El Paso Area Education Service Center Region 19 logo

El Paso Area Region 19

Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives Summit​

February 9, 2024

Annual Summit

You are invited to attend!

We welcome you to attend our annual Summit! Join us on Friday, February 9th as we hear Allison Edwards present The Emotional Effects of Social Media. As in years past, you will also be given an opportunity to shop at the NCYI Resource Fair online. See below for more details.

This Summit will be hosted at two different locations:

The EPADOG district administrators will be notifying their counselors of their scheduled time/location. 

With grateful appreciation to Jasper High School for hosting the Summit!

Sponsored By

Featured Presenter

Allison Edwards headshot

Allison Edwards

Allison Edwards LPC, RPT is an affiliate professor in the Human Development Counseling department at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of numerous books including Worry Says What? and Flooded: A Brain-Based Guide to Help Children Regulate Emotions. Allison received her graduate degree in Counseling from Vanderbilt University and is a National Certified Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Registered Play Therapist. Allison has over 20 years experience working as a school teacher, school counselor, child/adolescent psychotherapist, and educational consultant to schools throughout the country.

Allison travels both nationally and internationally training professionals in the areas of empowering anxious children in the classroom, managing the emotional needs of students, recognizing the social/emotional needs of gifted students, and sharing how educators can talk to parents about student anxiety. Allison helps school leaders understand how social/emotional differences can be supported in their neurologically diverse student populations, and provides consultation and staff development on how to effectively improve emotion regulation in the classroom.

The Emotional Effects of Social Media

Social media is proven to increase anxiety and depression, yet 92% of all teens have social media accounts and 45% say it’s the primary way they connect to peers. Learn why the adolescent brain is more reactive to social media and how dopamine causes addictive behaviors that impair the lives of today’s teenagers. Counselors will leave with effective strategies to help teens make better choices, manage their time, and connect with peers in positive ways.

When you throw a stone into a pond, sometimes it simply sinks—“plop”. However, if thrown just right, the rock skips. Instead of the singular “plop”, the skipping rock reaches more water, leaving ripples on the surface – and this energy changes the entire pond. As educators, we throw the stone. In this dynamic opening session, educators will learn simple ways we create ripples in the school setting that positively impact the students we serve.

Even the most rational teachers and parents get into power struggles from time to time. In this active session, participants will gain a better understanding of how power struggles occur, and learn the best strategies for avoiding them. This information is applicable PK through adulthood on all levels (dealing with behaviors of students, parents, co-workers, administrators, family members…).

Click title to expand for the session description


Julia Cooke headshot

Julia Cook

Kevin Yaudes headshot

Dr. Kevin Yaudes

Meghan Goldbeck headshot

Megan Goldbeck

Ferguson Brooke headshot

Brooke Ferguson

Books That Make a Positive Difference

Julia Cook

Room: Cypress

In Julia’s presentation, Books That Make a Positive Difference, she leads an entertaining discussion on the use of storybooks to offer children and adults a fun way to learn important people skills. Teach your students to become lifelong problem solvers! Julia will demonstrate humorous and effective ways to use books on such subjects as anger control, grief, following instructions, tattling, bullying, personal space, interrupting, and personal safety. The writing and publishing process will also be explained – learn to become a published author!

Introduction to Supporting Those At-Risk

Megan Goldbeck

Room: Exhibit Hall B

Megan Goldbeck will share a presentation that provides introductory information on how to support someone with lived experience. Participants who are interested in learning the basics of supporting someone with lived experience will learn what research tells us about suicide and understand the process of recovery and the complex effects that a suicidal crisis can have on a family or support system. Participants will learn strategies for helping to support someone with lived experience, as well as relevant resources.



Meghan Goldbeck is the Executive Director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Louisiana and Mississippi Chapters. Meghan has had a career in the nonprofit sector for over a decade and is a strong advocate for mental health and suicide prevention in her community. She received a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is currently working on obtaining a master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from Louisiana State University Shreveport. She is certified in Mental Health First Aid and safeTALK. Meghan lives in suburban New Orleans with her husband and three rescue dogs, Indiana, Reese, and Archie.

Talk Saves Lives

Dr. Kevin Yaudes

Room: Exhibit Hall A

Dr. Keving Yaudes provides participants with a clear understanding of this leading cause of death, including the most up-to-date research on suicide prevention, and what they can do in their communities to save lives. Participants will learn common risk factors and warning signs associated with suicide, and how to keep themselves and others safe.



