Donna Volpitta, Ed.D.

As the founder of the Center for Resilient Leadership, Donna Volpitta, Ed.D. makes brain science of resilience and mental health easy to understand and apply. Her Resilient Mindset Model, which draws on the latest research in neurology, psychology and education, has been applied to areas of leadership from parenting to corporate management. Donna is co-author of the book The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive–Not Reactive-Parenting, author of Neuroworld: A Guide for Teaching the Brain Science of Resilience, and co-creator of the Nametags Education Program. Donna holds Board positions for One Revolution Foundation and Kids Helping Kids, both of which develop resilience in youth. She is a Global Presence Ambassador for Parenting 2.0 and a member of the Character Collaborative. She is an expert for and Modern Mom, and has given presentations at numerous professional conferences. A former classroom teacher with experience in both general and special education, Donna holds a doctoral degree in Learning Dis/Abilities from Teachers College, Columbia University and is the mother of four adolescents.

Describe the Impact of a Project you’re focused on.

Pathways to Empower, a simple, brain-based framework to teach mental health literacy, is my focus. Pathways is an intensive, two-day train-the-trainer certification program that enables people to use a simple brain model to use challenges to proactively teach resilience. It is designed to be very easy to understand and implement, providing a common language to talk about fostering mental health. Though I am particularly interested in getting this into schools, it can be introduced to any population. School districts are beginning to require mental health education, but there is very little available to help teachers to implement these requirements, particularly in regard to prevention. Pathways to Empower was designed to fill that gap. I firmly believe that teaching brain science is the best way to address the mental health crisis that we are seeing among a number of populations.

What results do you hope for when the impact is amplified?

I hope that when we amplify our impact, we will see a dramatic reduction in the levels of anxiety, depression and addiction, as well as a number of other indicators of mental health difficulties.

What do you have to offer as a connector? What can you give as expertise to others?

One of the strengths that I can offer is a passion for connecting people. I am always on the lookout for connections that might work, and I have made a variety of contact in multiple areas. My particular expertise is the brain science of resilience and mental health. Additionally, I can offer expertise in the parenting arena.
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