Our ambassador team is committed to ScreenStrong’s mission to empower families to reclaim their kids from the toxic elements of today’s digital world. Ambassadors spread the ScreenStrong message in their immediate community of influence—both in-person and online. As an extension of the ScreenStrong staff, ambassadors are trained to give our workshops, create support groups, and be available for additional support.
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Jen is a Parent Cyber Safety Consultant based in Sydney, Australia, and is the Founder of ‘Not My Kid.’ She offers information and resources for parents focusing on keeping children safe online by delaying screen exposure and preventing online child exploitation.
Jen is a mum of three children—two young adults and one in primary school. She has navigated several negative experiences with my older kids online, the most challenging being her daughter’s exposure to a predator via an online game when she was 9. This has provided her with personal insight into some challenges both children and parents face today, and as a result, Jen elected a screen-free approach with her youngest son.
Jen has completed many courses in online safety and is studying for a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice to further her knowledge in this space.
In addition, she has managed her husband’s psychiatric practice for over a decade now and, during this time, has noted an alarming escalation in teens seeking help, with problematic internet use being a significant factor.
All this has contributed to her mission to preserve childhood and keep all children safe from online child exploitation by empowering their parents through education.
Her passion and primary focus is fighting the epidemic of child exploitation online.
With over 3+ years of experience as a qualified Teacher Aide and over 5+ years of experience in leadership and organization roles for various Youth Ministries, Ben has witnessed first-hand the psychosocial effects of smartphone abuse and screentime overuse on a generation of young people. This concern moved Ben to formalize his rich hands-on experience by studying a Bachelor of Counselling. He hopes to bring a diagnostic awareness of screen-time on young children and teenagers within the Counselling profession which otherwise isn’t taken into account. Ben is also an award-winning filmmaker and endeavors to utilize the medium of film in a way that brings a healthy awareness to the effects of screen-time, social media, and the taboo topic of pornography to his community. With on-stage experience as a speaker, Ben has the ability to connect with an audience of all ages, grades, and backgrounds as he tailors an extremely patient, warm, and creative approach to teaching and learning.
Attachment Parenting Educator and Certified Health Coach, Brandie Hadfield is passionate about supporting parents to follow their heart and intuition. Her experience with excessive digital media use in her own family and the impact that the elimination of interactive screens had made, was so dramatic and so profound that she partnered with ScreenStrong to share the message of delaying interactive digital tech to other families. Brandie currently lives in Toronto, Canada where she homeschools her two sons, and runs an online health and nutrition business and mentors other Wellness Practitioners. Brandie has appeared as a guest blogger for “America’s Pediatrician” Dr. William Sears and Natural Parent magazine, and shares parenting and nutrition tips at www.thedreammethod.com
I’m a wife and mum to two young kids based in New Zealand as well as a Digital Strategist, advising clients on how to build their online presence. Having worked in the online space and representing brands across social media platforms, as early as the Bebo days I have an extensive understanding of how these platforms operate and have been exposed to the extremely dangerous underside including Pedophilia, grooming and inappropriate content. I have been on a journey over the past 18 months of educating myself on how screens impact our kids brains and empowering myself to make some of the tough decisions around screen usage in our home. One of the biggest challenges has been finding like minded parents, so I have become extremely passionate about sharing my knowledge with others in my community, as well as being able to counteract some of the arguments I often come up against. Basically I want parents to know that they do have choices when it comes to screens and they don’t have to accept the status quo.
Matilde, a former classical dancer, holds a Masters in Arts Administration from Columbia University – Teachers College, New York. After more than a decade working in Arts Consultancy both in Europe and the USA, Matilde settled in Lisbon, Portugal where her professional passion turned to Arts Education.
During this time, she was exposed to the extremely manipulating and dangerous side of screens and since 2015, has been particularly dedicated to educating herself on how screens impact our children and teens. She feels strongly about the subject and has organized successful conferences to help educate others about how screens affect us.
Matilde and Pedro, her lovely husband, have 4 marvelous children ages 5 to 12 years old.
Matilde gives presentations in Portugal and her efforts as a ScreenStrong ambassador aim to bring even greater awareness to how wonderful family life can be without toxic screens!
Corina began her own research on screen addictions and the negative effects of numerous apps while finishing her thesis on the ethics of user experience design. She is deeply concerned about the well-being of families and children; she has volunteered with children, which is why she advocates for screen education, early childhood reading, and spending meaningful time with them. Corina is a software developer and technical blogger who lives in Romania with her husband.
Ali is a mom of four little ones. Her main goal as a mom is to keep her children safe. As her children get older, Ali sees the need to keep her children safe from tech addictions, online predators, and other things that weren’t prevalent in her youth. She ultimately wants her children to have the best childhood without a device in their hand.
