Marc Mero, former WWE wrestler, motivational speaker, and founder of Champion of Choices spoke at UCF on May 9, 2014. He addressed both the attendees at the Case Manager Drive in Conference representing over 13 universities across the State of Florida, along with UCF staff, students, faculty and administrators. In addition, as an SDES professional development opportunity, he presented a special workshop for SDES staff members.

Mero shared personal struggles and the current trends he has seen regarding student mental health issues, bullying, harassment, and suicide and how we can come together as a community to support our students in need.  He shared a presentation similar to the one he shows for the middle and high schools he visits nationwide, and the overwhelming responses he receives from students that are going through many of the struggles that he himself experienced. He has worked with many K-12 school systems, attempting to implement better follow-up care for students in distress, and discussed that many of these distressed students may be transitioning into institutions of higher education and that we need to be aware of how to support them.

A good introduction to Mero’s work and initiative is available in this CNN clip:

Mero is founder of the nonprofit organization Campion of Choices. The goal of Champion of Choices: Positive choices are the key to the healthy development of America’s youth and lay the foundation to strengthen families and society. The goal of the Champion of Choices School Program is to provide a motivational learning experience for youth that builds positive life skills, improves school cultures, and strengthens family relationships. For more information, visit