Presented by Positive Presence

Katlyn Cleaver

What is the Next Generation?

What is the Next Generation? If you’ve come across the term ‘Next Generation’ anywhere on the Positive Presence website, you might have wondered what it

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Communications Specialist

Wafeeq Amin

Wafeeq has spent multiple years working with today’s youth. In addition to his Mentor Coaching Certification with Positive Presence, he is certified as a youth, parent, and family coach. A natural born leader, Wafeeq has overcome extreme obstacles and adversity in his lifetime. Because of his own experiences he appreciates and recognizes the value of having someone beside you on the journey of life. A true believer in the importance of life skills and personal awareness, Wafeeq is fully committed to helping the next generation make a healthy and positive transition into adulthood. A true visionary, Wafeeq has learned to lean on his own positive psychology toolbox to help those he works with. Coupled with his strong connection to self and unwavering connection to his faith, he remains a positive role model to all those he works with. His passion and purpose filled lifestyle resonates with everyone he has the pleasure of engaging with.

Tonica Johnson

Tonica Johnson, a first-generation college student from Cleveland, has a Master’s of Education from the University of Dayton. She is a former high school teacher of 7 years and now lives in Colorado, where she owns her own college planning business. Believing that the traditional education system doesn’t always teach the skills that are necessary for life, she has felt called to help do so herself, and her students have always looked to her as a mentor and role model. Tonica has had to face her fair share of adversity within her family, from alcoholism to divorce, and credits her positive mindset to practicing gratitude and the support of others in her life. Her own journey to self-love and self-worth has been full of ups and downs, but she truly believes that everyone is able to have a successful, positive, fulfilling life, and is passionate about helping others discover that for themselves. Tonica is always ready to listen without judgment and provides a safe, supportive space for healing and growth. She inspires others to become confident, driven people excited about going out and making our world better, one day at a time.

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Emily Caikoski

A student at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Emily is motivated to become a successful Transformational Life Coach. Best known for her uplifting energy, this incredibly gifted professional uses active listening to provide a safe place for her students to express themselves and be seen, heard & acknowledged without judgement. Emily stays positive by writing & saying affirmations, practicing gratitude and meditation, and journaling about her journey – techniques she encourages all of her students to elicit positive change. She prides herself on meeting her students where they’re at and sets intention to be present in every moment. Her passion for being a mentor coach with Positive Presence is deeply seeded by the lack of judgement-free support and guidance she had when she was younger. Emily strives to be a positive role model and encourage the next generation to be the most unapologetically authentic versions of themselves.

Katlyn Cleaver

Katlyn is a passionate, strong-willed mentor, born & raised in Kansas. Striving to make a positive impact, she has a fierce pursuit for social justice and equality. Katlyn has experience working with the Kansas Department of Corrections and has been promoted multiple times, currently assuming the role of Restorative Justice Specialist. Her ability to advocate, validate, and empathize is what makes her a memorable mentor. Katlyn finds it important to find bits of light within the darkness, focusing on those blessings in disguise, and helps those she works with to do the same. Katlyn believes teenagers and young adults are an untapped population of individuals who are needing more resources and support than currently available to them. She has seen first-hand how systems and society fail this population and how imperative it is to their success and well-being to have someone who can be a light and witness in their life.

Jack Blake

Originally from Kansas City, Jack Blake spent his early 20’s learning how to captain sailboats and yachts. One of his most noted accomplishments is becoming a sailboat captain for the annual Yacht Week, exploring exotic locations. Jack aspires to help others create the lifestyle of their dreams just as he did by choosing to embark on a path less traveled. Getting outside in nature, exercising and nutrition are some of the most important things day to day for this adventurous mentor. Being able to pause, relax and enjoy moments while challenging himself and never becoming complacent is something he prides himself on. Jack has always noticed a spark when he is helping people reach their goals. There has always been a passion inside him to influence and inspire those younger than him to make mindful choices.

Don'Taisha Greene

As a first-generation college graduate, a minority, and a woman, Don’Taisha Greene, has a true appreciation for uniqueness. Practicing authenticity and appreciating others’ uniqueness has allowed her to establish herself as a connected, dynamic leader and resource in her professional and educational career. Her crucial encounters in the education, healthcare, and social services realm have enhanced her cultural competencies and gifted her the observational acumen required to be a change maker.
Don’Taisha has learned to navigate the world of youth mentorship firsthand through trial and error. She is passionate about the next generation because she understands first-hand the litany of challenges that they face. She specializes in connecting students to the tools that will take them to the next level and has emerged from her previous roles as an educator, trained facilitator, and program coordinator. It is now Don’Taisha’s goal as a mentor to help others define life strategies and map out the path to their success.

Thomas Knowles

The youngest of three children, Thomas was involved in everything under the sun from travel basketball and baseball to track and field. After years of high-intense sports and summer months with a math and reading tutor, Thomas realized he had lost his sense of self. After starting at the University of Kansas and joining a fraternity, he got caught up in college life. Thomas started to develop and show signs of anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD, and insomnia. As his grades began to decline, self-isolation, drugs and alcohol became a coping mechanism. Recognizing the peril of his decisions, he made a decision to shift his life in a more positive direction. Sophomore year Thomas sought a new major in Unified Early Childhood Education and began to celebrate 6 straight semesters on honor roll, graduated with a 3.5 GPA, met the love of his life, and landed a job teaching first grade. Focusing on his sobriety and future with his fiancé, Thomas is continuing to work on himself every day as a happier, stronger version of who he once was.