Anna Wight, CNHP, has a creative background in photography, holds a certification as a Natural Holistic Professional, and is a wife and mom to six beautiful children. In an attempt to find wellness in her own body she authored a cookbook, and built a thriving wellness business. She understands the importance of connecting the dots between the mind, body, and spirit and enjoys bringing that to life for other families. Anna is an advocate and cheerleader for parents making intentional steps toward their child’s mental and physical wellness.
Adrienne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working within the field of Nephrology as a Renal Social Worker. She is the mother of two teenagers and joined the ScreenStrong community in 2020 after struggling to find support and guidance to help her family’s toxic use of screens. Adrienne is committed to sharing ScreenStrong’s message and supporting other families to reclaim their family’s connections.
Becky Grant is a former elementary school teacher with 11 years of teaching experience in both Southern California and London, England. She is the mother of two boys ages 8 and 11. After raising her sons for 5 years in the United Kingdom she was excited when her husband was offered a job in the Silicon Valley, thinking it would be a great opportunity for her sons to develop 21st century computer skills. What she found was the opposite. Instead of exposure to advanced coding and robotics her children were given access to learning games (edutainment) with very little actual learning occurring. After a year of pandemic-related virtual learning, she became concerned when her sons no longer wanted to play outside or go hiking with the family. All they could talk about was their next gaming session. That’s when she found ScreenStrong and took away the games. Now, her sons are thriving and she has become a passionate advocate of the ScreenStrong lifestyle.
Janine McKenna is a credentialed school counselor and teacher who has worked with middle school students in Los Angeles County for more than a decade. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and a master’s degree in Counseling. Seeing students and families struggle with social media, gaming, and technology, Janine feels empowered by ScreenStrong’s bold message and wants to support families with raising their kids without toxic screens. She lives with her husband and their two elementary school-aged children in Los Angeles.
Nick is a native of Georgia. He met his wife while in college at Atlanta Christian College (now called Pointe University). He has a Bachelors degree in Human Relations. In 2020, Nick earned his Masters of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Nick has been in ministry working with youth since 2006. For nearly the past four years Nick and his family have been working at a non-profit that serves at-risk teenagers as houseparents. In this position they would have up to 8 teenage boys living with them at once. Overtime, they began to see a pattern with the boys who came into the program: technology and media use. Nick now serves as the Youth and Outreach Pastor at Trinity Church in Marble Hill Georgia. He is passionate about strengthening local Churches and strengthening families. Nick and Kristen have two biological children; Avery (9), and Sawyer (5).
Mandee Hamann is a businesswoman and a former Early Childhood/Elementary pastor with an additional 10 years of youth ministry experience alongside her husband, Jeremy. After her own family struggled with toxic screen issues, Mandee became a ScreenStrong Ambassador and is committed to spreading our delay message. She lives in Iowa with her husband and three children. Mandee has been working with ScreenStrong since 2020.
Like many families, Laura’s family experienced a screen usage takeover at the beginning of the pandemic. Between remote schooling and virtual play dates, her two school age children were on screens more than ever before. By June of 2021, her children’s screen usage was out of control. Summer seemed like the perfect time to unplug. After a few weeks she sold all their devices and hasn’t looked back. Laura has seen first hand how family connections can be renewed when screens are removed; she is passionate about sharing ScreenStrong’s message to delay toxic screens with families who are parenting special needs, foster and adopted children. Laura and her family can often be found playing UNO and enjoying chips and salsa at her favorite Mexican restaurant outside of Chicago, IL.
My family and I live in Louisville, Kentucky and we are eager to share the ScreenStrong message with others! My husband and I implemented a low-tech family culture with all three of our daughters. Our hope is to encourage other families to do the same.
Alejandra is a long-time educator. She has over 20 years of experience in the classroom. Having taught from elementary school all the way through high school since just before the dawn of smartphones, she has been able to witness the rapid decline in student behavior and social skills both in and outside the classroom. She and her husband recently co-founded a high school, Chesterton Academy, in the greater Detroit area. It is in teaching at this school and dealing with discipline issues firsthand as an administrator that she realized, even the best of families struggle with technology use. On her own, she began to research the effects of screens on children when she stumbled upon Screen Strong. She is now passionate about the mission to educate others on this urgent topic. She is married to her best friend and husband David. They live with their three small children in Rochester, MI just outside of Detroit.
Throughout her teaching career, Patricia Gefert noticed how excessive screen use impacted her students’ abilities to maintain focus, self-regulate behavior, and manage social interactions. Patricia shares information about the impact of screen use on children’s cognitive, emotional, social, and physical well-being. She offers healthier alternatives that help children build relationships with their families, their friends, and the real world. She holds a BS in Psychology and a BA in Child Development.
