Teen Talk 2017

October 27 | Drake University, Des Moines

Join us for a day of fun activities, informative workshops, with new friends and fun prizes! This event is free and open to all middle and high school students in central Iowa. It is from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Sign up today!



photo1Primary Health Care is hosting Teen Talk, a health education program aimed at high school and middle school aged teens. The event will be held at The Olmsted Center on the Drake University campus, on Friday, October 27, 2017.

Des Moines Public Schools does not have school in session on this date. Teen Talk will provide a safe environment for kids to feel comfortable, learn and ask questions about a variety of topics.

Break-out sessions include uncovering your strengths, a fun art activity, LGBTQ issues, healthy relationships, birth control and safe sex, human trafficking, opioid addiction and other pertinent topics to today’s teens. Sessions will be led by guest speakers, experts and educators in their specific fields. Tommy Ross will join us for the keynote speech at the end of the day. Tommy is an energetic and fun motivational speaker who really has a way with reaching out to teens and kids.  All students are welcome! Kids do not have to be a DMPS student to attend.

If you know of an at risk teen that could benefit from being in a safe place on a day off from school, learn a little along the way, have a healthy, complimentary lunch – please note this event on your calendar and encourage them to attend! Fun prizes will also be given away throughout the day.


Click on the plus sign (+) to read more about the sessions.

TommieTommie Clark joined KCCI news in July of 2016 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. She was raised in Waukee and graduated from Iowa State University in 2015. In school she held an executive leadership position with ISUtv and was the editor-in-chief of a campus magazine, among other involvements.

After graduating she accepted a position as a multimedia journalist at KTIV in Sioux City. Along with reporting in the tri-state area of Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa, Tommie also anchored and produced newscasts.

When she’s not working, Tommie enjoys spending time with her family, including her dogs Lucy and Lilly. Tommie says the biggest reason she got into the field of journalism is because she wants to give people a voice.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: The Antidote for High Stress (10:10 am & 11:10 am)

Have you ever tried to stay calm but lost it in the face of pressure? Have you ever over-reacted to a situation only to regret it later? If we’re so smart, why do these things happen to us? Learn tips to help you tame your brain in times of stress and high emotion.


JordanJordan Selha is a trainer and leadership consultant for organizations that do good in the world.  In addition to his consulting work, Jordan teaches Social Psychology and other Sociology courses to students who think he is “smart, but a bit corny”. Jordan is also a freelance graphic artist, photographer, father of two (shih tzus), and a loyal servant to a cat named Haiku. In 2006 and again in 2014, he was named the best uncle by the World Nephew Foundation.


Presenters from Teens Against Human Trafficking will introduce you to human trafficking in Iowa, with a focus on the youth perspective. Through stories, participants will learn about the process of recruitment, grooming, and control and what indicators may point to human trafficking. You will also learn what risk factors make students more vulnerable to trafficking. Finally, speakers will describe efforts to prevent human trafficking and identify victims in our schools and what student-led ‘Teens Against Human Trafficking’ clubs are doing across the state.


Shannon SchottShannon Schott is the Lead Program Specialist for Teens Against Human Trafficking, a program of YSS. Shannon obtained her Bachelor’s Degree at the College of Saint Benedict in Central Minnesota, and participated in volunteer opportunities through the college with Breaking Free, a survivor-led anti-trafficking agency in the Twin Cities. She became passionate about combatting human trafficking and participated in a variety of awareness efforts on her campus. Shannon has professional experience in a variety of topics in the prevention field, including campus sexual assault, substance abuse, and human trafficking prevention, with an emphasis on student-led work. Shannon joined the Teens Against Human Trafficking team in July, 2016 and has educated youth, adults, and professionals across the state.

DO MY PARENTS HAVE TO KNOW? (10:10 am & 11:10 am)

Are there some things you’d like to talk to your doctor about but you’re afraid your parents will find out? Did you know there are certain medical services you can receive on your own? Learn what medical care you can receive on your own and what your health care rights are as a teen.


JulieJulie currently serves as the Preventive Services Testing Manager with Iowa Primary Care Association assisting community health centers in Iowa in a variety of programs associated with preventive care. She previously served as the program director for a Title X Family Planning Clinic, serving Polk and Dallas counties in Iowa. Her most recent work include: Integrated HPV provider training; Adolescent and Young Adult Healthcare; Increasing LARC (long-acting reversible contraceptives); and Collection of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Ms. Baker is a native Iowan and received her undergraduate degrees in Human Services and Psychology from Buena Vista University and her Master’s in Public Administration from Drake University. She is also a certified Family Team Meeting Facilitator; Mediator; and Family Support Supervisor. She has completed the Great Plains Public Health Institute; University of Nebraska – Lincoln, College of Public Health and is currently participating in the Community Health Center Executive Fellowship through the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Opioids and Substance Abuse: What You Need to Know (10:10 am & 11:10 am)

Opioids and Substance Abuse: What You Need to Know

Do you know someone that drinks too much, smokes and is abusing prescription medication. New drugs and drug use trends often burst on the scene rapidly. Unfortunately, we are seeing this with the opioid epidemic. Drug abuse affects schools, families, neighborhoods, the workplace and has become a nationwide problem. On the July 18th, 2017 opioids tragically took the nation’s youngest victim, age 10.


