Valerie is a sought after international speaker who is praised for her dynamic and innovative keynote presentations and for her contagious energy, enthusiasm, and ability to bring transformation to those in the audience. Her background as a therapist, life coach, entrepreneur, podcaster, and the founder of Ryan Banks Academy (a nonprofit dedicated to building Chicago’s first boarding school for inner city youth) has lead to national recognition and press for her innovative spirit and her work to make a difference in the lives of others. Valerie was also chosen out of almost 1,000 people to be the face of the I Am Chicago campaign which highlights "dynamic game changers and trailblazers who embody the passion and innovation of Chicago". She has also been featured in numerous other media outlets such as the Chicago Tribune, The Chronicle for Social Change, Chicago Woman Mag, Michigan Avenue Magazine, The Chicago Reader, NBC, and CBS. In addition, Valerie is a trained improv comedy performer and she will bring an air of levity and humor to her presentation that your audience will love.
She is skilled in presenting as a motivational speaker and in facilitating workshops on the topics of recharging and reenergizing your life, overcoming negative beliefs and thought patterns, overcoming fear, goal setting, creating a career that you love, living a passionate life, leadership, conflict resolution, stress management, health and wellness, rejuvenating relationships, as well as topics related to education. Additionally, Valerie donates a portion of her speaker fees back to the nonprofit she founded and leads, Ryan Banks Academy. Please note that in addition to the topics listed that are geared toward adult audiences, Valerie also speaks to student groups. She also provides workshops for teachers and parents on how to cultivate characteristics such as resiliency and a growth mindset in children and teenagers.
Valerie Groth received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Indiana University, attended Dominican University where she received her Master's in Social Work, and most recently received her second Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University. Before starting her business as a coach and speaker, Val worked for many years as a school social worker in the inner city schools of Chicago. She worked with students in crisis, providing individual and group counseling services to students dealing with abuse, neglect, violence, hunger, mental illness, and she also worked to provide immediate psychiatric hospitalization for students who were suicidal or homicidal.
Valerie is now spearheading the mission to build Chicago's first boarding school for inner city students. Ryan Banks Academy (named after one of her former students who was shot and killed) will open its doors in time for the 2017-2018 school year and seeks to impact the lives of students through a rigorous college and career preparatory education, a supportive boarding program, and a focus on personal development in a positive environment.
In addition to her work as founder of Ryan Banks Academy, Valerie currently runs a life coaching practice at www.ValerieGroth.com coaching individuals who come to her from around the world. Valerie loves working with her clients on overcoming fear, gaining self-confidence, and making massive positive transformations in their life. She believes that everyone is capable of living an energized and impassioned life, and she loves to make the impossible POSSIBLE.
Valerie recently wrote her first book, The Power of the Possible: The Dire State of Inner City Education and One Woman's Revolution to Fix It, which will be published Summer 2017.
Valerie has run five marathons and enjoys spending her free time traveling, practicing yoga, being adventurous, and finding ways to step outside her comfort zone... such as rappeling down sky scrapers, for the fun of it (and to raise money for a philanthropic endeavor.)
Please get in touch to secure the date for your next event: call Valerie directly at (219) 510-3383 or email her assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org.