Gisella Howe

Gisella Howe is a multi-lingual mother of four. She is a passionate young entrepreneur, born in Brazil to a police officer in the military father and a housekeeper mother. She helped raise her two brothers, until she was nineteen years old. She has overcome immense darkness from Cancer, divorce and Postpartum Depression to PTSD, homelessness, PMDD and Narcolepsy. Her diagnosis and labels don’t define her but rather feed her passion of helping other parents overcome their traumas and tribulations. She is fierce and in between loving her husband and children she has found a way to love herself! She is continuously on a journey of self-empowerment and education and is enrolled as a student to pursue a degree in liberal arts and philosophy. After ten years in the medical field as a surgical nurse and medical director, she decided to change careers and pursue her passion as a life mentor coach and motivational speaker. Gisella and her husband are actively working on their first book about relationships and how to raise adults in a social media invaded society. Her life’s mission is to leave a legacy of self-love, self-mastery and accountability to the future generation. In her eight years coaching and educating herself in the art of mentorship, she has developed tremendous amounts of insight. She incorporates her life experiences and empathetic nature to provide other parents with tangible tools for a life changing experience – an incredible gift she now brings to our team.

Lyndsey Clark

Lyndsey is a laid-back, passionate and open-minded mentor from Ohio. As a former college athlete, high school coach, first-generation college graduate and CrossFit competitor; Lyndsey is passionate about and runs her own fitness and nutrition business. Previously a teacher of 10 years, Lyndsey believes we can fill in the gaps in our education system by educating and preparing the next generation for LIFE, lessons she wished she would have learned in high school and beyond. Having 7 siblings in her very-blended family, Lyndsey has experienced first-hand many struggles within the family dynamic including divorce, the foster care system, alcoholism, and mental health. She credits her positive outlook to always trying to find the positive in every situation. Her own journey of self-discovery and self-love has been full of ups and downs and attributes her tenacity to the importance she’s placed on growth and awareness at every turn. She wants to create a safe space where others can show up authentically, without judgement but also challenged to grow.

Danielle Daniel

A certified life coach, Danielle has a bachelor’s in business and has made it her mission to guide every teen and young adult in finding their passion in life. Born and raised in Nashville, TN, Danielle focused her budding coaching career on helping the next generation build confidence in interviews, public speaking, self-image, etiquette, competition, and charisma. One of her greatest joys is helping her students find purpose and navigate through life to become the best version of themselves.

Practicing her own path to purpose, Danielle has volunteered in after-school programs and has mentored youth through programs like ‘End Slavery’. Being so tightly connected to the next generation, Danielle can relate to the pressures of grades, sports, competitions, and trying to fit in. Danielle specializes in time management, having a healthy routine, positive mindset, money management, career, and personal growth. Aside from being a life coach, Danielle has a background of being a director in sales, property management, marketing, and entrepreneurship and has a personal goal to get her Master Certification in Life Coaching.

Positive Presence Corporate Team

Cheyanne Peters

Coaching Director


Cheyanne Peters, a first-generation college student from Kansas, graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors in Psychology and a Minor in Applied Behavioral Science. Cheyanne has multiple years of experience working in a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility rehabilitating at-risk youth who have endured severe trauma, abuse, and neglect. A former Mentor Program Facilitator at a Juvenile Detention Center, Cheyanne became an expert at aiding youth in their positive transition into society and adulthood. An empathetic and enthusiastic mentor, she believes everyone deserves to live a joyful and fulfilling life – a profound passion that drives her in this career. As the Coaching Director, Cheyanne conducts training for all coaches and performs routine monthly check-ins with our coaching staff to ensure consistency in our program. She also provides custom support to our coaches aiding them in their relationships with the families and students they work with.

Favorite Mindfulness Techniques:

Mindful walks & guided breathing exercises / meditations. Checking in with all 5 senses while being in nature reminds me to live in the now and focusing on my breath brings me to a place of peace.

A Fun Fact:

I own two rare dogs; one Dalmatian & one Dachshund-Labrador mix

State: Nebraska

Remy Elsherif

Remy, who moved to the US from Egypt at the age of 25, is a personal trainer and life coach passionate about helping young women and their mothers achieve their life and fitness goals. As a mother of two boys, she has seen first-hand how mental health can negatively impact one’s life. Remy desires to be the empathetic mentor she longed to have growing up. Overcoming many adversities, her story is beyond empowering. Despite a toxic family environment in her youth, depression, and the loss of her fiancé to brain cancer, she was led to use her darkness as a vehicle for light. Instead of thinking “why me?” – Remy has cultivated resiliency through practicing gratitude and began to shift her perspective. She realized the culmination of her life experiences helped her become the strong, caring, and loving person, life coach and mother she is today.

Marcos Baluyut-Hand

Marcos is an eclectic mentor, educational coach, and advocate from Los Angeles, California who has been working with youth at a professional level for years; he also has a background in business and community marketing. He prides himself on his ability to not give up, and his perseverance shines true as a first-generation college graduate, as well as the first in his family with a master’s degree. Marcos is passionate about raising awareness regarding social justice, discrimination and advocating for marginalized groups. Marcos believes that everyone deserves to have someone who is there for them unconditionally and wishes he grew up in a setting where having a mentor was more accepted. His confident, empathetic, and authentic energy is what makes him a memorable mentor and allows him the opportunity to guide others in finding their authenticity without shame.

