Youth Wellness Forum: Educating & Empowering Professionals and Parents

Youth Wellness Forum: Educating & Empowering Professionals and Parents

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. (CDT) - Check-in

8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.(CDT) - Presentations

Location: 2nd Floor, Harre Union, Valparaiso University 

The Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition for Porter County, in alliance with the Valparaiso University College of Nursing and Health Professions, is co- hosting a Youth Wellness Forum in partnership with Tobacco Free Lake County Indiana and A Positive Approach to Teen Health (PATH). Keynote speaker, Victor DeNoble, Ph.D. will virtually present "Inside the Dark Side: The Biology of Addiction." Hear Dr. DeNoble’s breathtaking story about taking on the multi-billion dollar tobacco industry.  Join us in creating a culture of whole health and wellness for our youth!Additional speakers include, but are not limited to:

  • Dr. Theresa Kessler, Professor, Valparaiso University College of Nursing and Health Professions (CONHP)
  • Eric Evans, Certified Prevention Specialist, Director of Prevention Services at Geminus Corporation
  • Laura Arent, Aspire Tobacco Free program coordinator, Franciscan Health
  • Sam Burgett, Police Social Worker, Valparaiso Police Department
  • Sgt. Chris Swickhard, Chesterton Police Department & Resource Officer, Chesterton H.S.

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids Youth Ambassador and VOICE Core Team Leaders of Lake and Porter Counties will facilitate a panel discussion with legislators focusing on tobacco and nicotine related issues youth are facing today.  Sessions will address topics including:

  • How and why flavored tobacco and nicotine products target and hook youth and marginalized populations.
  • Nicotine's effects on behavioral and physical health
  • What local school personnel are experiencing student nicotine users
  • Key considerations of which parents should be aware
  • Emotional Literacy
  • Optimal Health Models
  • Youth Mental Health & Coping Skills
  • Classroom Culture
  • Teen Vaping information
  • Resources for quitting

Registration is open to the general public for a fee of $25/person (lunch provided). Valparaiso University students showing I.D. may attend for free (lunch not included), while other college students are welcome to attend with current student I.D. for a $15 fee (lunch provided). Registration and additional event information is available at the event website. Zoom links will be emailed to registrants via invitation prior to the event. Virtual attendees will only be able to view sessions held in one room as not all sessions are available virtually. Dr. DeNoble's keynote session will not be recorded. Specific questions may be sent to