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Belonging Workshop facilitator
former foster youth, childhood trauma, lived experience
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I am on a mission to erase the belonging gap for youth with adverse backgrounds

I help professionals and adults who serve youth with adverse backgrounds understand belonging, identify the gaps in belonging, and erase them so their youth can heal and reach their full potential.

You’re looking for a speaker that doesn’t just share inspirational stories, because being inspired is an emotion, and emotions are constantly changing.

You want your attendees to have something to take away from this experience.

You want....

Inspiration + Application



Wow is where I share my stories and life experience. One of the things that I believe sets me apart as a speaker is the ability to share my thoughts, emotions, and feelings from the stories that I share.

This is where most inspirational and motivational speakers stop.



"How" is all about connecting my story to the material and research related to belonging. During this portion of my talk, I transition from the first-person perspective and how it applies to the audience members and those they know.

This is where most academic speakers stop. 



Now is all about what immediate application looks like. My desire is for the audience to have clear next steps when walking away from my presentation. This allows for the emotions felt following a presentation to be utilized in action.


That is where meaningful change is formed.

Available Speeches

Keynote Topics

This Moment

I've come to learn and believe the difference between becoming whom you were meant to be and never reaching your potential is just a few moments. I know this is true from lived experience, and the same is true for the youth with adverse backgrounds that you serve.  And because that is true, we need to focus on "this moment" as we care for and serve adverse populations. In this talk, I share how the CARE acronym is a way that we can seize each moment for the betterment of those we serve. 


For: Professionals who work with youth with adverse backgrounds (teachers, coaches, social workers, physicians, officers, therapists, etc.)


Takeaway: New perspective and value of each moment and interaction with the youth they serve. The CARE acronym and four specific ways to help youth seize moments in their own life. It will lead to greater empathy and understanding, as well as ownership of the role you play in the lives of others.

30 min- 2 hrs. | Remote or In-person

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Courage to Overreact

I share specific stories from my life related to how adverse childhood experiences can force you into a harmful and destructive view of life. At a pivotal crossroad in my life, my expectations, habits, and pessimism were taking over before someone's courage changed it all/


Primary Audience: Adults and Professionals who work with youth with adverse backgrounds. 


Takeaway: A small gesture of kindness or love could be all it takes to change the worldview of a youth who has experienced adversity. And we may only have one opportunity to make that difference. It will inspire professionals to step into their role in the lives of youth fully. They will be encouraged and inspired to be the difference they hope to see.

 30 min- 2 hrs. | Remote or In-person


Fire Followers

I discuss adversity and its original purpose in our lives. This specific talk discusses the importance of perspective when it comes to adversity. I share my personal experience and life story in tandem with a beautiful flower whose purpose is wrapped in adversity as well. I make the connection that our true purpose and potential lie on the other side of our hardest battles.


Primary Audience: Youth, Athletes, and Professionals who experience adversity


Takeaway: A new approach toward adversity and inspiration to embrace difficult things. Understanding that the unclaimed benefits of adversity are not lost, but can be realized through the renewed perspective of the things that challenge us. 

30 min- 2 hrs. | Remote or In-person

You aren’t simply searching for the speaker with the “greatest” story and experience, but for a speaker that can help you navigate your own experiences. You may not have used the specific language, but you've seen the impact lack of belonging has on your community, families, and youth. I know the feelings of isolation, inadequacy, helplessness, and hopelessness that are outcomes of the belonging gap. Let's take back our youth's future by erasing the belonging gap!

Champion belonging so that our youth's futures' are not defined by a past they couldn't control


Champion belonging to create positive childhood experiences to counteract the adverse ones

Champion belonging to erase the belonging gap

One talk not enough? Book a call to discuss workshops and consulting!

With a background in youth mentoring, curriculum development, and advocacy coaching, I am able to package comprehensive plans together for partners that are committed to the long haul. Is that you?

“Gaelin is such a gifted presenter and facilitator. He has so much practical wisdom that goes beyond his years. His calling is being up front and leading.”


"This was my second time listening to Gaelin talk, and I LOVED listening, as well as his topic. He is something that I hope to bring back to my school district to continue working together."

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