Jessica Waugh

In pursuit of becoming a National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach alongside obtaining her Positive Presence Mentor Certification, Jessica is a driven mentor who believes in living life to the fullest. Jessica has overcome many obstacles in her life, including growing up in the foster care system, that she feels have made her into the strong, resilient woman she is today. She prides herself on her ability to actively listen with compassion and without judgment, being that support she too wishes she had when she was growing up. As a former sommelier for chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Jessica has recognized the difference between one’s passions and one’s purpose, and hopes to help her students do the same.

Alysha Montgomery

Alysha Montgomery, an animal science major and biological sciences minor at the University of Arkansas, is a passionate philanthropist. As a former student of the Positive Presence Mentor Coaching program, Alysha discovered the best version of herself and developed an unwavering passion for helping others find the same. That passion is fueled by her desire to inspire our youth to value themselves and recognize their purpose – a life-changing mentality she learned through her coaching with Positive Presence. Her intuitive nature and peaceful, diplomatic approach to coaching makes her a respected member of the global Positive Presence family and an exemplary mentor to our students.

Elysa Swenson

Elysa Swenson, a charismatic Kansas native and certified CNA, is currently in pursuit of her BSN in Nursing at the University of Kansas. As a former student of the Positive Presence Mentor Coaching program, Elysa found an insatiable amount of purpose and self-acceptance, something she attributes her new-found sense of peace and positivity to. Elysa’s awakening was in understanding that living a life of light and love comes when you decide to simply CHOOSE that life.

Since graduating from Positive Presence as a student, Elysa felt a deep responsibility and higher calling to help her generation find the same. Her passion for person-centered care coupled with her determination to help her generation find THEIR purpose makes her an excellent Mentor Coach for Positive Presence Global!

Jackie Fouchia

Jackie Fouchia, a Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer & Yoga Instructor, has a degree in psychology of health and healing from Naropa University. A former beauty queen turned health and fitness expert, Jackie has overcome her own mental health struggles and found her passion for helping others both physically and spiritually. Discovering how to radiate self-confidence through her own journey of personal development, Jackie has learned how to teach others how to do the same. Doing all things with love, her patient personality and empathetic approach to supporting those in need makes her an excellent coach, a positive presence and a life-changing mentor.

Verona Matthews

Verona Matthews is a passionate professional from South Africa who takes a heart-centered approach to her coaching style. Her life’s mission is to leave a legacy of love and acceptance to the future generation. She is able to incorporate her life experiences and empathetic nature to provide her students with tangible life changing skills. Verona is an advocate of embracing change and continuous self-evolution. Her passion for impacting the next generation as a Mentor Coach with Positive Presence comes second only to her devotion to her family and her faith.

Veronica Hurford

Veronica Hurford grew up in Fairfield, CA and studied abroad in England while she pursued her master’s degree in Education from UC Santa Cruz. Since the age of 9, Veronica has wanted to be an elementary school teacher and has been tutoring students in writing since she was a senior in college. She spent several summers as a counselor at a non-profit summer camp in southern California. Her fire to coach was initially ignited when she became an executive functioning tutor to teenagers in Colorado. Veronica saw many other needs that weren’t being met with her students outside of academics and had a deep desire to help them have success in school AND life. As an elementary school teacher, mentor, wife, writer and chef, her passion for helping teenagers and young adults far exceeds classroom knowledge. Her engaging personality and thoughtful approach to supporting youth makes her an excellent coach, a positive presence and a life-changing mentor.

Jamal Johnson

Jamal was born and raised in Georgetown, Guyana and moved to the United States at the age of 12. His experience in the mental health industry the past six years has made him an expert in supporting and guiding young men and women living with autism and intellectual disability. He is also the co-founder of a small construction company based in New York. Jamal’s passionate approach to personal development, calming charisma and innovative techniques to understanding emotional awareness make him an excellent mentor to our Positive Presence coaching team. He stays positive by constantly reflecting on his own journey while creating a safe and positive space for others to do the same. Jamal travels to Guyana on a yearly basis promoting the importance of wellness care and healthy living habits in underserved communities.

Currently a student at UNC-Pembroke, Jamal is in pursuit of his Master’s in Business Administration and Finance. He plans to use his degrees to bolster his current skill set and promote the importance of entrepreneurship in underserved communities in the United States and Guyana.

Emily Lamb

Emily Lamb, a student at the University of Arizona has an unwavering passion to contribute large-scale, positive change to the world, and the people around her. A recipient of the Arizona Excellence Scholarship, Emily’s deep pool of knowledge, easy going attitude, kind persona and empathy makes her an exceptional mentor. As a leader, tutor, researcher and adventurer, Emily surrounds herself with things and people that contribute to her best self. It’s through her personal journey as a former student of Positive Presence, Emily experienced first hand the profound impact this coaching has on the lives of those we coach.

Cheyanne Peters

Cheyanne Peters, a first generation college student born and raised in Kansas, graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors in Psychology and Minor in Applied Behavioral Science. Her passion for helping teenagers feel confident, successful and prepared for their next chapter in life stems from multiple years of working with at-risk youth.