BrianHello my name is Brian Atkinson and I work full time for the Army Reserve 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC) out of Fort Des Moines. At the 103rd ESC I am an Employee Assistance Program Coordination (EAPC). My job is to help Soldiers and their Families help themselves through life’s stressors to include drugs and alcohol. I am also a Soldier in the Iowa Army National Guard (IANG). In the Guard I am a Religious Affairs NCO. I assist the Commander and Chaplain in providing for free exercise of religion and providing religious, moral and ethical leadership. Nurture the living, Care for the wounded, and Honor the Dead. What I do is not by accident, but a calling. Growing up in a home with an alcoholic Dad that was mentally and physical abusive came with many challenges. It is my life’s work to help those that are dealing with substance abuse issues and to walk with the family members that are effected.

Resiliency, the ability to bounce back!!

STRENGTHFINDER: Don’t Judge A Fish By It’s Ability to Climb A Tree (1:00 pm & 2:10 pm)

The big game is over and you scored a ton of points. But there was that one play that didn’t go so well and everyone knows it was your fault. Which do you focus on? Many of us spend our time trying to make improvements to things we don’t do well. Research shows, however, that our time is better spent focusing on our strengths. What are your top strengths and what can you do to improve them?


JordanJordan Selha is a trainer and leadership consultant for organizations that do good in the world.  In addition to his consulting work, Jordan teaches Social Psychology and other Sociology courses to students who think he is “smart, but a bit corny”. Jordan is also a freelance graphic artist, photographer, father of two (shih tzus), and a loyal servant to a cat named Haiku. In 2006 and again in 2014, he was named the best uncle by the World Nephew Foundation.

RELATIONSHIPS: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. (1:00 pm & 2:10 pm)

Being a teen isn’t easy. The relationships we create with others (family, friends, and significant others) can often be very stressful. Spotting the characteristics to determine if your relationship are healthy, is key. Learn techniques to make your current relationships healthier, or determine if they cannot be fixed, and when it is time to walk away.



AnnieAnnie Steil, LISW: I am currently employed at Primary Health Care, Mercy, as a Behavioral Health Specialist. Prior to that position I have been employed with: Cornerstone Recovery in Ankeny, Children and Families of Iowa, Child Guidance Center, and Employee and Family Resources. The bulk of my clientele have been in the areas of children, teens and families.

#ARTFORCESTRONG (1:00 pm & 2:10 pm)

When things get hard, always make art. In this session, we will explore how you can use your art for social justice and learn more about how you can get involved with youth-led programming at ArtForce Iowa.


ChristineChristine Her is a singer, songwriter and performer native to Des Moines. After graduating from Drake University with a BA in Creative Writing, she began working at the Office of API Affairs with DHS where she helped provide free legal assistance to hundreds of refugees. She has experience with consumer marketing, writing and editing, curating content, community advocacy, and positive youth development. She now serves as the Executive Director of ArtForce Iowa.

ArtForce Iowa seeks to offer the most at-risk youth in the community a supportive environment where art rules. All programs are based on a three force model: art force, life force, work force. The model incorporates life and work skills, mentorship, and advocacy into the art of creative expression.

ANATOMY OF AN ALLY: What Goes in to Being an Awesome Ally to the LGBTQ Community (1:00 pm & 2:10 pm)

Being an ally is not a spectator sport. Now more than ever, the LGBTQ community needs you to speak up against bullying, homophobia, and transphobia. Learn how to handle tough conversations, show you’re support, and be an amazing ally in your school.


BeckyBecky Smith is the Iowa GSA Network Coordinator for Iowa Safe Schools. She received her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa, and has always had a passion for student voice and activism. Becky is fired up about LGBTQ student issues, and believes in the importance of empowering students to create change in their community.


We close our event with some inspirational words from our keynote speaker.



Tommy Ross is the lead pastor at Destiny Christian Church, and a coordinator at Polk County Community Partnerships for Protecting Children. He is an inspirational teacher with a leader’s mind and a servant’s heart.

This is event is a courtesy of Primary Health Care, Inc. as an available community activity and opportunity. This does not constitute any endorsement or sponsorship by any school district or by the event venue.