2019 THINK Conference Agenda

April 10, 2019 Day 1

Opening Keynote: 9:00-10:30am

Rhonda Sciortino, Successful Survivors Foundation

One Person

One person can change the trajectory of the life of another in a moment. The power of our influence is often overlooked and underestimated. Each of us influences people for good or for bad through our attitudes, words, and actions. When we’re mindful of our power, we can use it to give dignity, show value, and plant seeds of goodness in the lives of everyone we meet, and thereby change the world!


Session 1: 10:45-12:00

Option 1

Brad Roeher, CyberWatch WV

Dangers of Unsafe Online Behaviors

Our lives are now so ingrained with our devices and social media that we sometimes underestimate the amount of information that we reveal about ourselves online. The internet is teeming with sick individuals who target our families and our children, and they are using this information to stalk, abduct, and harm innocent people every day. Through live demonstration, this discussion-based workshop will provide awareness on the tactics and techniques these criminals use to execute their attacks and some fundamental strategies that can be used to defend against them.

Option 2

Andrea Darr, Center for Children’s Justice

Handle with Care

This presentation offers innovative best practices for helping to mitigate the negative effects experienced by children’s exposure to trauma and highlights a promising initiative (Handle with Care) between schools/child care agencies, law enforcement and treatment providers.  “Handle with Care” provides the school with a “heads up” when a child has been identified by law enforcement at the scene of a traumatic event.  Schools are responding with interventions to help mitigate the trauma and mental health providers are co locating at the school to provide services.  Handle with Care programs promote safe and supportive homes, schools, and communities that protect children, and help traumatized children heal and thrive.

Option 3

Dr. Barry Steiner Ball

Why It’s More Than Just Saying No, How the Brain Responds to Opioids

Persons suffering from addiction make no sense to those of us who have not suffered with this disease.  Why would anyone choose to shoot up with heroin and risk death, prison or follow on diseases instead of being a productive member of society?  The answer begins in the very basic parts of our brain.  This session will help participants better understand the brain physiology that allows opioids to take over a person’s life.  By better understanding how the brain reacts to opioids we can help to end the negative stigma that has hampered our community’s response to this epidemic. 

Option 4

Barri Faucett, Prevent Suicide WV

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a complex, multidimensional event warranting comprehensive, integrative, multidiscipline prevention and intervention efforts. Suicidal emergencies have commonalities, as well as distinctions as they affect various populations.Suicide prevention and intervention is an opportunity for anyone to be placed in a situation to save an individual’s life. In this workshop, attendees will be introduced to the most recent data concerning suicide in specific high-risk populations; critical assessment parameters of the recognition of at-risk individuals; dialogue on how to identify and refer at-risk individuals; and Apps relevant to prevention and intervention efforts for both at-risk individuals and providers. The purpose of the workshop is to increase the willingness and capability of participants to interact with at-risk individuals in providing for appropriate dialogue and a wide array of resources and Apps pertinent to suicide prevention and intervention and mental health promotion.


Session 2: 1:15-2:30

Option 1

Brad Roeher, CyberWatch Consulting

Dangers of Unsafe Online Behaviors

Our lives are now so ingrained with our devices and social media that we sometimes underestimate the amount of information that we reveal about ourselves online. The internet is teeming with sick individuals who target our families and our children, and they are using this information to stalk, abduct, and harm innocent people every day. Through live demonstration, this discussion-based workshop will provide awareness on the tactics and techniques these criminals use to execute their attacks and some fundamental strategies that can be used to defend against them.

Option 2

Josh Murphy, Partners for Success

Hillary Gore, THINK Mission WV

Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight takes you on a tour of a teenager’s bedroom. Look for clues of hidden drug use as well as paraphernalia and signs of other high risk behaviors such as juuling and alcohol use.

Once the tour is complete and you have found the clues, an educational session on teens and substance abuse will help you identify any clues you may not have been looking for. Information from this session can help all adults, not just parents, become more aware of how teens may be hiding their behaviors in new and clever ways.

Option 3

Torri Childs, AMTC Associates

Sexual Risk Avoidance Education: Where it fits in our community?

What exactly is sexual risk avoidance education? What do these programs teach? Do our schools and communities support these programs? Do the youth in West Virginia like these programs?

During this presentation, sexual risk avoidance education will be defined, and we will look at the history of legislation behind it. Furthermore, the myths surrounding sexual risk avoidance education will be dispelled. In addition, we will discuss the sexual risk avoidance education programs in West Virginia and provide insight into what the youth involved in sexual risk avoidance education are saying. We will learn about the growing efforts of the THINK Program to provide sexual risk avoidance education to the most high-risk youth across the state as they continue to help in the reduction of teen pregnancy in West Virginia. We will look at the program successes and participant feedback and discuss how these results can help lead to program improvements and continued success in improving the future of youth across the state.

Option 4

Angie Conn, She Who Dares

Sex Trafficking: Identifying Youth at Risk

The presentation will cover the definition of human trafficking and participants will learn about human trafficking effects in the state of West Virginia. Participants will also learn how to observe signs of Human Trafficking.


Session 3: 2:45-4:00

Option 1

Cheryl Jonese

Addressing Stigma

This session will cover key points including:

  • What is stigma

  • Why addressing stigma is important

  • How we can reduce stigma

  • Stigma can result in negative attitudes about people with a condition discriminatory behaviors and policies.