Cheyanne has experience working in a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility rehabilitating children who have endured severe trauma, abuse and neglect and as a result developed behavioral/mood disorders. A former Mentor Program Facilitator at a Juvenile Detention Center, Cheyanne became an expert at aiding youth in their positive transition into society and adulthood. An empathetic and enthusiastic mentor, Cheyanne believes everyone deserves to live a joyful and fulfilling life – a profound passion that drives her in her coaching career.

Jasmine Alexander

Jasmine, a Human Relations major at the University of Oakland is a dynamic community role model. As a generational member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, she embodies a zest for excellence. Her bubbly personality and kind hearted nature touches the lives of everyone she comes into contact with. Her desire for being a positive catalyst is the reason why Jasmine is such a good fit with the Positive Presence Coaching Program. This creative young woman displays the trademarks of a great leader – skills she desires to impart on the next generation.

Maria Molina

Maria Molina enjoys singing, composing music, dancing, and playing the piano and guitar. She is a native of Ecuador, grew up in New Jersey, lived in Utah and California, and currently resides in Arizona. She speaks Spanish fluently and also knows basic Japanese and Romanian. Maria is a first-generation college student and graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During her college years, she participated in international volunteer trips to Bolivia and Romania and since then, has visited several other countries in Latin America. After college, Maria worked as an elementary school teacher and later attended Teachers College-Columbia University where she earned a graduate degree in Neuroscience and Education. Maria’s passion for mentoring youth was strengthened during her time as Program Manager for a college preparation and health careers exploration program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. She believes that one young person can truly change the trajectory of future generations and hopes to continue inspiring youth to discover their innate gifts and fulfill their greatest potential.

Karen Weaver

Karen is currently studying Psychology and Criminology at the University of Arizona, with hopes of making positive contributions to the lives of others in her future career. She is extremely involved at her University, holding board positions in SPURS Honorary and Circle K International, while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Karen is passionate about nature, travel, and her Christian faith, and has the ability to connect with people from all walks of life. Karen is an empathetic and inspiring mentor who believes practicing gratitude is an integral aspect of remaining positive. Her past experiences with mental illness, lack of self-esteem, and toxic environments have given her knowledge in just how dark life can get. Karen believes that coming out the other side of this adversity and finding her most authentic self was one of the most invigorating feelings she has ever experienced. It is now Karen’s goal as a mentor to help others reach their fullest potential.

Blake Cleaver

Blake Petersen is a determined first generation college student living in Kansas City. She works with a local non-profit, Support Kansas City, who provide new and upcoming non-profits the tools and resources essential for growth. Blake prides herself on her compassionate mentorship style with talents in actively listening and responding to others. Blake loves being outdoors and reading books in her spare time. Her family and fur babies are two of the most important things in her life. She maintains a positive mindset by reflecting on her accomplishments, her strengths, and the adversities she has overcome. Blake strives to be that non-judgmental, listening ear that she wishes she could’ve had during her teenage years. She is extremely resilient and hopes to teach others the power of resiliency. Blake is passionate about providing support during the uncertainties of life, sharing her experiences, and ensuring her students see all that life has to offer.

Thea Saccoliti

Thea is an aspiring actress making the jump from her hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado to Los Angeles, California. She has been working in the TV and film industry for 7 years. In order to further pursue her acting career, Thea graduated High School early with honors and an above 4.0 GPA. Growing up, she participated in Competitive Taekwondo and Cheerleading. This empathetic, welcoming mentor continues to have a positive mindset by addressing her negative thoughts and always finding the good in every situation. Although she is young, she is not afraid to shed light on difficult topics within today’s society. She views herself as an old soul born within the iGeneration. Watching as those around her are negatively impacted by the world today, she wants to be able to use this asset to help others. Thea strongly believes in people making a name for themselves and, as a mentor, will not allow social media or other resources to define who her students are. Rather, she will encourage them to come from a place of authenticity and develop into the person they aspire to become.

Dustin Jones

Dustin, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, is one of our college aged coaches who is currently obtaining a degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Indiana. Dustin serves as the Associate Director of Community Service for his Business Fraternity and also sits on the Board of Directors for our non-profit, Positive Presence Foundation. He loves to spend his down time hiking, hammocking with friends, and drawing. Dustin is passionate about helping teenagers because there were many times in his life that he didn’t know what he would have done without the support of people that reached out to help him. He believes asking for help should never make one feel like a burden. Dustin is an introvert who is finding his voice through mentor coaching, and is able to relate with his students by putting himself in their shoes. His sense of humor and generous personality is what makes him stand out as a coach. Dustin is an easy-going mentor who always tries to find the light even in dark times and stays positive by reminding himself of all that he is grateful for in life.

Angela Kim

Angela is a Speaker, Master NLP Practitioner and Life Coach from Orange County, California. When Angela was 7 years old, she suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a fall. She underwent an 8 hour brain surgery followed by a 2 week coma. When she woke up, she lost her ability to speak and was completely paralyzed on the right side of her body. Angela had to go through thousands of hours of rehab to learn how to talk, walk, and find ways to live with just one arm. Doctors had told her that her life looks dim and that she will not be able to go to college, drive, nor live independently for the rest of her life. She felt despair, hopelessness, and shame from such a young age. She struggled with anxiety, depression, and ADHD ever since she can remember. However, her physical disability and mental health challenges did not stop her. With an incredible amount of resilience and grit, she decided to go after her dreams and graduated from U.C.L.A. with a degree in Psychology, learned how to drive and cook with just her left arm. Angela went to grad school for Speech Pathology but soon realized that her life had a different calling. Angela went on a deep personal development journey and found her passion and purpose in coaching to help others overcome their challenges. She finds life’s truest joys and fulfillment in working with teens and young adults helping them to discover their unique strengths and inner power by taking them on a self-reflective and transformative journey and helping guide them to a life of confidence, fulfillment, and purpose.

