Dr. Karyn Gordon - Helping our Youth to Build Confidence

In this eye-opening keynote, Dr. Karyn will help parents understand the power of personal attitude and confidence in shaping a teenager’s behaviour; from dating and friendships to personal motivation. Even the impact of body language will be discussed. Most importantly, parents will learn what they can do to ‘bridge the gap’ and increase their power to influence their teens.  In this keynote, parents will learn:

  • How your teens’ confidence impacts every one of their choices (eg. peer pressure to dating),
  • How to inspire youth to take responsibility, therefore reducing their anxiety,
  • 3 simple strategies to ‘bridge the gap’ and start building their confidence and overall relationship.

You are sure to come away inspired and informed by this dynamic, yet practical presentation.

Dr. Karyn is the CEO of dk Leadership, teaching Success Principles for Full Engagement in Work and Life. In addition, she is the relationship expert for Good Morning America (USA), Cityline (Canada), New York Parenting Magazine and Chatelaine. A writer, corporate trainer and motivational speaker to more than ½ million people, Karyn is the best-selling author of Dr. Karyn’s Guide To The Teen Years (Harper Collins) and has written 3 additional resources for parents, teachers & counselors. She has a Bachelor in Psychology, a Masters in Counseling, a Doctorate in Marriage & Family, and has done extensive studies in generational differences, personalities, leadership & Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Karyn has listened to over 10,000 hours of teens ‘spilling their guts’, so she knows what makes them tick! She is passionate about helping them develop a “love of learning” and wants to empower parents with the tools to ignite this love so they can help their children to reach their greatest potential!



Rosemary Fernandes-Walker - APSGO

(Association of Parent Support Groups of Ontario - Guelph Chapter)

Rosemary is a mother/step-mother to 5 adult children and has been an APSGO member and a Chapter Leader for Guelph APSGO for many years. As an APSGO Parenting Coach, a Sales Professional and a certified Holistic Nutritionist, she knows first-hand the importance of healthy relationships and communication. Rosemary has been twice nominated for a Guelph Woman of Distinction Award for her volunteer contributions as well as speaking at the Women of Distinction Speaker Series. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Guelph Y as well as the Homewood Health Centre Volunteer Association.

The Best Perspective: Character versus Achievement

Rosemary will share her personal experience as an APSGO parent.  Society focuses a great deal on an individual’s achievements. What does this mean for a child that may be labelled as an underachiever or is struggling with specific physical, intellectual or other deficits? This talk will help parents understand the pitfalls of an achievement-focused life and help them to comprehend the greater importance of character and other essential principles of the ASPGO approach to parenting.

Listen to Rosemary's interview on CFRU Radio.



During registration please select two of the following speaker sessions to attend

Leah Deffett

Leah Deffett

PFLAG Toronto Board of Directors

Leah has been involved with the LGBTQ2S community for over 20 years and was an ambassador for Positive Spaces Toronto. This role involved promoting programs to colleagues, acting as a resource and sounding board regarding LGBTQ2S issues, addressing homophobic and transphobic behaviour, and helping to plan LGBTQ2S related events. In her role, Leah recommended a gender neutral washroom be installed at the Wellesley street Ontario Works office, which was accepted and implemented. Leah is currently on the Board of Directors for Toronto Pflag, a charitable organization that speaks for a more accepting Canadian society by providing support, education and resources to all people who wish to grow in their understanding of sexual and gender diversity. Toronto Pflag actively assists in the recognition and growth of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, intersex, queer and questioning persons, and their families and friends, within their diverse cultures and societies.

Accepting and Embracing Difference: Beyond the LGBTQ2S Acronym

Leah’s presentation features stories and experiences as the the proud mom of a gay son, Dean, who is also active is also in the LGBTQ2S community.  Dean sang at a 2016 Pride event and has been featured in the award-winning documentary “Unsung Behind The Glee”, which addresses the bullying Dean faced in the public school system. Join Leah as she shares in the struggles and triumphs of youth of divergent sexual orientations and gender identities.

Sandra Parkinson7

Sandra Parkinson

Coordinator Suicide Awareness Council of Wellington Dufferin

Sandra Parkinson is currently a Coordinator with the Suicide Awareness Council of Wellington Dufferin.  Prior to that role, she spent many years as a community educator with the Canadian Mental Health Association.  Sandra has worked in the field of mental health for over 35 years and continues to be inspired by the strength and resilience of people as they face difficult life situations.

Let’s Talk About It: Learning about Youth Suicide

Learning about youth suicide can feel scary…but becoming more aware of the signs of risk, how to respond, and who to turn to for help can make all the difference for your child.  During this session, there will be an opportunity to speak openly and honestly about suicide and learn about resources that are available within the school and your community for support.