Brady Drummond-Ryan is originally from Watertown, NY. He holds BA in English from Binghamton University (NY) and a Master of Social Work from Florida State University. He has over 40 years’ experience in direct sales, fund raising, public speaking, marketing, training & development and, of course, community service. Brady’s fundraising includes careers with the YMCA, United Way and St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY along with Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and Catholic Charities in Charlotte, NC. After relocating to Charlotte in 1992, Brady worked in the telecommunications industry as a sales consultant for wireless & cellular services, Internet marketing, as well as business telephones and office furniture systems. In January 2001, Brady co-founded Crown Communications Group, providing website design & development for small businesses. Following Crown Communications, Brady worked as a Mortgage Broker for ten years and shifted into community management services during the mortgage meltdown. Always on the lookout to weather career transitions, Brady obtained an NC real estate license and in 2010 partnered to form Insight Realty, Inc., focusing on rental property management and helping buyers purchase homes. Brady returned to his hometown for six months in early 2013 as Administrator to revitalize his mother’s 70-year-old home for aging adults: Angel’s Inn. He returned to the mortgage industry in October 2013 with Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. After 6 years with ABMG, Brady made a change to work with Certainty Home Loans to better serve his expansive customer base. In October of 2021, Brady’s entire team changed companies with their branch manager to American Pacific Mortgage dba Blue Jean Lender (“the perfect fit for your lending needs”) to provide additional products and services for his customers and referral partners. An Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster, Brady resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Myra, of 40+ years.
Ronna has been an educator for over 30 years. Recently retired, Ronna now speaks at schools, conferences and guests on podcasts talking about every aspect of social media safety. Her interactive, humorous and educational talks really change the way parents, educators and students use social media.
Bee Shuman is a college-level Spanish instructor, a performing musician, and the mother of two middle schoolers. Starting when her kids were babies, Bee became worried as the faces of the people around her were increasingly focused on screens. She has actively worked to build community and encourage communication about the issue among families while tirelessly promoting traditional childhood activities such as free play & nature play, stories, drama, and music. She founded the “Slow-Tech Nature Playgroup” with another like-minded parent, a group of approximately 10 families with young children who agreed on having little to no screen time for their kids, giving them free play time in nature instead. A few years later she developed and presented “Parenting in the Digital Age”, a research-based presentation, for her kids’ elementary school and a local preschool. Bee is especially concerned about the demographics of kids’ recreational screen use: the numbers show that kids in less-privileged families log more hours on screens. Meanwhile, many wealthy Silicon Valley families are prohibiting screens for their own kids. Bee joined forces with ScreenStrong in 2022 and is passionate about helping families and communities band together to create healthy environments for all kids, regardless of their backgrounds.
Tara Elie is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked with teenagers for over 20 years. Tara did her final project in graduate school on the effects of social media on teenagers and her findings ignited a passion to fight this war head on, especially after seeing one of her own children fight debilitating anxiety only to be cured by quitting video games. She believes passionately in the negative effects of screens and the basic human need for real-life connections that can only be developed away from them. Tara lives in Champlin, MN with her husband and four kids. In her spare time she loves to watch her kids do the things they love which includes sports, dance, theater.
Candice is a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics, a lactation consultant, and holds a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition. More importantly she is a wife and mother to 2 awesome kiddos who are the light of her life. Her approach to pediatric healthcare is very holistic, whether dealing with physical or mental health. Candice found ScreenStrong when searching for a screen detox program for patients and found that it perfectly aligned with her care model. She is passionate about the effects of screens on the pediatric population and committed to spreading the ScreenStrong message.
Lala Franco is a Speech Language Pathologist working at an elementary school in SC. She is also a step mom to 5 boys with ages ranging from 8 to 14 years old and became passionate about the negative effects of technology a few years ago. She is excited to join ScreenStrong in educating parents and teachers on the dangers of technology consumption for children.
Hilary is a licensed clinical social worker, mental health therapist, and mom to two daughters. Her journey of researching how screens affect our brains and our lives started three years ago when she recognized the negative impact and toxic toll screens were having on her own children and within the lives of her clients—emotionally, physically and mentally. This led her to cross paths with ScreenStrong and she’s honored to be an Ambassador for such an incredible organization that shares her passion and dedication to reclaiming kids and reconnecting families.
Doug is a passionate advocate for ScreenStrong’s message. He has been writing and speaking in harmony with ScreenStrong for several years, most recently in his award-winning book (and audiobook), [Un]Intentional: How Screens Secretly Shape Your Desires, and How You Can Break Free. https://unintentionalbook.com
Doug offers an insider’s perspective on the power of technology, informed by over two decades of software development experience and a lifetime of Bible study. He also brings the practical experience of a dad of four daughters and a man who has struggled, fallen, fought, and by the grace of God, overcome the power of screens.
