At notMYkid we prepare kids to face everyday challenges with courage and confidence. Through our unique education model of peer-to-peer education we address the life-changing issues of: Drug Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, Bullying, Unhealthy Relationships, Eating Disorders, Depression/Self Injury, and Internet Safety. With prevention at the forefront of all programming – rather than intervention – our mission is to reach young people who fight internal battles about what is “right” and “wrong,” and to provide them with the knowledge and resources that empower them to make positive choices in difficult situations.
Goal: Empower and educate youth to amplify their voices to overcome life’s challenges through peer-to-peer education.
Goal: Empower and educate families and communities with the knowledge and courage to identify and prevent negative youth behavior.
* Each parent presentation on substance abuse includes a home drug test kit for all who attend ($40 value).
Presentations are available in custom packages to fit your needs, please contact us to schedule a presentation that works for your organization.
“Thank you for taking the time to talk to us about healthy relationships. We learned that not only do we have someone to talk to in a bad situation, but that we have a voice.”
“You taught us that bullying can change your life and impact others.”
“The presentation makes me want to talk to someone when I am having problems.”
“The presentation taught me that I have healthy relationships with some, but not so much with others—and how to fix them.”
“I learned that bad decisions can have bad consequences, probably consequences that can haunt you for the rest of your life.”
“Drugs are a big issue here and it was nice to hear how it impacted your life, because now I have yet another reason to say no to things like that. Hearing your story was really sad but it really put things in perspective for me.”
“Hearing your story and being able to relate that to my brother made me feel like there is still hope for him. I worry about him day in and day out and knowing that someone else was able to overcome it, makes me feel like he can too.”
“In all honesty, I’m not completely sure I realized the full extent of drug use before you talked to our class. I knew drugs were bad for people, but I’m not sure it really clicked until I heard someone talk about it from experience.”
“The presentation caused me to think about being more careful with who I want to be my friend and to make sure they don’t peer pressure me.”
“You have really changed my life. I look up to you. I used to cut myself, but your life changed my actions. I stood up for myself and told the social worker.”
“I truly think sharing a story like yours will prevent drug and alcohol use in teens, as well as bring those already using to (get) help.”
“I see anti-drug commercials and billboards often, but nothing compares to the effect of your speech.”
(i) am fabulous
After I suffered a year of bullying, a bystander finally spoke up on my behalf. It made a major difference in my life. It was then that I was inspired to do the same for other people who were being bullied. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to let young people know how important they are, how much they matter, and that they have a purpose. I now use my story to help them find the confidence to take control and do something awesome with their lives.
(i) am alive
I lost three years of my life to substance abuse. After finally getting caught, I realized that the people around me wanted a better life for me. That caused me to want the same for myself. I was determined to turn my negative experience with substance abuse into something positive, so I began speaking for notMYkid. I’m over two and a half years into my recovery, and now use my story to inspire kids to make positive life choices. It’s important to me that kids understand the value of healthy activities and true friendship, and realize that the choices they make determine their happiness.
(i) am valuable
For 18 years, I suffered from bullying. I began making negative choices and my life got worse over time. I hit rock bottom and ended up in legal trouble. It was then that I knew I had to reach out and ask for help. I’m now five years into my recovery and thankful for the opportunity to speak for amplif(i). I want to let kids know that there is always hope, and that the future can be beautiful if we choose to make positive choices. Value who you are, and remember that any passing moment is a chance to turn everything around.
(i) am cleansed
For a number of years, I struggled with issues including bullying, depression, unhealthy relationships, and substance abuse. I finally reached out for help when I realized the toll that my choices were having on me and my loved ones. Now two years into my recovery, I decided to speak for amplif(i) because I want to help others through sharing my story. Through sharing my story, I hope to help others understand that help is available in a number of places, including places you could never even imagine. No matter how alone you may feel, you are never alone.
(i) am loved
For many years of my life I was caught up in unhealthy relationships. It would have made a huge difference to me to have someone reach out to me on a personal level, rather than simply telling me what I was doing wrong. Now, more than a year into my recovery, I have the chance to be that person who reaches out. After experiencing the things I lived through, I want to help children and teens who are going through similar situations. I want others to know that, no matter who they are, they deserve to have all of the love, happiness, and respect in the world.
(i) am determined
I struggled with substance abuse for a decade before I decided that I needed to change. I wanted my children to see the real me, the person I am capable of being. I’m now eight years into my recovery and using my experience to help others understand there is always hope. I speak for amplif(i) so I can let young people know that every minute of every day they have a chance to make their life the way they want it to be. Those minutes soon add up to days, weeks, months, years, and eventually the rest of your life. Never give up. You only fail when you stop trying.
(i) am growth
Starting in my early teenage years, unhealthy relationships became a part of my life. Those unhealthy relationships began to damage the healthy relationships I had, and resulted in me making a number of bad decisions. After asking for help and getting away from unhealthy relationships, things changed for the better. Now nearly three years into my recovery, I am excited to speak for amplif(i) to make a difference in the lives of students. I want them to know they’re not alone, they can succeed, and it’s important for them to ask for help when they need it.