Wendy Reynolds

Wendy is well known as a caregiver and an advocate for children and parents of all ages. She has fostered dozens of children and supported five with the transition into adulthood, as well as raising three of her own. She graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelors in Child Development with a minor in Parent Coaching. She has spent her life working as a childcare provider, a foster parent, a behavioral therapist for children on the Autism spectrum, a preschool teacher and home visitor in Head Start, and most recently a case worker with Crisis Nursery. Wendy has training in several different social emotional and developmental curricula. She is deeply aware of the challenges teens and young adults face and aims to be a pillar of the support needed. She believes in empowering youth and parents to build resiliency by working through past trauma while developing goals and building plans to embrace their future. 

Vance Clay

Vance Clay, originally from the Bronx, NY, graduated from Oakwood University and works in logistics with Uber alongside receiving his Mentor Coach Certification with Positive Presence. Some hats he has worn throughout his life include: business owner, deacon, financial advisor and family man. Vance has a passion for helping others which stems from wishing he had a Mentor figure in his life through all the transitional phases. He believes that building rapport with someone who has gone through what one is currently going through or is at where one is striving to be can create an expedited track to success. Vance has overcome many obstacles in his life; one of which is living with a learning disability that creates a disconnect between his thoughts and ability to relay those thoughts on paper. He recognizes that personal development is not linear but rather an everyday journey that allows room for growth and evolvement; and longs to be the person guiding others on that journey.

Positive Presence Corporate Team

Missy Vandenheuvel

Sales Manager


Missy is a revitalized mother of two teenagers who understands the resilience it takes to raise children in the midst of a global pandemic. She is a passionate mentor because she recognizes there isn’t nearly enough support for the overwhelming number of people silently struggling. Her sincere and compassionate personality is what makes her thrive as a coach and a leading member of our company. As our Sales manager she recognized that her role is to listen and learn as much about your child (or yourself) as possible. While listening, I am identifying a mentor coach that I believe your child will not only like based on their personality, but also one who has experienced and overcome similar pain points, and areas of opportunity, optimizing relatability. Ultimately, setting your child up for growth and fulfillment socially, mentally, and physically. 

Favorite Mindfulness Techniques:

My Favorite Mindful technique is to Shifting Thought Patterns by focusing on the Grounding Technique. Starts with a big belly breath in. Then, you tap into your 5 senses, to quickly and effortlessly shift your current focus. Choose a sense- any sense, and count down from 5 (order or senses can be altered): 5 things you see, 4 things you smell, 3 things you feel, 2 things you hear, 1 thing you taste.

A Fun Fact:

 I travel to Florida from Wisconsin 3-4 times a year, and we plan to relocate somewhere with the state in 1.5 years. I’ve been dreaming about this since I first saw the ocean at the age of 14 years old. 

State: Wyoming

Positive Presence Corporate Team

Jessica Waugh

Special Projects Director


Jessica has roughly 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, curating premier wine programs in Las Vegas and developing educational programs for the largest beverage distribution company in North America. In 2022, Jessica altered her focus and is now utilizing her educational, management, and organizational skills to positively impact others on a grander scale. She is now developing multiple modalities focused in emotional intelligence, executive functioning, meta-learning, and positive psychology for struggling teens and young adults.

Favorite Mindfulness Techniques:

Meditating with sound bowls!

A Fun Fact:

I was the architect for my grandmother’s house

State: Nevada

Mira Smith

Mira is a Certified Health & Wellness coach who found her passion in Mentoring which led to obtaining her Mentor-Coach Certification with Positive Presence. She is constantly learning and growing and is in the process of becoming Board Certified on the National level. Mira is based out of southern Louisiana where she has lived for most of her life. Her ability to show empathy and put herself in someone else’s shoes; to listen, understand, and show up in a more impactful way while providing different perspective, is what makes her a phenomenal coach. Mira enjoys taking time to cook new recipes and has found that as not only a creative outlet but also a way to take time for herself. She prides herself in being adaptable, authentic and courageous and intends to help the students she works with grow in those aspects while guiding them on a journey of radical self-love and self-acceptance. Mira believes self-love to be the most valuable gift that we can give to ourselves as well as those around us.

Adam Lavigne

Mira is a Certified Health & Wellness coach who found her passion in Mentoring which led to obtaining her Mentor-Coach Certification with Positive Presence. She is constantly learning and growing and is in the process of becoming Board Certified on the National level. Mira is based out of southern Louisiana where she has lived for most of her life. Her ability to show empathy and put herself in someone else’s shoes; to listen, understand, and show up in a more impactful way while providing different perspective, is what makes her a phenomenal coach. Mira enjoys taking time to cook new recipes and has found that as not only a creative outlet but also a way to take time for herself. She prides herself in being adaptable, authentic and courageous and intends to help the students she works with grow in those aspects while guiding them on a journey of radical self-love and self-acceptance. Mira believes self-love to be the most valuable gift that we can give to ourselves as well as those around us.

