Stigma-Free Presenters

Andrea Paquette

President and Co-Founder of the Stigma-Free Society

Andrea Paquette is the President and Co-Founder of the Stigma-Free Society. She is an experienced speaker who lives well with bipolar disorder having been diagnosed for over 16 years. She holds a double major degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies and she has worked for the BC government in the areas of mental health and addictions, social development and education. She is certified in ASIST Suicide Prevention. She has also been trained and certified in the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Mental Health First Aid course. Andrea has received many awards including the 2015 Courage to Come Back Award by Coast Mental Health.

Andrea Paquette

President and Co-Founder of the Stigma-Free Society

Engaging, Fun and Authentic

Strengths: 

I feel that my personal story of living with bipolar disorder resonates with people. I am authentic and honest in my talk. I love moving people to action and having them get help for themselves.

Topics of expertise:

Student mental health mostly grades 8-12, how to define and tackle stigma, and bipolar disorder specifically.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Entertaining
  • Informative
  • Inspirational

Samara Liberman

School and Community Presenter & Programs Manager at Stigma-Free Society
(she/her)

Samara is the Programs Manager for Stigma-Free Society. She has a Bachelors degree in Equity Studies, a Masters in Teaching and a professional development certificate in Youth Mental Health. Samara wrote her Masters thesis on inclusive education practices for students with learning disabilities. She is passionate about inclusion in all forms, but specifically for students struggling with learning disabilities and/or mental health concerns. She has Dyslexia and Dyscalculia, as well as generalized anxiety disorder and situational depression, which she speaks about openly and honestly. She wants to work towards removing the stigma connected to seeking mental health help from a professional and is open about her experience in therapy.

Samara Liberman

School and Community Presenter & Programs Manager at Stigma-Free Society
(she/her)

Tenacious, Vulnerable, Warm 

Strengths: 

Living with two learning disabilities and two mental health diagnoses that greatly impacted my academic experience, I can relate to students who might be struggling in these areas. I understand how mental health is impacted by other aspects of our identities, such as disability, and can speak to these intersections from my own lived experience.

Topics of expertise:

Ability/disability, Anxiety, Depression, De-stigmatizing therapy, Panic attacks, Learning difficulties, Mental Health and Disability stigma, Diversity/Inclusion

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Personal
  • Relatable
  • Accessible

Alensia Ma

School and Community Presenter

Alensia is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Counselling Psychology at Adler University and is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a BA in Psychology. After struggling with her own personal mental health issues during her undergraduate degree, she began working in the hospitality industry as a hostess eventually ending up in management. Seeing the everyday struggles and addiction that is prevalent in this industry, she has been inspired to return to education and begin a career path to help and educate hospitality workers and young adults. She would like to contribute to a greater awareness and reduced stigma of addiction and help others manage their highly stressful lives with more positive coping mechanisms and community support. She is excited for this opportunity to work with Stigma-Free society, gain experience and continue to open and grow her own perceptions and worldview.

Alensia Ma

School and Community Presenter

Creative, intuitive, joyful

Strengths: 

I’m able to explain more complex ideas and thoughts using metaphors as well as insightful and knowledgeable about psychology and mental health. I’m also courageous when it comes to being honest about my challenges and journey.

Topics of expertise:

Psychology, mental health in general and depression and bulimia specifically

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Informative
  • Positive
  • Authentic

Mike Skrypnek

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Mike Skrypnek understands how to normalize the narrative so men can share their challenges and identify ways to overcome their limitations. All men have limits, most are imposed by traumas experienced in life that are designed to protect us, but hold us back. In doing, so they restrain our families too. Not everyone experienced childhood abuse, but almost everyone has lived under toxic stress at some point and feels they are living below their potential. Mike can show you ways to gain insight needed to develop the awareness to overcome any limit keeping you from your own personal or professional success. Mike is an international bestseller of nine books, a keynote speaker, men’s mental health advocate, and sought after business strategist who has shared his insights and wisdom with thousands of passionate purpose driven entrepreneurs, business leaders and executives. His coaching focuses on purpose at the intersection of personal, professional and philanthropic development.

Mike Skrypnek

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Optimistic, Passionate, Purposeful

Strengths:

My life story is filled with love, happiness and success. The journey with schizophrenia in our family, and my own experience with childhood trauma shaped the way I lived. The mental health crisis I lived through helped align my efforts to break my silence, seek help and enjoy healing.