Gueph Police

Mark Pettapiece

Internet Child Exploitation Unit - Guelph Police Service

Mark started Policing in 2000, working first in Uniform, then the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse unit before transferring to the Internet Child Exploitation Unit where he has worked for the last 4 1/2 years.  He is a trained child exploitation investigator as well as a trained Computer Forensic Examiner.  Mark regularly provides training on methods for conducting on-line child investigations to fellow officers as well as being an instructor at the Ontario Police College for the General Investigative Techniques on cybercrime course. Constable Pettapiece is married to a fellow Police Officer and has two young children, aged 8 and 9.

Navigating the Cybersphere: The Challenges for Parents and Youth

Join Constable Mark Pettipiece as he explains some of the threats to our youth in the on-line world. Mark will help heighten your awareness of risks, but also provide strategies for helping our youth to balance their desire to stay connected with their peers, but still keep themselves safe when navigating the internet and establishing social media relationships.

Sara Westbrooke 7

Sara Westbrook - Motivational Speaker, Singer, Author

Sarah Westbrook is a motivational speaker, author & singer who specializes in Resilience, Confidence and Mental Well-Being. As the creator of the UPower program, her teachings have been presented to over 200,000 students, educators and parents and featured in various media outlets (e.g. CTV, Global, CHCH and Rogers). Through a unique hybrid of speaking & singing, Sarah shares activities and a ‘Choice Making Formula’ that helps her audiences to learn to think & act beyond their emotions, so they can make character-based choices. Sarah enjoys sharing her personal stories to show how she has used and continues to use these skills in her life.

3 Habits of Resilient Families

As parents and guardians, it’s important to support youth in making character-based choices that develop the skills of Resilience, Confidence and Mental Well-Being. Many of their choices are being made based on how they feel (anger, sadness, disappointment etc). Since emotions are constantly changing, they are not a reliable place to make all choices from. It’s essential to teach children how to move through emotions in healthy ways, so they can make choices from a more reliable place – their character.

In this presentation parents and guardians will learn how to coach their children to:

  • Make character-based choices.
  • Bounce back from tough emotions and challenging circumstances.
  • Train their brain to think and act beyond emotion.
  • Learn healthy ways to release emotions.

Jayne Hembruff - Innovative Wellness

Jayne Hembruff is the Owner of Innovative Wellness and she is passionate about inspiring positive results through strategic initiatives. Jayne facilitates a wide range of workshops and training and coaches entrepreneurs and senior executives.  She offers a wide range of programs and services that include combating caregiver fatigue, shrugging off stress, yoga for trauma and mental and physical wellness, back care basics for stiff bodies, and gentle exercise.

Jayne is a registered yoga teacher who has taught over 8,000 yoga classes. She is trauma informed and BoneFit trained and has also created a Sleep Aid Audio to help people get a good night’s sleep. Jayne is the proud mom of three teenagers and has benefited from APSGO’s strategies.

Combating Caregiver Fatigue

You are not alone, most caregivers experience caregiver fatigue. Try effective tools to relax, rejuvenate, and restore yourself to combat caregiver fatigue.  This hands-on workshop will help enhance your self-awareness, self-care and self-regulation. Throughout this workshop you will be developing a personalized self-care plan specific to your needs.

John Wenstrup 7
Lyndsey Gilbert 7

John Wenstrup and Lyndsey Gilbert - CADS - Homewood Health Center

John has worked at the Homewood Health Centre for the past 32 years. In 1999 John joined Homewood Community Addictions and was employed as an Addictions Therapist where a portion of his role was working with youth in the schools. In 2009 John became the Clinical Supervisor at CADS and has recently been granted certification as an International Certified Clinical Supervisor. From 2009 through 2014 he provided clinical addictions services to the University of Guelph through Student Health Services. This past year John is back serving students in High Schools and at the CADS office and is part of the youth team at CADS. He also works with family members to ensure their needs are met.

Lyndsey has worked at the Homewood Health Centre for the past 16 years. For the past 3 years Lyndsey has worked as an Addictions Counsellor at Homewood Community Addictions Services (CADS) specializing in youth. She is a member of the Registered College of Psychotherapist of Ontario and brings much enthusiasm to her work on a daily basis. She meets with youth both in high schools and at the CADS office, works with family member around their needs and is well connected to the youth service network.

Substance Abuse and Youth: What parents should know.

Drug abuse and addiction puts a great strain on families. For parents that may be concerned about their teen’s alcohol/drug or mental health issues, this session provides tools for effective communications, boundary setting and how to best support change and healthy alternatives. Chris will introduce parents to the issues of youth addiction as well as important strategies for parents to assist their struggling youth. Also learn about additional resources for counselling, education and community supports for parents and drug-abusing youth.