Featured Speakers

Ty Sells

Not just a speaker, Ty brings over thirty years of experience in drug prevention and community services. He is a “product” of the Youth to Youth high school program, and spent years during and after college working directly with youth in its’ local program. Ty is known across the country for his charisma, humor, and leadership. He has developed a number of trainings, workshops, and presentations for both youth and adults to address the many complex issues that confront today’s young people.

Meet Ty Sells

Recognized as an individual who cares deeply for the well being of youth, Ty is known for his charisma and leadership. Not just a speaker, Ty brings over twenty two years of experience in drug prevention and community service, and youth development. Ty is an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist II. He received his BA in Communication from The Ohio State University and is currently the Director of Training for Youth to Youth International in Columbus, Ohio. In 2012, Ty was awarded the “Prevention Innovator of the Year” Award by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (formerly ODADAS) for his development of creative prevention trainings and consultation with schools and organizations across the state. While working closely with the youth, he has gained first- hand knowledge of the joys and challenges of being young today. Ty has developed a number of trainings, workshops, and presentations for both youth and adults to address the many complex issues that confront today’s young people.



Stage Introduction

Ty Sells is an individual who cares deeply for the well being of youth.   He is a graduate of the Ohio State University and works for the drug prevention/ youth leadership program, Youth to Youth International. He has spoken at hundreds of school assemblies and presented conference keynotes throughout the world, including every state in the U.S., Germany, Japan, Canada, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and Italy. Now he will be sharing his message with us. Please give a warm welcome to Mr. Ty Sells.


The Power of Acceptance (Keynote)

Ty’s primary presentation, The Power of Acceptance is a fun, youth- oriented presentation that challenges young people to make positive choices in regard to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.  The presentation is focused on the positive side of being drug free as opposed to the negative consequences of choosing to use. It also challenges students to examine the way they treat others who are “different” from them. Along with making the audience laugh as they learn, this presentation makes five core points:

  • It is perfectly acceptable to make the choice to stay or become drug free
  • The way we treat others can influence the choices that they make
  • Cool always changes
  • Knowledge isn’t power, it’s potential power
  • It’s what we DO with the things we learn where the true power lies.

The speech is appropriate for middle and high school students and is proven to make an impact in the minds of young people and leaves a lasting impression long after the presentation is over.




Showing Up! Growing Up! Blowing Up! (Keynote)

Many people believe that we are entitled to happiness. Still others caution we are entitled to the “pursuit of happiness.” But what if happiness isn’t at the end of some great quest? What if it can be found in each of us and all we have to do is choose it? By having the right attitude, taking the right risks, being present, focusing on others, and finding purpose we choose happiness and fulfillment. This presentation is as fun as it is fascinating, relatable and thought- provoking, as it challenges young people to take accountability for themselves, the people they care about and the world in which they live.



This presentation is ideal for all of the service learning professionals, who take very seriously, the idea of involving young people in their programs. In an interactive and exciting way, participants will learn practical and proven ways to engage and connect with teens. All coalition builders know the value of having young people involved in impacting a community. We must take the time to learn how to inspire those young people. Quality, accurate, relevant information isn’t enough to inspire students to learn. Adults must first establish a connection with their young people before knowledge can be shared. Not just for beginners, this course is for any adult who works with young people. Participants will learn new ideas and techniques, but they will also remember things they have forgotten. It has been said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Making a connection, letting a young person know you care, is the quickest way to get them “ready.”   Once they are “ready”, there is no limit to what they can accomplish.

Learning objectives include: learning how to create an environment conducive to creating connections, the 5 key principles to be more effective with youth, working with youth without suffering burn out, practical techniques to inspire youth, and examining attitudes toward young people.

Creating Connections that Count can also be tailored to parents of adolescents helping them learn ways to connect positively with their own children.


JN9A5199TENspiration: The Attitude to Change Your World (WORKSHOP)

An autistic student in New York scores 20 points in a varsity basketball game on senior night. A Chinese man stands in front of three tanks in Tiananmen because he believes he is right and his government is wrong. A teacher in a tough school district motivates her students to achieve beyond their wildest dreams. These are all true stories, all memorable, all inspirational. None were an accident. Inspirational moments aren’t some fluke that happen every now and again. They are the result of many people making anonymous choices, just because they are the right things to do. No one in this world gets anywhere without being challenged and inspired by someone else, and we all inspire others without even knowing it. The dictionary gives 5 definitions of inspiration, but each of them calls for an action. As leaders, if we truly want to inspire others, we must stimulate thought and provoke action.


iMatter (WORKSHOP)

It’s been said the key to a successful relationship is to put the wants and needs of your partner ahead of your own. At first this advice seems to make sense in friendships and even romantic relationships. But if we are always concerned about the wants and needs of others when do we take time to figure out our own boundaries and values? The “imatter” workshop does just that. This workshop will provide young people the opportunity to examine what is really important to them, what they value, and what they would never compromise. They will also look at who do they turn to for advice on relationships and if that person is the best choice. Finally, participants will learn before they can have a successful relationship with someone else they must first have one with themselves.



Leadership is a talent that is valued in all aspects of life. Sports teams, companies, governments and religions all are in search of people with an ability to lead. We are all waiting and clamoring for the next “Great Leader.” Stop waiting! This workshop will help you to enhance the qualities present in each of us that can help us to be our own “Great Leader.” It will also advance the understanding that leadership is more about service, than credit. As Ledru-Rollins once said “I’ve got to follow them; I am their Leader.”


Clearing the Air (WORKSHOP)

Marijuana use is on the rise with high school students across the United States. This increase is often attributed to a lowered perception of risk. Young people think smoking pot is “no big deal” or even “safe”. Much of what they believe is based on myths and organized talking points they have heard from their friends, pro-legalization forces and even the media. While there are countless ways for students to find accurate information, there are just as many places to find misinformation. This workshop will examine strategies to get behind the smoke screen and engage youth in a conversation about marijuana. A conversation that is free of preaching and politics, but full of the relevant facts to assist youth in making their own healthier decisions.

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