Topics of expertise:

Perseverance through traumatic experiences in childhood, mental illness in families, coaching
3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Inspiring
  • Motivating
  • Familiar

Gia Khunkhun

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Gia K. is an 11-year old girl with a big heart and unique mind. She believes her dyslexia is a gift that gives her the ability to see the world in a different, exciting and refreshing way. For example, she likes to combine, flip and make up words. Gia is a “possibiltarian” – someone who believes in possibilities! Gia is a senior volunteer with Dolphin KIDS: Future-ready Leaders where she helps teach younger children important social, emotional and innovation skills. She is passionate about nature, team sports, art & science. Gia’s motto is “work hard, think positive, make the world a better place & have fun!” She would to love to talk to your school about dyslexia, how she overcame the stigma of a learning difference and why it is now her great gift!

Gia Khunkhun

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Unique, Creative, Caring 

Strengths: 

I believe I am a caring and thoughtful presenter. I spent a lot of time and thought on my presentation to make it very helpful for other children and even teachers.

Topics of expertise:

Dyslexia, Mean Behaviour of Others

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Relatable
  • Brave
  • Hopeful

Cam Webster

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Cam, 25, was first hospitalized with Psychosis N.O.S. (Not Otherwise Specified) in July of 2014, less than one month after his 19th birthday. His illness developed and he was diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder 2 years later. Cam is a “Mental Health and Addictions” student at Camosun, he has taught C.B.T. classes for Island Health and he has also taught Wellness Recovery Action Plan workshops through Mental Health Recovery Partners. Cam has been sharing his mental health story for 4 years now to try and raise awareness, break stigma and help others.

Cam Webster

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Friendly, Athletic, Curious 

Strengths: 

As someone living with various mental illnesses, I find students connect well with my story and my honesty. I believe managing a very successful recovery enables me to present in a relatable and authentic way that students seem to really connect with.

Topics of expertise:

Science and statistics related to mental illness, early warning signs, various ways activities can help with recovery.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Candid
  • Honest
  • Optimistic

Joesh Khunkhun

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Joesh is a 15-year old school presenter for the Stigma-Free Society. He is very passionate about sports and plays a lot of them, his favourites are soccer, basketball, and football. Joesh is extremely passionate about ADHD and learning differences and how we as a society can be more aware of them. Joesh does not see these as a disorder but as more of a benefit and how we can effectively utilize ADHD and learning differences in our school systems. As someone who has both ADHD and the learning difference of written output, Joesh wants to inspire and educate young minds about what it’s like to live life with these and why it is important in our communities.

Joesh Khunkhun

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Adventurous, Energetic, Positive

Strengths: 

Some strengths I have as a speaker include fearlessness, confidence and positivity. My speaking is very energetic, and I love storytelling. I also know how to engage youth through humour.

Topics of expertise:

ADHD, Learning differences, IEPs, Technology Addiction & Problematic Use, Racism, Anxiety, Climate Change/ Environment.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Inspiring
  • Perspective-shifting
  • Educational

Tanpreet Parmar

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Tanpreet aims to encourage others to cultivate their own success and turn the life that they dream of into a reality. Tanpreet is a model, actress and philanthropist. She has a BBA majoring in Human Resource Management. She was crowned Miss Charity British Columbia in 2014 and Miss India-Canada in 2016, and placed 2nd runner up in Miss Canada 2020. Tanpreet believes in giving back to the community and is regularly invited to engage in motivational speaking with youth in which she shares the challenges, failures, and insecurities she has faced. She emphasizes the importance of self-love and confidence, and to never let anything or anyone bring us down.

Tanpreet Parmar

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Compassionate, Determined, Genuine 

Strengths: 

I am confident, enthusiastic and engaging. I like to interact with my audience!

Topics of expertise:

Body Image issues, Self-Care, Confidence, Self-Esteem, Stigma, Mental Health Awareness and Bullying.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Empowering
  • Authentic
  • Inspirational

Nathan Lirenman

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Nathan Lirenman is a 20-year-old young man, currently enrolled in the Kinesiology program at Capilano University. Nathan is a person who has worked hard to learn the skills necessary to be successful in life and proud of who he is, a young man who happens to have Autism. Nathan has used determination, and hard work to not let stigma, stereotypes, and adversity get in the way of his goals. Nathan loves to keep active by running, working out, and walking in nature which he has felt has made him stronger mentally. Nathan is motivated to shatter all the stigmas associated with Autism!

