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.


Registration for Teen Talk 2018 has closed and the event is at capacity. While we would love to accommodate everyone that would like to attend, we are unable to accept more registrations at this time.

For session information, please click here or scroll down to below.


2500 Fleur Dr, Des Moines, IA 50321



Click on the titles below to for a brief descriptions of each sessions.

How To Be An Awesome Ally (AM)

How can you be a great ally to LGBTQ students at your school? Participants will learn in this interactive workshop how to show up for and speak out with LGBTQ students, making sure that every student has a safe space in school.


Becky Smith (She/Her/Hers) is the Director of Youth Engagement for Iowa Safe Schools. Becky brings with her a wealth of experience working with LGBTQ* young people, and is excited to share her knowledge on GSA organizing, youth advocacy, and intersectionality.

Yoga, mindfulness and stress reduction (AM)

50 minute session of : Deep breathing exercises (with essential oils), Mindfulness through listening/movement, Affirmations for healthy happy living, Stretches and postures that are intended to invigorate your body, Postures that are intended to calm and relax your mind and body, Guided Relaxation


Elissa Cirignotta is a writer, teacher and world traveler. When she’s not teaching or practicing yoga in Des Moines, Portland or Sicily, you can find her growing plants, planning trips and writing stories. She founded Happy Mindful People; for more information, visit: happymindfulpeople.com.

Do My Parent's Have To Know? (AM)

Looking for help, and not ready to talk to your parents? This session will cover confidential health care services teens can access without the consent of their parents.


Rebecca Goldsmith works at the Iowa Department of Public Health on youth development initiatives. She has worked there for five and a half years. Through her work, she strives for every young person to live a healthy and successful life.  Rebecca also volunteers with young adults as a co-coach for Girls on the Run.  Rebecca’s hobbies outside of work include running her edible cookie dough business, following her favorite Youtube vloggers and playing with her two bengal cats, Sherman and Paisley.

Is Snapchat dangerous? Human Trafficking and Social Media (AM)


Everyone we know uses social media, so how could it ever be dangerous? Teens Against Human Trafficking will teach participants how to identify the role that social media plays in human trafficking and strategies for staying safe when using the internet.


Mary Kate Leister is a Program Specialist with Teens Against Human Trafficking. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Loras College and is currently working on her master’s degree in social work at the University of Missouri (Go Tigers!). Before joining the Teens Against Human Trafficking team at YSS, she worked with homeless youth in the Des Moines area with Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (also a YSS program). She is passionate about ending human trafficking and enjoys teaching others about the issue. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and Starbucks.


What would you do? Substance use in your school.


Join Kathy Warren and Elizabeth Patten to talk about what the opiate epidemic and substance use. This session will include interactive activities including a  jeopardy game with the chance to win some awesome prizes and role-playing scenarios where you will get to talk through what you would do if you find out a friend is having trouble with drugs or alcohol.


Elizabeth Patten BSW received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Augsburg University and is working towards her masters in social work at the University of Iowa. Patten has more than six years of experience working in the field of social work. She currently works for Iowa Homeless Youth Centers as the Program Manager of the Youth Opportunity Center which includes the Street Outreach and Emergency Bed programs.

Kathy Warren, LISW, CADC, is the Behavioral Health Program Director for Primary Health Care, Inc.  Warren received her BA in Psychology and Art from Luther College in 2005 and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Iowa in 2012.  She brings more than 9 years of experience working with individuals on both in-patient and out-patient basis with behavioral health issues including substance use, developmental disabilities, domestic violence and mental health. In her free time, she enjoys painting and scuba diving!  Her hobbies include baking bread, cooking new foods, and traveling in the USA and abroad with her family.




Let's draw about it - Using art to combat depression (PM)


Sometimes when you don’t feel like talking, drawing can help. In this interactive session, our presenters will talk about the signs and symptoms of depression, and how you can use art as therapy to express your thoughts and feelings. You will walk away with information about how to identify depression in yourself and others and resources to reach out for help.


Marcia Bradley has a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy and has worked with children and families in the Des Moines area since 1996.

Maria Savaidis is a licensed mental health counselor and has provided in home family therapy as well as therapy in a school setting. Maria has worked with children, teens, and families in the Des Moines area since 2011.

Taste Test - Finding foods that make you feel good (PM)


After a long day at school, you come home and want a snack. In this session, explore what makes food fun and enjoyable—textures, flavors, smells. Lyn will lead participants through answering the question, how does this food make me feel? Energized, tired, happy etc.? Then we will search for ways to make choices that are good for you and taste good to you. During this interactive session, you will use all of your senses, including trying some snacks that are just as tasty as they are healthy.


Lyn Jenkins MPH is the Community Health 5210 Coordinator with HCI/VNS. Lyn supports school and community health by addressing the policies, systems, and environments that can help make the healthy choice the easier choice for children and families. She has coordinated and led health education programs through the Iowa Nutrition Network School Grant Program with children, families, and community members in hundreds of in-school and out-of-school settings focusing on increasing health behaviors like eating more fruits and vegetables and getting active every day. Lyn has created nutrition and physical activity lessons and curriculum with the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health. She has degrees in Human Services and Public Health and takes a special interest in the interplay of health and education for children and families.

#MeToo (PM)

Session info coming soon


Click on the titles below to for a brief descriptions of the keynote speakers.

Liz Nead (Morning)

Liz is an adventure speaker, most recently climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and flipping 300-pound tires in the Iowa Strongman Games. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and has authored several best-selling books—Curry Up, The 180 Life, the 100-Day Journey and 20 Beautiful Women. Her work has been ranked in BuzzFeed and reviewed by the Huffington Post. She is a skilled story-teller and teacher, creating powerful personal development and team building strategies.

Tommy Ross (afternoon)

More information coming soon!


8:30 – 9:30

9:30 – 10:00
Morning Opener

10:05 – 10:55
Morning Breakout 1

10:55 – 11:05

11:05 – 11:55
Morning Breakout 2

11:55 – 12:30

12:35 – 1:25
Afternoon Breakout 1

1:30 – 2:25
Afternoon Breakout 2

2:25 – 3:00

Afternoon Keynote



Primary 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 University of Iowa Des Moines campus (formerly the AIB campus).

Information about speakers and break-out sessions are available here.

** 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.

Contact Kelly Marble (515) 248-1843