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Mark Garland

Mark, originally from Colorado, found his passion for mentoring after a tragic loss for his family; losing his 16 year old nephew to suicide. He believes that mental health support is a necessity for all teens and young adults and strives to be that mentor he wishes he had during his darkest times. Through grieving such a young soul who is no longer with us, it made him want to use that experience, along with other life experiences, to support, connect with and watch the next generation flourish. Mark is part of a men’s group, himself, for accountability in his own life and recognizes the positive impact having that accountability partner can make. As someone who has struggled with addiction and, because of that, made the decision to live an alcohol free life for 8 years and counting; Mark is living proof that it is possible to take control of your life to create the reality you want.

Daniel Fouladian

Daniel Fouladian, an Honors Psychology and Digital Humanities graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, is passionate about helping the next generation of students by using his life experiences and obstacles. Daniel was born deaf and wears a Cochlear Implant on the left side of his head to hear since he was two years old. He understands the significant importance of guidance, self-acceptance, authenticity, and communicating what he needs to achieve his goals. He knows that everyone has the energy to walk their paths and deserves a friend, their lantern, to light their way through the fog on the path. In his free time, he loves playing sports including soccer, basketball, spikeball, and table tennis. In addition, he enjoys expressing his creative side through graphic design and gaming. He believes, he would not be where he is today without his family and friends, therefore, is forever grateful and fortunate.

Robin Vandervest

Robin, based in Wisconsin, has over 18 years of teaching experience and is now building upon her experience as a Mentor-Coach. She has three children and is proud to say she has been there through the high highs and low lows of life alongside them. Robin has taken each of her children on an international trip so they could understand that there are many types of people, culture, and beliefs and they all have something to learn from. She considers herself a dreamer and always aims to uphold integrity as well as show up authentically. Robin wants her students to know that there is nothing they are feeling or thinking that hasn’t been felt by someone else; teenage / young adult years are a time of vulnerability for everyone. She believes that everyone deserves to connect with someone who has had a similar journey and can validate one’s experiences and remind them they will be able to grow and evolve because of it.

Orian Shaer

Orian is an ambitious young adult who graduated high school a year and a half early and now strives to positively contribute to others. She discovered she was passionate about becoming a coach after she personally experienced how impactful a coach can be in someone’s life. She has loved animals since a young age and has spent many years owning and riding horses and became a horse-back-riding instructor to share her love of horses with the younger generations. Orian is an easy-going mentor who approaches coaching from a thoughtful, non-judgmental perspective. She understands what it is like to go through pivotal moments in life and the importance of trusting in oneself, rather than depending on others, during those moments. Orian believes that everyone deserves to have a mentor in life and is excited to share from her own coaching experience.

Becky Wortman

Becky, a mother of 5 and cancer survivor, is an advocate for children and young adults and starts each day with an unstoppable mindset. She grew up in the Foster Care system and wants to give back what she didn’t have; which is love, compassion, acceptance, belonging, empowerment for our future. Becky has served on multiple school boards over the last decade as well as created and implemented a social / emotional learning program for pre-k – 12. Her career shift to obtain her Mentor-Coach Certification was fueled by fulfilling her passions and following her purpose in life. Becky is a phenomenal coach for teens, young adults and parents and vows to treat every family she works with as her own.

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Ryan Cain

Ryan grew up in New York and joined the Coast Guard at 17 years old. After 21 years of traveling the world and living all over the country, he retired to live in Massachusetts with his three children. Ryan earned degrees in Child Development Psychology and School Counseling while serving in the military. He is currently a high school counselor at a vocational high school with a passion for developing the next generation of leaders. As an over-achiever, Ryan understands the pressure and stress involved with trying to be “perfect”. Without a mentor as a teenager, he never learned how to share his feelings properly and always said “everything’s fine”, when it clearly was not. Ryan now strives to empower all teenagers with the knowledge that they have control over their own life. With a combination of good choices, hard work and a positive attitude, everyone has a blueprint for success. In addition to helping others, Ryan has a deep passion for sports, music and movies.

Holly Thornton

Holly Thornton has a dream to help others feel like they are not alone. She is passionate about helping teens and young adults because she has felt misplaced, forgotten, friendless, and alone and believes that nobody should have to bear life’s challenges on their own. Holly is the oldest of 5 girls in her family. Watching her younger sisters grow up with challenges most teens have to face she wanted to make a difference in the world for them. Holly has found joy in music whether it is listening to a song or playing a musical instrument such as the violin or piano. Holly has the heart of a teacher as she loves teaching in her school program that she is currently running for students who have special needs. One way she stays positive is by keeping a gratitude journal and a feelings journal to write down thoughts of feelings and things she is grateful for often. Holly understands that regulating emotions can be difficult and is constantly thinking of ways to help get people to their best version of them, so they too can make a difference and be a friend to someone who has felt friendless and alone. 

