top of page

Meet our Speakers

Pittsburgh Essential Speakers is a dynamic team of individuals who are passionate about inspiring and mentoring students through their unique perspectives and expertise. Together, they have formed REAL Talk, powerful videos that combine their strengths to deliver transformative messages that



Meet Bruce

A proud Pittsburgh native who has a deep love for his city and actively contributes to its betterment through volunteering. With three adult children and two cherished grandchildren, Bruce finds joy in his family life. Having dedicated nearly three decades to the Port Authority of Allegheny County, he  retired as the Director of Service Delivery for the East Liberty and Ross divisions. Bruce's involvement extends beyond his professional career as he is an enthusiastic member of his church, a passionate volunteer and indulges in his love for singing.


Meet Brooke

A Pittsburgh local who has deep roots in the area. She graduated from Geneva College with a degree in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. When she's not busy taking care of her two small children and spending quality time with her husband, Brooke has a unique and delightful side business: she impersonates the beloved Disney character Elsa from Frozen at birthday parties. Her passion for bringing joy to children's lives through enchanting performances adds an extra sparkle to her already vibrant personality.


Meet JD

An individual with an immense passion for connecting with high school students. After graduating from Slippery Rock University in 2007, JD, alongside his high school sweetheart, now embraces the joys of parenthood with their two children. Since college, JD has fostered a deep love for outdoor activities and relishes every opportunity to immerse himself in nature. With an impressive career that has seen him speak to over 100,000 individuals, JD's unique and engaging communication style sets him apart, leaving a lasting impact on his audiences.


Meet Laura

A proud native of Pittsburgh, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Business from Penn State University. In her earlier days, Laura honed her skills as an archery athlete and trained at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado, representing the US World Archery Team and National Team under the USOC. Currently, Laura is actively involved in her family's manufacturing business. Alongside her husband, she takes delight in the company of their two adult daughters and occasionally indulges in a round of golf.


Meet Dan

A dedicated guide who empowers students to make informed decisions about higher education. With over 40 years of experience working with teenagers in both volunteer and professional roles, Dan has played a crucial role in assisting youth in building healthy relationships and navigating life's challenges. His unwavering commitment lies in equipping teens with the tools and knowledge to make wise choices, setting them up for successful futures. Dan understands that intentional action and thoughtful decision-making matter greatly in shaping the lives of young individuals.

bottom of page