2016 Speaker and Workshop Selections
2016 Keynote Speaker
Liz Murray, the inspiration for the Lifetime movie Homeless to Harvard
From homeless to Harvard...it is an unlikely turn of events. Liz Murray’s life is a triumph over adversity and a stunning example of the importance of dreaming big. Murray’s life as the child of cocaine-addicted parents in the Bronx was bitterly grim. There was never food in the house, everything was filthy, drugs were everywhere, and the welfare checks were spent before they arrived. By age 15, Murray’s mom had died and she was homeless—living on the streets, riding the subway all night, and eating from dumpsters. Amidst this pain, Murray always imagined her life could be much better than it was. “I started to grasp the value of the lessons learned while living on the streets. I knew after overcoming those daily obstacles that next to nothing could hold me down.” Determined to take charge of her life, Murray finished high school in just two years and was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard University, all while camping out in New York City parks and subway stations. Murray’s story is exhilarating and inspirational. Her delivery is innocently honest, as she takes audiences on a very personal journey where she achieves the improbable. Her story sounds like a Hollywood movie—and it practically is. Lifetime Television produced a movie about Murray’s life story entitled Homeless to Harvard, which was nominated for three “Emmy Awards”. Murray is the recipient of the White House “Project’s Role Model Award” and Oprah Winfrey’s first-ever “Chutzpah Award”. Her memoir, Breaking Night, landed on the New York Times best seller list within a week of its release and quickly became an international bestseller published in twelve countries, in eight languages. Murray received her Bachelor of Science degree from Harvard University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Psychology at Columbia University. As an inspirational speaker with the Washington Speakers Bureau, Murray frequently presents dynamic talks to audiences ranging from several hundred to several thousand. Some of her clients include Coca- Cola, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, United Way, BlackRock and numerous colleges and universities across the United States. Murray is passionate about speaking on the importance of personal motivation, transforming problems into opportunities, and what it takes to make a difference in people’s lives.
Morning Workshop Choices
- Workshop A: Dione White, LGSW & Detective Carey Gerres - Pet Therapy: Helping Child Abuse Victims. This workshop is directed towards professionals within the criminal justice system and child welfare system and how they and the clients they serve, would benefit from the assistance of a therapy animal. We will discuss how the current program was established at the Harford County Child Advocacy Center, the current therapy teams we have visiting at our center, what animals do, and the new developments that have recently come about involving dogs accompanying kids to court and therapy/facility dogs in general.
- Workshop B: Dr. Joseph O'Leary, M.D. DSM-5 The Most Common Diagnoses and the Most Effective Treatments. This workshop will review the process of diagnosing the most common mental health conditions in children and adolescents and the safest and most effective treatments.
- Workshop C: Dr. Amy Gooding, PsyD. Eating Disorders and Trauma: An Overview for Clinicians and Foster Care Parents. This workshop will focus on eating disorders, trauma and the related psychological and behavioral difficulties. An evidence based treatment method will be introduced and appropriate interventions will be discussed. This presentation will include recommendations for those caring for children who struggle with eating disorders in addition to a history of trauma. Specific techniques will be discussed so that clinicians and foster families can properly support these children.
- Workshop D: Lt. Veto Mentzell, Assistant State's Attorney Chris Tabone, & Detective Joe Dugan Digital Safety Seminar (Part I) Through facilitated discussion, video, and practical demonstrations, participants will learn about online safety and how to protect children from technology facilitated crimes. Topics of discussion will include: Sexting, child pornography, online predators, social networks, apps, sharing photos, peer to peer downloads, cyberbullying, the dark web, other dangers and additional resources.
Afternoon Workshop Choices
- Workshop E: Lt. Veto Mentzell, Assistant State's Attorney Chris Tabone, & Detective Joe Dugan Digital Safety Seminar (Part 2) - Through facilitated discussion, video, and practical demonstrations, participants will learn about online safety and how to protect children from technology facilitated crimes. Topics of discussion will include: Sexting, child pornography, online predators, social networks, apps, sharing photos, peer to peer downloads, cyberbullying, the dark web, other dangers and additional resources.
- Workshop F: Kristine Hitchens, PhD, LCSW-C, LCADC, CCDC Processing Trauma in Families with Addiction - This presentation will explain in detail the process of recovery and relapse for all- the user and their family member- emphasizing similarities and connections. Trauma obstacles will be examined within the context of the recovery and relapse processes. Methods and resources to encourage trauma awareness and resilience will be explored.
- Workshop H: Sharon Lipford, LCSW-C & Paula Nash, LCSW-C Suicide Prevention and QPR Gatekeeper Certification - QPR is an emergency mental health gatekeeper training intervention that teaches lay and professional gatekeepers to recognize and respond positively to someone exhibiting suicide warning signs and behaviors. Like CPR, QPR uses a "chain of survival" approach in which the "Gatekeeper" learns to recognize early suicide warning signs, Question their meaning to determine suicide intent or desire, Persuade the person to accept or seek help, and Refer the person to appropriate resources. At the workshop's conclusion, each participant will be certified as a QPR Gatekeeper.
- Workshop G: Jeanne Allert, M.Ed. What We've Learned Serving Survivors of Domestic Sex Trafficking - The Samaritan Women is one of the few therapeutic residence programs in the U.S. for victims of domestic sex trafficking. Over the past five years, TSW has amassed a wealth of data and insight into the traumas experienced by this population, the needs of survivors, and the efficacy of various trauma interventions. This session presents an overview of the data and lessons learned by this unique therapeutic program.