From Survive to Thrive: A New Paradigm for Well-Being and Development

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, youth mental health has reached a crisis level—and so have the demands placed on higher ed student services professionals. The individual and collective exhaustion that most of these dedicated professionals experience can feel unrelenting because many have been told (and trained) to believe that the best way to support students is to give them most, if not all, of their time, resources, and energy.

An unconscious question often plays in these professionals' heads: How can I devote everything I possibly can to my students and also prioritize my own well-being?

Psychologist and youth empowerment expert, Dr. June Parks, understands this dilemma well and specializes in showing higher ed student services professionals how to intentionally and consistently attend to themselves while not losing sight of their students’ needs. In this empowering keynote, she presents audiences with an approach to well-being that facilitates balance, grit, and mindfulness for students, campus communities, and the student services professionals who support them.

By the end of the keynote, audience members will be able to:

  • Adopt a possibility-centered mindset that allows them to tap into their creativity, expand their imagination, and uncover new ideas
  • Ask thought-provoking, open-ended questions of themselves and their students that broaden their understanding and make space for opportunities
  • Give themselves permission to acknowledge how they are feeling, set boundaries, take time to care for themselves, and advocate for the help that they deserve

Reimagining Student Resilience: What Young People Really Need From Us

As a higher education student services professional (e.g., student affairs, student development, student wellness), every day you are tasked with overseeing the social, emotional, and mental well-being of your students. Whether you are supporting students to navigate anticipated challenges or to survive and grow through crises, you know your work is rooted in helping students develop resilience.

But what if the way you’ve been taught to cultivate student resilience is actually getting in the way of fostering true student flourishment? 

In this heartfelt, provocative keynote, psychologist and youth empowerment expert, Dr. June Parks, reveals what is missing in most mental health approaches to youth development, why the way many of us think about resilience can be harmful to students (particularly students of color), and how to ensure your students succeed in school and beyond.

By the end of the keynote, audience members will be able to:

  • Redefine "student resilience" to improve student support services and enhance student outcomes
  • Illuminate individual and institutional blind spots that interfere with student services professionals' ability to effectively connect with students
  • Explore how to create a “resilience environment” to empower students to obtain solutions to their challenges
  • Demystify why students who appear to lack resilience may actually be demonstrating an ideal type of resilience that ultimately leads to their success

To book Dr. June Parks to keynote (or, to adapt her signature presentations into an interactive workshop), contact us with your name, organization, and event details.


  • Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors
  • NASPA, Student Affairs Administators in Higher Education
  • The University of Chicago
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Michigan College Access Network
  • The National Child Trauma Stress Network
  • Changing Higher Ed Podcast
  • The Kedzie Center
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

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