Motivational Speaker for Middle & High School Students

Named one of the 5 Best Motivational Speakers on Mental Health along with Brené Brown. 

Empower your students to be leaders in your school community and discover their unique path to mental wellness. Mental wellness is essential to suicide prevention and a well-rounded education.


 Continue down the page to view more videos. 




“When you first spoke at my school, I had just moved there. I was struggling with some serious mental health issues and needed change in my life. Listening to you speak about moving through depression and living to the fullest really moved me in a more positive direction. I am now four months clean of self harm and am able to live without my depression taking over. And for that I would like to thank you. For being who you are and speaking openly about matters that people around the world should know. Mental health should not be taboo. People should be able to be open and accepting. Thank you again for being an inspiration and a life changer for me.”

– High School Student



Mike combines his lifetime years as a person living with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder with his experiences as a professional musician. He has the same vision for every college presentation: to add exceptional value to your event and offer practical tools to help your students and faculty solve problems. It’s that simple!


Promotional Resources

IMPORTANT: All of the programs below are remarkably customizable. Mike and his team will work with you to find a solution to achieve your goals. You choose from the options below to create an awesome program for your event students.


Transforming Stigma® in Youth

This energetic, entertaining, compelling and PG-13 program has been a source of MOTIVATION and SUICIDE PREVENTION for students throughout the world. It’s an abundance of simple and practical steps that at-risk youth can take to transform self-destructive behavior – IMMEDIATELY. This program also offers HOPE and TOOLS for all students who are struggling with mental health challenges, behavioral health challenges, and self-destructive behavior.

Mike Veny shares his story about living with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He will then introduce The Stigma Cycle™: “Stigma starts with shame. Shame leads to silence. Silence leads to self-destructive behavior and suicide.” The process repeats, and it becomes an endless, downward spiral.


Learning Outcomes

Through this engaging and entertaining keynote, students will learn practical tools to help:

  • Understand The Stigma Cycle™ and what prevents students from asking for help.
  • Understand how to replace shame through self-care.
  • Use conversation to transform silence.
  • Transform sabotage, social injustice, self-destructive behavior, and prevent suicide by connecting 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.
  • Includes the option to purchase a book and a workbook for each student.
  • Often used as part of an existing training or Active Minds programming.
  • Download the Rider for logistics and room setup details.

“Mike’s ability to connect with students is a talent that very few adults have. His ability to address a group of 200 students and have them engaged for well over an hour shows just how deep his talent runs.”

– Jesicah Rolapp – Principal, Los Angeles Leadership Academy


“Many of the youth in the audience could relate to his stories. But then he explained how music changed his life. He explained to the youth that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel…They loved his energy and his passion. The loved how honest he was and his sense of humor.”

– Kelly Giuliani, Manager of Community and Youth Development, Reach Out Centre for Kids


The Unleash Your Groove™ Workshop

This program is designed exclusively as a DIVERSITY & INCLUSION program for students. They will learn simple music skills, rhythms, and how to work as a team. Most importantly, everyone will learn rhythms by repeating INCLUSIVE phrases out loud, such as, “I Feel Happy When I’m With Friends!”

By the end of this session, students will be able to perform a complex percussion rhythm as a group, perform an original percussion composition, and feel a stronger bond with each other. Lots of music will be made with percussion instruments. Participants will experience smiles, laughter, and excitement through interactive games!


Learning Outcomes:

Through this energetic and engaging workshop, students will learn practical tools to help empower:

  • Belonging – These are the years when students are looking to find where they belong within society which includes their school community. Everyone wants to belong to something. By intentionally creating a school culture that facilitates belonging, it’s the first step to building trust among the students and faculty. This workshop empowers them to do this by teaching them guidelines to follow to RESPECT each other while embracing DIVERSITY.
  • Bonding – After they develop a sense of belonging, students become open to bonding with each other. As humans, we all have a deep desire to connect and bond with others. Students and faculty are empowered to take this step with the help of guidelines that teach them how to BE HONEST with one another and WORK TOGETHER.
  • Believing – Once students genuinely bond with one another, they become open to believing – believing in themselves and something bigger than themselves. This leads them 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

“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