College Motivational Speaker – Educate, Engage & Empower Students


Equip your faculty and staff to support your students’ mental wellness, along with their Inclusion and Diversity projects on campus. Mental wellness is a key factor in suicide prevention and the ability to receive a well-rounded education.


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To be excellent, colleges & universities need to focus on diversity and inclusion. You need programs that teach actionable strategies students can use immediately. This is what Mike Veny delivers as a college motivational speaker. Your students will walk away feeling welcomed, loved and supported. This is what he strives for because being emotionally well increases a student’s ability to manage life and work effectively together with others.



Past clients include:

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“We had 602 participants from many of the mental health and substance abuse groups around the state of Arkansas. Our participants have to do more work with less money every year. What keeps them in the profession is caring for their clients and helping them have better lives. Your talk helped them see that their work has meaning and that their efforts count. There is always room for improvement in mental health counseling, but you helped them see this in a gifted way.”

– Charlotte Besch, Program Manager, MidSOUTH/UALR School of Social Work

As BOTH a college diversity speaker and a mental health speaker for college students, Mike’s programs are a fit for:


Mike fully utilizes his experience as a person living with mental health challenges and his passion to deliver an excellent performance as a professional musician in each presentation he gives. His goal during every college presentation is to deliver value and provide practical tools to help your students and faculty solve problems and excel. It’s that simple!

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IMPORTANT: Each program below is highly customizable. Mike and his team work with your school to help you achieve your goals. You choose from the options below to begin creating an awesome program for your event and students.


Transforming Stigma® in College

This popular keynote addresses the mental health challenges on college campuses and is guaranteed to engage your students. They have to balance classes, professors, exams, papers, money, relationships, self-image, family, and the future, and lack of sleep. ANXIETY and DEPRESSION are some of the top concerns for college students.

There are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses per year and 1 in 5 students will experience a mental health challenge during the next year. The stigma surrounding the subject of mental health is the biggest barrier to students seeking treatment.

During this session, Mike Veny uses his story about living with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder to introduce students and faculty to The Stigma Cycle™: “Stigma starts with shame. Shame leads to silence. Silence leads to self-destructive behavior and suicide.” When not addressed, the cycle repeats, and it works into a downward and endless spiral.

Learning Outcomes

Through this engaging and informative keynote, students will learn practical tools and actionable steps to help:

  • Understand how The Stigma Cycle™ stop students from seeking the help they need.
  • Understand how to replace shame through self-care.
  • Use conversation to break the cycle and transform the silence.
  • Transform the social injustice, self-destructive behavior, and sabotage as well as prevent suicide by learning to connect with others.

CAS learning and development outcomes this workshop focuses on:

  • Intrapersonal development
  • Humanitarianism and civic engagement
  • Practical competence

Presentation details:

  • 1-hour keynote presentation.
  • An optional book and workbook may be purchased for attendees.
  • Often used as part of Active Minds programming or other existing training programs.
  • For logistics and room setup details download the Rider.

“Our Chapter has hosted Mike Veny twice on our campus for his program titled “Transforming Stigma into Strength.” Each time we have brought Veny to our campus, he has received nothing but the highest of praise from our students, faculty, staff, and community members. As President of the Chapter, I have had the pleasure to receive a variety of feedback about Veny’s speech, personality, and professionalism. The most common feedback I hear is “His speech was incredibly inspiring!” or “I was able to really connect with him!” Veny has the remarkable ability to gauge his audience and deliver the best program possible. Not only that, Veny appeals to any aspiring musician or art professionals looking to make a career out of their passion. Because of his dynamic character, Veny is able to encourage students to continue striving to lead the most fulfilling life they can.”

– Jamie Mahoney, President, Active Minds at Elmhurst College


“We invited Mike Veny to Mizzou to give his presentation, Transforming Stigma in College. He gave an engaging and unique perspective on a topic that can be hard to talk about. The entire audience was captivated by his passion for not only his own mental health but also the health of every individual he meets. Through his animated storytelling and unique history, he gave many insights into living with mental health struggles and provided tips and strategies to manage their own health.

As the keynote to our ‘Sincerely PHA’ week, Mike truly helped our community break the stigma surrounding mental health. His professionalism and approachability made him very easy to work with and offers many occasions for more collaboration. Many of our community members approached him for advice afterward and loved the opportunity to hear him speak. We are so happy to have worked with Mike and would consider having him back in the future.”

– Samantha Mahaffey, VP Member Education, Panhellenic Association, University of Missouri – Columbia



The Unleash Your Groove™ Workshop

This program is designed to address DIVERSITY & INCLUSION for college students. Participants are taught simple music skills and rhythms that help teach how to work as a team. The use of repetitive phrases such as, “I Feel Happy When I’m With Friends!” are used to teach rhythms and spread a message of inclusion.

At the end of the session, students will have learned to perform an original percussion composition and perform a complex percussion rhythm as a group. But most importantly, they will have a stronger connection and bond with one another.

This is an interactive presentation that engages students through the use of lots of music, excitement and games.

Learning Outcomes:

During this energetic and interactive workshop, students learn practical tools to help empower:

  • Belonging – Everyone has a yearning to belong to something. When you intentionally create an environment that facilitates belonging, it’s the first step to building trust among a college community. They are empowered to do this through guidelines that teach them to RESPECT each other and embrace DIVERSITY.
  • Bonding – Once students feel a sense of belonging, they become open to bonding with each other. As humans, we have a deep desire to bond with other people – we need to connect with others. The participants are empowered to do this through guidelines that teach them how to WORK TOGETHER and BE HONEST with one another.
  • Believing – Once team members genuinely bond with one another, they become open to believing – believing in themselves and something bigger than themselves. Believing leads to a profound sense of CONFIDENCE, SELF ESTEEM, MOTIVATION, & HEALTHY EXPRESSION.

CAS learning and development outcomes this workshop focuses on:

  • Interpersonal competence
  • Humanitarianism and civic engagement
  • Practical competence

Workshop details:

  • 1-3 hour interactive workshop.
  • Often used as part of existing training.
  • Every student gets a percussion instrument.
  • Download the Rider for logistics and room setup details.

“The feedback we received was highly positive in terms of his ability to engage and inspire the students, and in fact, out of all the speakers, Mike received a standing ovation from the audience. Shortly after the Youth Summit Event, we also hosted a drum circle, which Mike led as part of team building event for our staff during Mental Health Awareness Week. The staff also provided excellent positive feedback on Mike and his abilities to engage, motivate and facilitate a great and fun time for all participants.”

– Marie Hoy, Chief Operations Officer, Canadian Mental Health Association, Halton Region Branch

Mike Veny presenting to college students at the 20th Annual SEA Conference.


Mike Veny & the Wounded Warrior Project’s Physical Health & Wellness Team


“He was successful in engaging anywhere between 24 and 100 students for a period of one hour, something many veteran teachers have difficulty doing.”

           – Jenny Goldberg, Everybody Deserves Music