(i) am a leader
Tomas has a passion for empowering adults to prevent negative youth behavior and inspiring youth to make positive life choices. His work as a Youth Development Coach for kids in foster care continued into his current position as a Prevention Specialist with notMYkid. In this role Tomas educates youth and adults from across the nation on life skills and prevention strategies to help kids reach their full potential. Since joining the notMYkid team in 2014 he has directly impacted communities through over 350 speaking engagements to an audience of over 50,000 at schools, organizations, conferences, corporations, and community groups. His experience with the Arizona Governor’s Youth Commission has inspired student leaders from counties across the state to proactively address challenges their peers are facing today. As the Chair of the Tempe Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking and Substance Use, Tomas works with the committee to highlight awesome and fun alternatives so that youth have something better to do. In his spare time you can likely find Tomas hanging out with his family, on a hiking trail with friends, finding the best slice of pizza, or beatboxing till his face turns blue..
John has been an agent with the FBI for 18 years, specializing in Cyber investigations. He has been assigned to Detroit, San Diego, Washington, DC, and Phoenix, where he currently serves as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge, the FBI’s number two position in Arizona. In 2012 Mr. Iannarelli received an Honorary Doctorate of Computer Science for his contributions to the field of Cyber investigations. He has presented at national and international gatherings, to include Fortune 500 companies, law enforcement agencies, and the Vatican. He is the author of several books, including his recently released “Why Teens Fail and What to Fix” which is a guide to protecting children from Internet dangers.
Previously, Mr. Iannarelli served as a San Diego Police Officer and he is an attorney admitted to the bars of California, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Mr. Iannarelli’s work as an educator with notMYkid enables him to continue to give back to the community by directly contributing to the protection of our children.
Joronda Montaño joins notMYkid as the new Program Director overseeing youth and adult programs brought to communities and schools across the State of Arizona.
For the past 13 years Joronda has worked as a professional Preventionist spending the last 3 years developing strategic plans, training coalitions, writing and reviewing federal grants. Prior to Independent Consulting she served as the Director of Prevention at Community Bridges Inc. (CBI) developing and implementing evidence based programs and strategies. She has a talent for motivating people to work towards common goals and successfully organized both small multi-disciplinary teams and a large community coalition. She has direct experience implementing SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework and led the Mesa Prevention Alliance to the acquisition of a Drug Free Communities Grant funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Joronda is comfortable building relationships and has ties to schools, law enforcement, local businesses, health professionals, and youth. She is knowledgeable on underage drinking, synthetic drugs, and suicide.
Joronda is passionate about helping youth and communities overcome challenges and has broad experience in diverse communities worldwide. International travel and volunteer projects have taken her to 13 different countries on 5 different continents.
She offers a breadth of experience in public speaking and group training and is a master level Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer (ASIST). Joronda is also an Arizona Credentialed Prevention Professional Level 4 (ACPP IV) and is a two time graduate of Arizona State University (Go Devils) with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and a Master’s of Public Administration.
She and her husband Mateo live in Phoenix with their 4 beautiful children.
Tomas has a passion for empowering adults to prevent negative youth behavior and inspiring youth to make positive life choices. His work as a Youth Development Coach for kids in foster care continued into his current position as a Prevention Specialist with notMYkid. In this role Tomas educates youth and adults from across the nation on life skills and prevention strategies to help kids reach their full potential. Since joining the notMYkid team in 2014 he has directly impacted communities through over 350 speaking engagements to an audience of over 50,000 at schools, organizations, conferences, corporations, and community groups. His experience with the Arizona Governor’s Youth Commission has inspired student leaders from counties across the state to proactively address challenges their peers are facing today. As the Chair of the Tempe Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking and Substance Use, Tomas works with the committee to highlight awesome and fun alternatives so that youth have something better to do. In his spare time you can likely find Tomas hanging out with his family, on a hiking trail with friends, finding the best slice of pizza, or beatboxing till his face turns blue.
In 2010, Sarah began working for notMYkid with a passion to use her story to help others. As a Prevention Specialist, Sarah implements prevention education and training programs statewide. She continues to share her inspirational story on multiple topics to youth, parents, and school faculty. Sarah is a safeTALK Trainer and has received Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). During rare moments of free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, playing video games, crafting the perfect sandwich, Krav Maga, and a good nap.
Kristen Polin recently joined the leadership team as the new Vice President of Programs for notMYkid. Kristen oversees the development and implementation of new and existing community and school-based programs throughout Arizona and our expansion to new communities across the country.
Kristen has over 20 years of experience working in prevention and wellness and recently wrapped up a successful tenure with Community Bridges Inc. (CBI) for the past 17 years. As CBI’s Vice President of Community Relations & Development, she was responsible for all agency public affairs, community development projects and prevention efforts throughout the State of Arizona. Kristen remains active with numerous substance abuse collaborations; specializes in high level training for emergency responders; and provides seminars for law enforcement, school districts, parents and the business community regarding best practice prevention and treatment service delivery. Her passion and roots are grounded in prevention and building high impact programs that empower youth and families. “The important work of prevention is without a doubt, my true calling in life. I am honored to have this exciting opportunity to serve our communities with the entire notMYkid team.”
Kristen holds a Master of Arts in Education Degree in Program Management from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Studies from Ithaca College in New York. Kristen and her husband Jon are proud parents of two boys, Jonathan and Joshua.