshing and beneficial. I felt like I could really use this for both me and my students."
"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 breathing and grounding techniques could be used in my classroom. Teaching students with special needs, sometimes they are unable to control their emotions. I used a cool down corner in my class and will definitely add and apply these new breathing techniques learned too."
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.