As well as Four Ways to Reduce Stigma, including:

  • Change our language and labels

  • Learn about the issue

  • Personal experiences

  • Review practices and policies

Option 2

Valerie Nichols, THINK Mission WV

Cara Nelson, THINK Mission WV

THINK STI Education

What are common Sexually Transmitted Infections? What are the symptoms? Are any curable? Learn more than you ever wanted to know about the Sexually Transmitted Infections affecting teens (and adults) today. Two THINK Educators will share their knowledge and their own STI lesson used in classrooms around the state.

Option 3

Carol Phipps, FrameWorks Program, Mission WV

Youth in Foster Care

The opioid epidemic has created a crisis in West Virginia for the Foster Care System. Over the past 3 years the number of kids in foster care has nearly doubled. Carol will cover an overview of the Foster Care System, how it works, the trauma that many of these youth have experienced and the behaviors some of the youth may exhibit due to this trauma.

Option 4

Senior Trooper Michelle Shaffer, WVSP

Sexting, Sexual Assault, and Mandatory Reporting

Sit down with Senior Trooper Michelle Shaffer of the West Virginia State Police Crimes Against Children Unit. Trooper Shaffer will be sharing information with participants on Sexual Assault, Sexting, Internet Safety and Reporting requirements. Find out what happens when a report is made and how the West Virginia State Police are responding to ever-rising crimes against children. 


April 11th DAY 2

Session 4: 8:30-9:45

Option 1

Senior Deputy Attorney General J. Robert Leslie

Human Trafficking in West Virginia

Participants in this session can expect to meet the following goals:

  • Understand How Human Trafficking Impacts Schools.

  • Recognize Indicators of Possible Child Exploitation.

  • Develop Policies and Partnerships for Response

Option 2

Chad Napier, AHIDTA

Current Drug Trends

The Drug Trends and Awareness presentation is designed to be an introduction to drug use and misuse, and aims to provide a basic knowledge of drugs and other related substances and the health issues surrounding them.

The presentation covers both legal and illegal substances and looks at their effects and consequences of the drug epidemic.  The presentation will cover the current drug trends in the Appalachia area and the direction the drug trades appears to be heading in the future.

Option 3

Natasha Stone, Fairness WV

LGBTQ Inclusivity and High Risk Behavior Prevention Education

LGBT youth are among the most vulnerable population for high-risk behavior. This session will help educators and others who work with teens to create a safe, more inclusive environment that will lend to a more positive educational experience.

Option 4

Natalie Stotts, Kanawha County Board of Education

Dangers of Pornography

In 2019 it is estimated that 90% of males under the age of 18, and 60% of females, have viewed pornography. The ease of access to porn is like no other time in history. The damaging effects that new studies report have led to several states declare pornography addiction a public health crisis. Participants in this session will receive information on how pornography affects the brain, relationships and physical health.


Session 5: 10:00-11:15

Option 1

Cheryl Jackson

Tobacco, E-Cigs, Juuling and Marijuana

Tim White will cover the newest trends in tobacco abuse among teens and adults. The dangers, signs of use, as well as how to prevent the use will be covered.

Though marketed as a new, safer way to enjoy tobacco and tobacco like products, Tim will uncover the truth and hidden dangers of E-Cigs and Juuling.

Tim travels locally, nationally and internationally conducting trainings on prevention and community mobilization.

Tim attended Marshall University where he majored in Criminal Justice Administration before transferring to Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX where he completed his degree in Practical Theology.

Option 2

Lt. Chad Napier, AHIDTA

Current Drug Trends

The Drug Trends and Awareness presentation is designed to be an introduction to drug use and misuse, and aims to provide a basic knowledge of drugs and other related substances and the health issues surrounding them.

The presentation covers both legal and illegal substances and looks at their effects and consequences of the drug epidemic.  The presentation will cover the current drug trends in the Appalachia area and the direction the drug trades appears to be heading in the future.

Option 3

Deena Ellison, APPI

IUDs and Implants

A look into effective methods of birth control for teens who may be sexually active. The emphasis will be on Long Acting Reversible Contraception such as IUD and Implant birth control. Descriptions of STI safety as well as other methods of contraception will be included in the discussion.

Option 4

Josh Murphy, Partnership for Success

Hillary Gore, THINK Mission West Virginia

Hidden in Plain Sight (Repeat)

Hidden in Plain Sight takes you on a tour of a teenager’s bedroom. Look for clues of hidden drug use as well as paraphernalia and signs of other high risk behaviors such as juuling and alcohol use.

Once the tour is complete and you have found the clues, an educational session on teens and substance abuse will help you identify any clues you may not have been looking for. Information from this session can help all adults, not just parents, become more aware of how teens may be hiding their behaviors in new and clever ways.

Before beginning his career in prevention work, Josh was a staff writer for the Williamson Daily News and has also worked in Child Protective Services at the WVDHHR.


Closing: 11:30-1:00

Dr. Jennifer Salerno, Teen Speak

Teen Speak

Teens who feel connected to their family have less drug use, delay sex, and have less depressive feelings leading to suicide. Having a trusted adult is one of the most important factors for preventing and reducing youth risk behaviors. Using the latest technologies, research, and communication strategies, Dr. Jen equips parents and professionals with the practical tools they need to feel comfortable connecting with youth on important topics like substance use, sex and mental health.