Jerusalem Zerihun

Jerusalem Zerihun, a Psychology major at the University of California, Los Angeles, is passionate about mental health and personal development. As a teen who had an opportunity to experience challenges beyond her age and overcame them Jerusalem believes that deep and meaningful change occurs when psychological research and concepts are integrated with life an individual experiences as well as the experiences of others. Through her own personal development and education, Jerusalem discovers techniques that transform her mindset and life, which she hopes to instill in the next generation. Jerusalem believes that with the right mindset everybody can accomplish their goals and live a purposeful and happy life. She also believes that healthy relationships, a sense of direction, and self-love are the ingredients to a satisfying life and she wants to help students strengthen these areas to bring about meaningful change.

Parthiv Ravikumar

Parthiv Ravikumar, a current Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology Graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, is a motivated and committed coach. As a former student of the Positive Presence Mentor coaching program, Parthiv has discovered the self-motivation and determination to reach for all his goals and has developed a true passion towards helping the next generation. His coaching journey has continued to fuel his growth and development while inspiring him to take on new challenges knowing they will only push him further towards success. His amiable and approachable personality makes him an asset to our coaching team here at Positive Presence Global and his drive for excellence will allow him to push his students to unlock their true potential and start their journey through development.

Avery Gillespie

Avery recently graduated from the University of Boulder and landed her dream job as a recruiting salesperson in Denver while achieving her Mentor Coaching Certification with Positive Presence. As a former student of our Founder in our Mentor-Coaching program, Avery aspires to help the next generation understand the importance of self-exploration. The personal development work Avery did, and success she achieved through this program was so impactful, she now strives to provide that same safe space for her own students. Avery enjoys spending time in nature, traveling, and getting active as well as being surrounded by those she loves. She coaches on the importance of resiliency and self-reliance with the ultimate intention of finding intrinsic motivation and self-fulfillment.

Kait Jensen

A former student of Positive Presence, and someone who has struggled with darkness herself, Kait Jensen, felt empowered to inspire students of her own by becoming a Mentor Coach. As someone with a creative mind, and a passion for music and art, Kait allows acceptance of all her feelings and strives to reach a place of peace when struggling with negative emotions. She practices positivity daily by remembering this is all part of the unique human experience. She believes that change starts within one person, and strives to teach her students how powerful their thoughts can be as well as the importance of choosing to operate from a place of love. Kait is confident that through her life experiences she will be able to connect with any teenager and ensure they feel heard, seen and loved no matter where they are at in their own journey.

Elisa Carter

A former student of Positive Presence, Elisa has experienced firsthand the benefit of art therapy. Diagnosed with anxiety and depression at a young age, she struggled in some of the most important areas in her life growing up from middle school and beyond. With an immense passion in art and mental health, she found her purpose in college mastering both of these skillsets for her own personal growth and the betterment of others. A skillful artist, Elisa is in pursuit of her master’s in art education and specializes in anxiety, stress management and behavioral health. She strives to show the world, especially the younger versions of her, the love and empathy that she knows so many deserve. She continues to practice her own mental health awareness through the power of positive reinforcement and self-love. Because of her experience with so many versions of darkness in her past, Elisa has an unwavering commitment to be an uplifting, inspiring role model and bright light to others.


Missy is a revitalized mother of two teenagers who has spent the last 17 years as a teacher. She understands the resilience it takes to raise children in the midst of a global pandemic and is passionate about being a mentor because she recognizes there isn’t nearly enough support for the overwhelming number of people silently struggling. Her sincere and compassionate personality is what makes her thrive as a coach. Missy starts each morning with daily affirmations that she reflects on throughout the day to ensure she is operating from an optimistic mindset. She is a firm believer that everyone deserves to live life as the best version of themselves and strives to help others discover what that life looks like for them.

Cassidy Howser

Cassidy Howser, a first-generation college graduate, received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with a minor in Conflict Analysis and Trauma Studies from Kansas State University. She began her work as a Youth Counselor Supervisor in a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility before transitioning into Case Management. Cassidy has a passion for empowering young women as they navigate the many challenges of adolescent development. Her versatile and innovative coaching style is what makes her stand out as a coach. She utilizes a connection-based, holistic and strengths-focused approach to connect with the students she works with. Cassidy remembers going through her own darkness as a teenager and wants to be that non-judgmental, listening ear that she wishes she had through those pivotal moments of life. 

Bryan Robinson

Bryan is a man on a journey of reinventing and creating the reality he knows he is destined for. He spent 20 years as an Emcee for International DJs, traveling around the world, and decided to shift careers to focus on his purpose. Bryan’s passion and inspiration for helping teens and young adults stems from the lack of support he had growing up. The school system was ill equipped to deal with a misguided “trouble-maker”, such as himself, which led to Bryan dropping out. His success along with diploma came much later in life which is why he is passionate about supporting teens and young adults to set themselves up for success. Bryan found purpose in helping others find their purpose. He stays upbeat and motivated by maintaining a growth mindset and journaling along with being very introspective and intentional day to day. As a mentor coach he wants to be that voice that says “It’s possible. I believe in you. Let’s figure this out.”, while helping others understand how to uncover their true values and use them as a driving force behind the wheel on this journey called life.

Marcos King

Marcos King strives to leave a legacy by supporting multiple generations and providing sound advice, life skills, and strategies for success. He believes that no challenge before him is too daunting when he attacks it with the right perspective, and he hopes to guide his students in learning these perspectives. He has an innate ability to look at life through the lenses of those he mentors – always offering a calming space while working through whatever his students may bring to the session. As a father himself, he understands the importance of leaving room for understanding and forgiveness; an important aspect of growth. Marcos enjoys creating art and believes in that space, there are no mistakes – a belief and mindset he approaches life with.