Nathan Lirenman

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Ambitious, Empathetic, Determined 

Strengths: 

My strengths as a speaker is my courage to be able to speak in front of audiences, and my passionate desire to convey my message courageously.  I also am really interested in learning about everyone around me.

Topics of expertise:

Living with Anxiety and Autism.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Courageous
  • Thought-provoking
  • Engaging

Sarah Khan

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Sarah aims to help break down the stigma that surrounds mental health. As someone who experienced the stigma around talking about her own experience with anxiety and depression Sarah is passionate about sharing her story so that others know that they are not alone. Sarah is a Librarian and holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science with a focus on Youth Services. She is also a Journalist, Actress, Curve model, Lifestyle and Book Blogger. Sarah likes to spread positivity and hopes that her story will encourage others to focus on their mental wellness and practice self-care.

Sarah Khan

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Outgoing, Empathetic, Honest 

Strengths: 

I’m an outgoing person and I like to talk and connect with my audience to create an engaging experience. I’m a storyteller and I know how to interact and communicate with youth, to create inclusive spaces and promote meaningful conversations.

Topics of expertise:

Anxiety, Depression, Overwhelm, Burnout, Self-Care, and Wellness.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Inspiring
  • Relatable
  • Engaging

Kristiyana Yordanova

School and Community Presenter & Communications Lead at Stigma-Free Society

Kristiyana Yordanova is currently enrolled in the Psychology Program at the University of British Columbia. She is pursuing her passion studying both Psychology and Neuroscience. She is currently fulfilling her dream in becoming a clinical psychologist, and helping women feel empowered by means of education and more affordable therapy. Along with her career goals, Kristiyana is an aspiring author of Forbidden Words. She has written about the difficulties of toxic relationships and spiritual growth. Being crowned as a Miss World BC finalist 2022, Kristiyana has shown extensive volunteer work, contributing to various community and charitable events supporting causes like women’s empowerment, education workshops for mental health in youth, and women’s shelters. As the Youth Ambassador for BC, she represented her city and province with pride. She will also be partaking in Miss World Canada 2022.

Kristiyana Yordanova

School and Community Presenter & Communications Lead at Stigma-Free Society

Compassionate, Positive, Radiant

Strengths:

As a speaker, my strengths are my ability to confidently and authentically present my story, and make others feel as if they are not alone. My biggest strength is my vulnerability.

Topics of expertise:

Depression, anxiety, positivity and well being, meditations, spirituality, awareness of bullying, toxic environments and abuse.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Genuine
  • Self Awareness & Introspection
  • Strength

Mike Scott

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Mike Scott is a father to four, retired electrician and foreman, and avid study of stigma and mental health. Mike is currently working on the Family Research Advisory Panel for the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine. While also achieving his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1997, Mike experienced a ten-year battle with life-threatening episodes in bipolar I disorder.

Mike Scott

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Poetic, Optimistic, Empathetic

Strengths: 

By learning to deal with stigma and manage my own mental health, I have been able to have success in careers and in raising my family over the last twenty years. I aim to convey my insight and experience when given the platform, also with an ability to provide solutions such as in the Q&A.

Topics of expertise:

Mental Health, Bipolar Disorder, Mania, Psychosis

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Surprising
  • Interesting
  • Driven

Sterling Renzoni

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

After recovering from two eating disorders, Sterling has become an established mental health advocate. He has continued to raise awareness about and advocate for those with mental illness, through Trent Active Minds, EDify Talks, The Stigma-Free Society, Ontario Shores Center for Mental Health Sciences and The Yellow Tulip Project.  As a mental health advocate Sterling has shared his story on CBC Radio One and on CP24, making headlines for his experience recovering from an eating disorder during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sterling is committed to creating a safe environment where students and community members can seek treatment and talk about their experiences with mental illness and mental health challenges.

Sterling Renzoni

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Friendly, Approachable, Genuine

Strengths: 

Sterling has lived and academic experience with mental illness and battling stigma, in elementary, secondary and university. He also has experience presenting on national television and on student panels. He is trained in SafeTalk, and he is a certified mental health first aider.