As a software developer, Doug has served Fortune 500 companies, startups, universities, government agencies, and media personalities. He’s currently an Android-focused engineer with Covenant Eyes, the best company around in the battle against pornography.
Doug loves to help individuals and families break free from screen addiction so they can live out their God-given purpose.
Since November 2020 Dian Gibson has enjoyed volunteering with ScreenStrong—from editing documents to attending a conference and speaking to parents about their screen time struggles. Dian has a passion for ScreenStrong and loves helping and supporting parents in their individual journeys. In addition to ScreenStrong, she volunteers with her church and has held multiple positions within her daughter’s American Heritage Girls troop. Dian Gibson is the mother of three children and lives in Texas.
Sandy is a fiction author familiar with social media and its negative impact on kids and adults. She has twin boys going into junior high and has seen how gaming takes away all their other interests. Since becoming ScreenStrong, her kids are reading more, they’re more creative, and they’re a happier family.
I am a Registered Nurse who currently stays home with my 4 kids. My husband and I fell into the gaming world with my oldest for almost 2 years. We saw ALL the red flags and ignored them. I stumbled upon ScreenStrong while listening to another podcast. I was shocked by all the research and I can’t help but want to spread this information to all of my community. ScreenStrong has given me permission to get rid of toxic screens forever and replace it with healthy habits for my kids brains.
Mary is a wife and mother of a six year old son who is passionate about sharing the effects of toxic screen use. She developed a severe screen addiction in 2011 that lasted for several years. She is now 100% sober from technology that is not necessary for functioning. She counsels with others, leads 12 step meetings for other recovering addicts and works her own daily recovery program. She also saw that her six year old was developing physical withdrawal symptoms even with limited screen time. Her son has been screen free at home since the fall of 2021 and he now engages with learning soccer, reading, LEGO’s, learning the piano and playing outside with friends.
Peter Ryan is a happily married Catholic husband and father of four who in his free time is focused on spreading awareness regarding the negative impact of excess screen based personal technology use (video games, smart phone, social media, streaming media and pornography), particularly on youth and young adults. Starting around 2014 and as a result of a serious issue in his family, he began an unplanned journey where he met with and talked to numerous medical personnel, subject matter experts, neighbors, friends, family, coworkers, and parents about screen based personal technology utilization (PTU). Each of these groups and his own research and observations have revealed to him, in one fashion or another, that the screen based technology we are using in our lives is having second and third order effects over us that we don’t fully understand and can in some cases be extremely negative. He gives presentations in the Diocese of Arlington Virginia on these screen-based impacts and provides a roadmap for parents and those in distress to move forward. As a retired Navy Captain, he authored “Technology, the New Addiction,” which was published in the September 2018 edition of the U.S. Navy Journal “Proceedings.” His efforts as a ScreenStrong Ambassador will help bring even greater awareness to these issues and help more families and young people navigate the challenges associated with this increasingly digitally connect world.
Emily lives close to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and two elementary aged boys. She has been following a Screen Strong lifestyle for her family since 2019. She sought to stop the screen battles in her house and disciple her sons to be the best version of who they were created to be. Emily believes typing, not swiping, is a computer skill her children will need to learn in time. Until then she encourages and supports her sons in organized sports, reading books, playing piano, working hard at school, developing friendships and isn’t bothered when they say, “Mom, I’m bored.” Family game nights, movie nights and evening walks are a part of her family’s culture while social media, video games, smart phones and tablets are not.
Melissa Porcaro, OTR, SIPT is a 1990 graduate of The Houston Medical Center branch of Texas Woman’s University’s Occupational Therapy program. She is Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) certified, a two-time pediatric practice business owner, and a mom of three amazing young adults. She has over 37 years of experience in the field of Occupational Therapy working with children and families addressing developmental delays and behavioral challenges. She is level 1 certified by Nicholas Kardaras on Tech Addiction & Digital Health and has been involved in Sheep-Dog training which is a Faith Based Security training for churches and schools to address the increasing violence that has been linked to violent media. She currently owns CAN Do Kids Pediatric Therapy Practice in Richland, Washington named in honor of her children Clayton, Anthony, and Nicole. Clayton and Nicole attend the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York and Anthony is a graduate of Washington State University who recently transitioned from medical sales to Import/Export internationally. Over the years, her therapy practice has evolved from addressing developmental delays to behavioral and learning challenges associated with lifestyle changes impacted by media and screen use. The increased time spent in front of a screen is preventing the development of higher-level skill acquisition and impacting orthopedic and neurologic impairment. As a mom, she has experienced firsthand the negative behaviors associated with excessive media use and the impact this has on the developing brain.