Inspiring Resiliency

Stronger Than Before


Dr. Deanna Behnke-Cook Ph.D

Speaker, Program author & Educational and Executive Skills Coach

Dr. Deanna Behnke-Cook earned her Ph.D from McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario where she focussed on youth risk behaviours, and how schools, communities, and families have an impact on the choices that youth make. She also completed a Post Doctoral Fellowship with the Faculty of Medicine, McMaster University, Population Health Research Institute, where she studied how poverty affects health outcomes for youth and their families. Her passion for supporting the young people she has the pleasure of working with allows for the amazing opportunity to turn academics into action!

download (1).jpeg

“I will not stand DOWN, rather I will STAND UP. I will not IGNORE YOU, rather, I will HEAR YOU. I will not GIVE UP ON YOU, rather I will come CLOSER to hear your whispers. I will ACKNOWLEDGE your fears, and understand as best I can. I will NOT JUDGE YOU, for who am I to judge? I will NOT operate out of FEAR, rather I will move through this space and send you LOVE.

You CAN do this.

— Deanna


The Mission


Encouraging the development of resiliency in young people so that they may live inspired and authentic lives.


Invite Deanna to speak at:

  • Conferences

  • parent information sessions & workshops

  • Schools, Graduating Class & Student Events/Assemblies

  • sports teams / athletes

  • Service Organization Events

  • Community & Fundraising Events

Speaking Topic Areas, and Executive Skills Coaching


Are you Ready for Post-Secondary? Everything you need to know from a University Professor

During this dynamic and interactive session Deanna will answer questions about real issues facing young people in post secondary school. Participants will experience a “live” university course, discover first hand about workloads, methods of assessment, and about the services and supports in place for students should they face challenges once they arrive at college or university.

Parents will be provided with effective strategies they can immediately put in place to help support the development of resiliency and life skills in their young people.

Educators will be provided with recommendations that lay bare the specific skills young people should develop BEFORE they graduate from high school. 

Students will be provided with a detailed overview of what to expect as they transition to college/university. “What I Wished I Knew Before I Got Here” highlights how to get the most out of the college or university experience!

This topic has become increasingly significant given our awareness of the importance of supporting the mental health and wellness of our young people. Administrators, teachers, parents and students all benefit from participating.

The effects of Social Media and how to use it

Social media has changed the ways in which we communicate with one another. Not just for young people, but for virtually all of us. This exciting and interactive session acknowledges the challenges and concerns related to young people engaging with one another on–line, yet its focus is to provide participants with information about the power of social media, and how to skilfully and appropriately navigate the digital life. Social media is not going anywhere, and this powerful session lays out how to use it to ones benefit, not detriment!   

Parents will be provided with tips and strategies to help their young people set appropriate boundaries, and effectively navigate the digital world.

Students will benefit by learning more about the opportunities presented by social media use and the impact it has on their futures in both their personal and academic/professional lives.

Raising Resilient Young People!  Resiliency is not a trait, it's a skill!

Sometimes we mistakenly believe that resilience is a character trait, and that only some of us have it. This is not the case!

Resiliency is a key component of mental well-being, and is a skill that everyone can further develop. This illuminating and helpful talk details what resiliency is, why it matters, and provides a set of effective and easy-to-implement  strategies for parents, educators and students so that young people learn how to help themselves


Executive Skills Coaching

Young people can struggle with their studies or with their own personal life issues when they lack the skills required to navigate their way. One-on-One executive skills coaching with Deanna on an as requested schedule (either in-person or via Zoom calls) will assist your student with goal setting, planning, and mastering the challenges of the day. Parents are encouraged to participate and and Deanna is pleased to offer updates to teaching and educational support staff as requested.


Please contact us for more information!



Book an Event


Upcoming and Past Speaking Engagements, Interviews, Program Delivery, and Events.


The MIND Project (Mentors Influencing New Directions)

A Peer Mentor Program supporting Aboriginal Youth, Grand Erie District School Board, and Six Nations of the Grand River.



Raising Resilient Young People

Presented by The DVSS Parent Council at Dundas Valley Secondary School.



Technology and the Modern Schoolgirl

Social Media Awareness at St. Mildred's Lightbourn School.



Youth Justice Ontario Summit

Addressing the Strengths & Challenges facing the Youth Justice Sector.



Are you ready for Post-Secondary School?

"Everything you wanted to know from a University Professor": Presentation to Graduating Class of Georges P. Vanier School.


The IDEAs Program

Informed Decisions Empowering Adolescents

A Peer Mentor Youth Risk Behaviour Intervention supporting the development of resiliency in young people: Hamilton Wentworth District School Board, Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud, Conseil scolaire Viamonde. 



Inspiring Resiliency

Ladies Night, St. Thomas More Secondary School, Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board



Youth Seminar Leader

"What would you do if you knew you would not fail? Families in the 21st Century, Challenges and Strengths" 



We would love to hear from you. Please fill in the fields below to request information.


Name *


I wanted to send you a note to genuinely say thank you. These past couple of days of transition have proven to be quite difficult and made me feel hopeless. Your (support) however truly made me feel like I am exactly where Ii am supposed to be. You (so lovingly) proved that this path was meant to be, and my journey is only beginning.

From the bottom of my heart thank you. You have already made such a profound impact on me.




Professor Deanna is probably one of the only professors whose lectures I can recall when I was in her university classes because they all had a dose of inspiration. When I was assigned to have a Guest Speaker come to the Ontario Veterinary College, I immediately knew that she was the one I had to get in contact with. She taught (us) how to use every single day as a way to build ourselves from the ground up, and work our way to the top using the concept of resilience. ..she taught us that without hardships, we would likely not be able to learn all the necessary skills of overcoming adversities which are highly indicative of a person’s character and paves the way to the greatest moments of one’s life. ..she taught us that it is important to embrace the negatives in order to achieve the positives, which is a concept not usually discussed. She also supports the development of resiliency, and that it is a skill that one can develop over time. With mental health and well-being at the forefront of todays society, (her message) is of utmost importance. I wanted to say thank you again Deanna for the experience at OVC as a whole. It was definitely helpful for all of those who attended.


Harleen Taggar

Graduate & Research Program Service Attendant, Ontario Veterinary College


I just wanted to let you know you are a game changer. Before you came to our school in Milton and talked about being ready for post secondary, I was really worried. But you made us all feel so much better and that we could do whatever we put our minds to. For that, I am so grateful. I know i’m going to be just fine, and thank you for coming and speaking to us.


Former student of Milton District High School, and current Undergrad at The University of Guelph