Topics of expertise:

Eating Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, OCD and related disorders, Personality Disorders, Battling mental illness in school, Mental Health Advocacy

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Inspirational
  • Heartwarming
  • Informational

Radha Jindal

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

My name is Radha Jindal. I am 15 years old, and I enjoy playing music and doing arts and crafts such as cross stitch and embroidery. I aspire to be a psychologist in the future. With my presentation, I hope to raise awareness about mental health and help youth realize it is okay to not be okay sometimes. I believe it is extremely important to eliminate all stigma surrounding mental health. I hope that my presentation can help with that!

Radha Jindal

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Thoughtful, Patient, Reliable

Strengths: 

Learning what self-care is, why it’s important, and how I can incorporate it in my daily life. I used to struggle with making time for myself to unwind and relax every day, but with a little self-discipline and organization, I am now able to adjust my daily schedule to include self-care. One of my goals is to help youth understand the significance of self-care and hopefully add it to their daily routines as well!

Topics of expertise:

Anxiety, Self-care, Mental health awareness, Burn-out, Bullying, and Stigma

3 ways to describe your talk:

  •  Uplifting
  • Comforting
  • Relatable

Samantha Holmgren

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

My name is Radha Jindal. I am 15 years old, and I enjoy playing music and doing arts and crafts such as cross stitch and embroidery. I aspire to be a psychologist in the future. With my presentation, I hope to raise awareness about mental health and help youth realize it is okay to not be okay sometimes. I believe it is extremely important to eliminate all stigma surrounding mental health. I hope that my presentation can help with that!

Samantha Holmgren

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Introverted, Compassionate, Curious

Strengths: 

I’d say my biggest strength is also my weakness: my multi-passionate nature. I am interested in a lot of different things, which leads me to learn about a variety of topics and develop a diverse set of skills. However, it also means I sometimes take on a little bit too much. This in turn has fuelled my organizational skills.

Topics of expertise:

Depression, anxiety, building habits, burnout, and chronic illness/chronic pain

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Authentic
  • Optimistic
  • Encouraging

Rena Joy

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Rena Joy is a children’s fantasy author and poet. She recently got into stand-up comedy and uses humour to bring light to mental health, stigmas and the adoptee experience. She struggled with anxiety, panic attacks and OCD tendencies well into her 30s when she finally got the help she needed. Through therapy and self-study, she has learned to embrace her uniqueness. She now advocates for others and shares her story so that you too can feel seen in this world.

Rena Joy

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Funny, empathetic, creative

Strengths: 

Humour and storytelling is how I relate to the world and others, even in the darkest of moments. My creative and resilient spirit has helped me navigate the ups and downs of anxiety and trauma, but it has also made me highly empathetic, a good listener and a passionate storyteller.

Topics of expertise:

anxiety, impact of early childhood trauma and adoption/foster care, empathy, self-love, boundaries, stigma, suicide (trained in safeTALK) and wellness tools.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Authentic
  • Balanced
  • Relatable

Alexandra Yeboah

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Alexandra C. Yeboah is a freelance writer, mental health advocate, and creative facilitator based in Brampton, Ontario. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and has taken several community courses in children and youth mental health. One of Alexandra’s earliest and most compelling non-fiction pieces related to her battle with depression as a high school teen, which she first published in 2017. Since then, Alexandra’s narrative writing and service journalistic pieces have focused on bullying, body image, and mental health in schools and workplaces. In recognizing the connection that mental health has in relation to various other social factors, Alexandra remains a dedicated community advocate currently serving as a volunteer member with the Peel Poverty Lived Experience Table. Alexandra has also participated in many campaign awareness initiatives, including Defeat Depression and the Run for Life Campaign with the Centre for Suicide Prevention. As a youth facilitator, she’s worked with Story Planet, The Reading Partnership, Friends of Regent Park, and Ripple Foundation. Today, Alexandra is especially committed to empowering young girls and women and the future changemakers of tomorrow.

Alexandra Yeboah

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Creative, Imaginative, Loyal

Strengths: 

As a former shy kid, I can relate to the unique challenges that introverted students with self-esteem and identity issues may face. I was bullied for most of my preteen and teenage years and also lived with depression and anxiety, all of which impacted me academically, emotionally, and socially. I understand how mental health often intersects with other social factors, including body image, race, and economic class, and am willing to speak from my own lived experience.