Dr. Kevin Yaudes has a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and a doctorate in Cognitive Science. He teaches psychology at the undergraduate level and counseling at the graduate level at McNeese State University. As the Assistant Department Head for the Department of Psychology & Counseling, he has clinical responsibility for the Applied Behavioral Analysis and Counseling programs within the department. He is directly responsibility for the Kay Doré Counseling Clinic (KDCC) at McNeese which is a community counseling clinic with the Department. The clinic provides counseling services to individuals in Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) and serves as a placement site for students in the counseling program at McNeese. KDCC has an established collaboration with Sam Houston High School (SHHS) in Moss Bluff, Louisiana and because of this he came to see the need for a consistent and sustained effort to address suicide in SWLA. He created a Suicide Prevention and Education Program within KDCC and through this KDCC provides services and support to SHHS, conducts professional and educational presentations regarding suicide, has trained all K-12 educators on QPR (an evidence-based suicide prevention training), and conducts research on the topic of suicide. To date, KDCC has trained over 4000 people in SWLA on QPR. Dr. Yaudes is the current Mental Health Content Expert for the University of Louisiana System and through this has created a Mental Health Advisory Council consisting of two individuals from each of the System’s 9 member universities. Each university will also establish a Mental Health Advisory Council on their campus. This is being piloted at McNeese. He serves on the boards of a number of local behavioral health clinics, serves on the state board for the America Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and is a member of two suicide prevention coalitions. Dr. Yaudes has chaired the Lake Charles Out of the Darkness Walk for AFSP for the past four years and believes that addressing suicide prevention is a way to identify the challenges and needs of local, state, and national mental health systems in general.

Age-Related Trends in Grief Among Students: Supporting Students through the Grieving Process

Brooke Ferguson

Room: Audobon

Brooke Ferguson will present a research-based talk aimed at school counselors. The presentation delves into the unique experiences of students from different age groups as they cope with grief and loss. The overarching goal of this presentation is to equip school counselors with research-based knowledge and practical tools to better understand and support students as they navigate grief and loss, creating a compassionate and empathetic school environment that fosters healing and well-being.



Meet Brooke Ferguson, an experienced Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) based in Louisiana. With a solid educational foundation including a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work, she brings a practical blend of knowledge and real-world practice.

Having traversed the landscape of both outpatient and inpatient settings, Ms. Ferguson’s aptitude includes an array of invaluable services, encompassing the realms of psychotherapy, crisis intervention, and the profound modality of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Her proficiency extends to orchestrating transformative encounters within groups, couples, family and individual sessions, nurturing the soil for restoration and personal advancement.

Currently a therapist at the esteemed Family and Youth Counseling Agency, Brooke Ferguson consistently demonstrates her dedicated commitment to driving positive change. With an emphasis on research-based insights drawn from practical experience, her conference presentation will illuminate the intricacies of mental health dynamics related to age-based trends in grief.

Click title to expand for the session description



Group A

8:15 am – 8:30 am  
Welcome and Sponsor Remarks

8:30 am – 11:30 am (a break will be provided)
Featured Presentation by Allison Edwards – The Emotional Effects of Social Media

Group B

12:45 pm – 1:00 pm  
Welcome and Sponsor Remarks

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm (a break will be provided)
Featured Presentation by Allison Edwards – The Emotional Effects of Social Media

The EPADOG district administrators will be notifying their counselors of their scheduled time/location.

8:30 am – 9:00 am

Welcome from Counseling Services Leadership


9:00 am – 10:00 am

Keynote Session
Dan St. Romain – The Ripple Effect


10:00 am – 10:15 am


10:15 am – 11:15 am

Large Group Updates


11:15 am – 11:30 am

Sponsors and Community Table Introductions


11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Shop at the NCYI Bookstore
Visit with Sponsors and Community Tables

Presentation Room and Foyer

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Breakout Session 1

1:55 pm – 2:40 pm

Breakout Session 2

2:50 pm – 3:35 pm

Breakout Session 3

3:45 pm – 4:30 pm

Shop at the NCYI Bookstore

Presentation Room


Registration has Closed

All summit activities, including the training sessions and Resource Fair voucher are FREE OF CHARGE. Please register below to attend and to receive a Resource Fair coupon (note the deadline).

Registration deadline:

February 2, 2024

Register to attend and receive a Resource Fair Coupon

School Email(Required)

Please Note: If we are forced to cancel the Summit because of a “force majeure” event, such as a government restriction on large gatherings that cover the intended size of the conference, then we will issue full refunds of the registrations. On social distancing and other health and safety measures, the regulations/guidelines that apply to large gathering centers may change. We will conform to all necessary regulations/guidelines that are in place as of the date of the Summit.


This is a virtual opportunity for you to personally review and purchase curriculum, activity and small group manuals, books, videos, DVDs and CDs. NCYI has the newest and best guidance resource materials available from America’s foremost publishers in Classroom Guidance, Character Education, Bullying Prevention/Intervention, Anger Management, Conflict Resolution, Separation Issues, Grief Recovery, Learning Disabilities, and Social Skills Training.

Counselors who attend the Summit on February 9th will be provided a digital voucher to shop in the NCYI Virtual Resource Fair! You will get the opportunity to shop for resources in the Virtual Resource Fair for approximately 2 weeks after the summit. You will receive your coupon code and instructions for use in the days following the Virtual Summit on February 9th. Please note that NCYI accepts all major credit cards for additional purchases.

Special Note: If you would like to use a Purchase Order to buy additional resources, please contact Robert Rabon.

Hero Speaker-people shopping
NCYI Showcase books

Practical Guidance Resources Educators Can Trust

National Center for Youth Issues, or NCYI, is a national non-profit organization that publishes and distributes guidance resource materials for schools. In addition to publishing its own publications, NCYI represents over 40 different publishers of educational resources. They also provide training opportunities for educators through on-site training services, as well as regional and state-wide conferences.