Field Cate

As a natural leader and the frontman of his band, Fencer, Field Cate strives to be an active advocate for raising mental health awareness through his platform. Being a child actor for over a decade, he recognizes the importance of making one’s mental health a priority and the positive impact that having support systems can provide. Field has overcome many obstacles in his life and in doing so, has grown strong in identifying his feelings and allowing himself to sit with those feelings to better cope rather than reacting in the moment. He believes that he has tools & resources that could be of use for those who are going through similar obstacles and can shed light on what helped him to turn those obstacles into opportunities.

Bret Hawkesworth

Born and raised in Kansas, Bret is a witty mentor who believes that words are powerful and those same words are what creates your reality. Bret has taken time to reflect on his life thus far and recognizes the immense impact a Mentor could have had on him during those transitional phases of life; which is the driving force behind him obtaining his Mentor Coaching Certification. He believes in finding balance in life – when he is investing in his education, working out or spending time with his cheer squad; he likes playing video games. As a male cheerleader, he has had to overcome external judgment and choose to follow what fuels his passions rather than succumbing to others’ opinions. Bret strives to help the students he works with understand the importance of taking control of their life and making decisions today that will positively contribute to their life tomorrow and years to come.

Alex Sarlo

Alex is a proud Korean adoptee living in Phoenix, Arizona. She is an online college student obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Health Science at Grand Canyon University with a Nutrition Certificate from Cornell University. After eight years of playing club, high school, and a year of college volleyball, Alex retired to focus on her well-being. As a teenager, Alex had developed body image issues, struggled with depression and an eating disorder, faced lots of discrimination for being adopted, and has experienced large amounts of racism throughout her lifetime in school, sports, friendships, relationships, clubs, and especially the entertainment industry. Alex is now a proud, working actress and a huge mental health and animal advocate. Her goal is to teach others to love themselves regardless of what race they are or how they look. Alex is not afraid to vocalize her opinion on uncomfortable or controversial topics when deemed necessary. Between the growing harsh realities of societal standards becoming more impossible to live up to and the toxicity of social media, she is all about pushing self-love, compassion, positivity, and everything mental health while finding peace within yourself. Alex is very grateful to be a part of Positive Presence and is excited to help and support others through their journey!

Brooklyn Shearer

Brooklyn found her drive to become a mentor after she graduated high school and began taking courses at Southern Utah University. Having gone through this coaching journey herself; she witnessed first-hand the positive impact a mentor can have on someone. She is passionate about helping teens and young adults because during much of her junior high and high school experience she personally struggled a lot with a myriad of things such as anxiety, depression and relationships with herself and others. Through those struggles Brooklyn was able to learn coping skills to lessen the weight of these day-to-day struggles. She believes the skills she utilizes could aid another teenager who is currently facing some of the hardships she has overcome. Brooklyn finds joy when working out, taking care of her plants and being involved with her community theater. She aims to aid her students with identifying what brings them authentic joy as she has learned the importance of creating joy for herself rather than depending on others.

Alek Platt

Alek Platt, a medical imaging engineer, 20-year veteran, and single father of two teens, brings a lifetime of experiences to the table. Traveling the world with the Air National Guard and leading missions without precedent, Alek quickly learned the value of effective communication, the lessons within mistakes, and the impact of compassion. Discovering the importance of boundaries and self-love in his darkest moments Alek viscerally understands the dynamics of abusive relationships and the process of trauma recovery. Raising two teens himself, he understands the importance of education evolvement, and wants our communities to grow from history instead of repeat it. He believes impactful education is missing from traditional schools and strives to be a part of the solution in course correcting this ongoing nationwide issue. Being a well-spring of enthusiasm, creativity, and knowledge Alek’s approach to mentor coaching is an adventure of self-discovery with lots of laughter, tears, and positive introspection.

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E'lan Riter

E’lan, a name that means “enthusiastic spirit”, graduated college in Agricultural Economics and formerly worked in the real estate industry. Her roots in California, Montana, and Alabama as well as her many travels have given her a curious and explorative perspective of the world.  She is currently preparing for a 2,650-mile trek on the Pacific Crest Trail to fulfill one of her life-long goals.

As a former student of the Positive Presence Mentor Coaching program, she has learned to use every challenge as an opportunity for growth and to live intentionally. E’lan has found fortitude within herself and challenges her students to find and utilize their unique qualities in day-to-day life. She believes that the only thing you can control is yourself and empowers students to put their best foot forward no matter the situation. Her empathetic, down-to-earth personality guides self-reflective conversations and intentional work.

Michelle Marie King

Michelle Marie King is the premier Confidence Coach for teenagers, young adults and young entrepreneurs across the globe. She founded Positive Presence Global – the largest confidence coaching company in North America – and has helped people worldwide find their confidence in all aspects of their life. Michelle’s engaging and energetic personality coupled with her ability to motivate has distinguished her as a personal development trailblazer.

In her career as a model, philanthropist, emcee, entrepreneur, spokesperson and public speaker, Michelle has appeared on radio, television, billboards and print in over 15 different states for her community efforts and her ongoing business ventures.

I’m excited to connect with you! Please expect an intro text from 720-584-1162.


Communications Specialist