Topics of expertise:

Body Image, Anxiety, Depression, Low Self-Esteem, Social Anxiety, Racial Identity, Discrimination, Poverty, Bullying, Acceptance, Destigmatizing Shyness/Introversion

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Authentic
  • Sensitive
  • Accepting

Caurel Richards

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Caurel Richards is a dynamic and creative individual with a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked in multiple service industries in the last 14 years. One of the biggest lessons she learned in those years was the importance of mental health and how unhealed trauma can keep you stuck and away from the life you’ve dreamed of. In 2021, after completing her training with Marisa Peer to become a Hypnotherapist and a Rapid Transformational Therapy Practitioner, she founded the company In Divine Thyme Transformational Services. Her mission is to help clients with Complex Childhood Trauma break down barriers and release unhealthy habits and patterns to rediscover freedom and peace of mind. Her goal is to get you excited about life again by empowering you with a fresh perspective.

Caurel Richards

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Dynamic, Creative, and Passionate

Strengths: 

I have the ability to make things happen by turning thoughts into action. I tend to be a “now” person who takes things as they come and who discovers the future one day at a time. I really enjoy close relationships with others. I find deep satisfaction in working with friends to achieve a goal. I can sense other people’s feelings by imagining myself in others’ lives or situations, which makes me a great practitioner.

Topics of expertise:

Complex Childhood Trauma

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Energetic
  • Powerful
  • Enthusiastic

Sunny Chopra

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Sunny Chopra is a life coach, motivational speaker, and Human Resources Professional. Growing up in a single parent household, enduring bullying, and being told he would not amount to much made Sunny’s early years very tough. It wasn’t until he went to university that he finally started to do well in life and develop confidence. Once he graduated university, he wanted to continue to learn and grow. He started to read books and has read over 150 since. Through reading, he began to reflect on his life and realized he truly overcame the odds and achieved success. From there, he decided to become a speaker and coach to help people do the same thing. Sunny now helps individuals develop confidence to live an authentic life on their own terms and be more emotionally aware. In his speaking, he raises awareness around expressing your emotions, being confident to live an authentic life, and having more fulfilling relationships that involve enforcing boundaries and having tough conversations.

Sunny Chopra

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Driven, Kind, Relatable

Strengths: 

I am a strong presenter and storyteller. The majority of what I speak about and share is from my personal lived experiences. I have gone through a lot of adversity in my life, but overcoming these adversities shaped me into the person I am today. Going through various adversities allows me to relate and connect with my audience in a genuine and caring way. .

Topics of expertise:

Human Resources, Business, Motivational speaking & Life Coaching, raising emotional awareness and conquering common stigmas around mental health, installing confidence to live an authentic life, bullying awareness, growing up in a single parent household.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Authentic
  • Energetic
  • Inspiring

Sabrina Lau

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Sabrina Lau aims to break down the stigma around mental illness and encourage the public to have more discussions about mental health. Sabrina is currently a fourth-year Commerce student at University of Victoria. She understands the stress that students of all ages face, and her goal is to spread positivity and hope to them. As someone who has experienced racial stigma and learning difficulties, Sabrina wants to inspire younger generations to overcome those obstacles and be proud of who they are. By sharing her story, Sabrina hopes others can learn how to love themselves and be brave to talk about mental health.

Sabrina Lau

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Friendly, optimistic, Genuine

Strengths: 

I was born and raised in Hong Kong and currently live in Canada. My experience allows me to relate to people from different backgrounds and understand the struggles that immigrants face. I understand how challenges in life impact on our mental health, such as culture shock, pressures and expectations from society, and racial stigma.

Topics of expertise:

Depression, Anxiety, Mental Health Stigma in School, Racial Stigma, Complicated Family Relationships.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Encouraging
  • Relatable
  • Engaging

Ellen

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Ellen (she/her) is passionate about sharing her story with mental health in hopes that it will reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, and inspire others to reach out for support if they are struggling. She lives on the unceded and traditional Coast Salish territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees (Lekwungen) First Nations and recently received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from the University of Victoria. Ellen works as a musician, yoga instructor and digital marketing professional. In her free time, she loves to read and go for hikes in nature. Ellen is excited to be working with the Stigma-Free Society to foster more understanding, awareness and acceptance about mental health and stigma.

Ellen

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Warm, Empathetic, Dependable

Strengths: 

I love connecting and engaging with young people, which shines through when I speak about my story with mental health. I make it a priority to support youth in feeling comfortable during each presentation, so they can take in the information in a relaxed and open state of mind.

Topics of expertise:

Mental Health, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Burnout, Reaching Out for Help, Wellness, and Self-Compassion.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Genuine
  • Uplifting
  • Motivating

Brian

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Hi, my name is Brian. I studied Anthropology and Environmental Studies in University and I’m a mental health advocate. Over the years, I’ve done tree planting and ecology work, and I try to mix both nature and mental health since spending time outdoors benefits health in general.

Brian

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Kind. Determined. Patient

Strengths: 

When I was younger, I was bullied and had problems at home. This led to lots of anger issues, depression, and chronic anxiety for years. As I got older, I began reflecting and working on myself, particularly with forgiveness. I began overcoming my anxiety, anger and depression through constructive methods and hobbies such as working in nature. I began mental health advocacy as a hobby in Vancouver and spoke with people from all walks in life. I realized how common mental health issues are and how most of these issues are hidden, which makes things worse. Raising awareness, compassion, and listening to people are all skills I learned that are powerful tools for healing.

Topics of expertise:

Mental health, Anxiety, Depression, Low self-esteem, Anger issues.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Simple
  • Empowering
  • Truthful.

Jessica

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Jessica is currently in school to become a holistic nutritionist. She is very passionate about mental and physical health, and is constantly learning about how to improve it. She has also studied psychology for 3 years, but had to leave in her final year of her bachelor’s degree due to medical reasons. Although life did not go according to her plan, she took what life handed her and made something beautiful from it. She has learned that you can’t always choose what life throws at you, but what you do with it is up to you. She is resilient and has taught herself how to find gratitude in every circumstance. She has found gratitude while still acknowledging that certain circumstances can be difficult and even painful at times.She is passionate about helping others do the same. She is so grateful to have the opportunity to be able to say the words she wished she could have heard while she was going through a dark time and hopes to help others find light. If her story can in some way help even one person, she finds it all worth it.

Jessica

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Compassionate, Peaceful, Joyful

Strengths: 

Jessica has struggled with her mental and physical health for over half her life, and has become very compassionate and resilient as a result. She has chosen to always take what life hands her and make something beautiful from it. She is able to relate to so many due to her struggles, and something about that is absolutely beautiful.

Topics of expertise:

Anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), disordered eating, chronic pain, physical and mental health challenges, finding peace & gratitude.

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Inspiring
  • Hopeful.
  • Empowering.

Katriina Cotten

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Katriina Cotten is a Canadian Actress, Model and Voice-over artist. She began her performing arts career as a child in Vancouver, Canada. With ballet as her stepping-stone, she conveyed her artistic expression and got her foot in the door with acting and competitive arts. After high school, she studied Broadcast Journalism and found adoration for dramatic arts. By consistently working hard, she has grown into a multi-talented woman; working with companies such as Best Buy, Lexus, Hootsuite, Interac, Vega, Oculus, Olive Garden, and as a Guest Host for The Vancouver Canucks to name a few. Currently, she stars as the first female BIPOC host for the local Vancouver show The Amazing Hunt, alongside the Canadian TV Series on Telus – Indie Corner BC.She also charms audiences as a News Anchor for InvestmentPitch Media. Apart from Katriina’s professional career, she is a loving daughter and dog mom, and a bon vivant of life. Growing up, she was raised by a single mother who always told her she could achieve anything in life. It wasn’t always easy as she had experienced racism and colorism due to her mixed heritage. I hope people see me as motivation and realize that it doesn’t matter what struggles or challenges I’ve faced; I have learned and am still learning to conquer them day by day, and that there are no limits. The only limits are those that you impose upon yourself. Dream, believe and take action.

Katriina Cotten

School and Community Presenter at Stigma-Free Society

Motivating, Determined, Authentic

Strengths: 

My strength as a speaker is authenticity. I am authentically me. I have a strong personality that is determined, fearless and very creative. I believe that my life story will resonate with some students who may be experiencing the same type of travail. I understand how life issues can affect us daily, and I am here to tell my story by giving students motivation that you can succeed through any life conflicts. Human interaction is the best form of communication, and by engaging with students, I can potentially lend a helping hand in enjoying the life they live!

Topics of expertise:

Depression, Suicide, Anxiety, Body Image issues, Confidence, Negative aspects of social media

3 ways to describe your talk:

  • Empowering
  • Relatable
  • Inspirational