My Entire Life, I Always Wanted To Do Something Bigger Than Myself.
I Am Forever Thankful That My Story Has Allowed Me To Do That!
*Several testimonials have been left as anonymous to maintain student confidentiality
Have you heard Ivy speak in the past, and want to leave a testimonial? Do so here!
Making a Lasting Impact: "I reached out to you at the end of my daughter's spring semester last year. You spoke at her university and through your words she began a journey of healing and growth. Less than a year later she is stronger and wiser, but also gentle on herself on days that are challenging. I just wanted to thank you; you are such a source of strength and resiliency for these student-athletes and they need that voice, that face which they can look in the eyes, hear the voice, of someone who completely relates and understands. " -Parent of a College Student-Athlete
Virtual Presentation to Student-Athletes: I just wanted to reach out to you and say that I am so grateful for you and your presentation that you gave to our athletic department tonight. Your story and what you have to say is so powerful and so inspiring. With the help of people like you, the stigma towards mental health will continue to change for the better. Thank you for continuing to inspire people like myself, for advocating that it is okay for people to have these feelings, and that it is more than okay to reach out for help. You completely inspire me, and you are such an amazing person. Thank you for all that you do. - Cameron Tooley, Student-Athlete, Women's Basketball, Le Moyne College
Virtual Presentation to Corporate Employees: "Ivy really hit a nerve with our PanCAN team. In fact she hit a couple of nerves. The kind of nerves that make you laugh. That make you think. That make you grow. In speaking with our Community Engagement team, it's as if Ivy was "one of us." She did her homework, knew what we needed to hear, and then presented it in a comfortable setting. Ivy's message of self-care, resilience and forgiveness couldn't have come at a better time. She captivated our team for an hour and provided much needed resources. This might have been the best hour we've had in all of 2020." -Kevin Sims, Director of Community Engagement, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Virtual Presentation to Student-Athletes: "THANK YOU for your truly amazing and uplifting presentation with our student-athletes! We have had some great speakers over the years, but I can say without hesitation, that this was truly something special. You were exactly what our students needed right now. You truly have a gift. Your words, your message, your honesty, your vulnerability, your ability to connect with your audience (even virtually), its impact has been felt by so many. It was an honor to have you as part of our small mountain community for the evening."
-Jason Flesock, Head Girls Varsity Basketball Coach, Athlete Committed Coordinator at North Tahoe High School
Virtual Presentation to Student-Athletes: "I have struggled mentally for many years. That day in particular I was not in a good mindset, but after the event I found my energy was lifted. I relate to many of the struggles you went through and talked about. I continue reminding myself that it is okay to feel this way but to look at the positives of a situation. And I understand things will not change over night but it is the little steps that help. And attending this event was very beneficial for me." - Lauren Jennings, Student-Athlete at Johnson and Wales University
Virtual Presentation to Coaches and Student-Athletes: "Mental health is such an important topic right now and our membership was eager to learn more. Ivy met and exceeded our expectations for how her webinars would go with both athletics administrators/ coaches and student-athletes. We only received positive feedback from both groups. Ivy tells her story in a vulnerable and honest way that is also uplifting. She helps people feel like they're not alone and also provides them with the tools to get help and better support their mental well-being. I could not recommend Ivy more for mental health programming." - Kirsten Ford, Associate Commissioner, Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC)
Virtual Presentation to Coaches/Athletic Staff: "Wow, is my first thought! Thank you for sharing space, your story, and so many helpful tips and concepts surrounding mental health and wellness with our athletic department. I appreciate you for doing this work. Bates athletics will add to our success and greater awareness because of you-- I took some useful notes for myself and team."
-Curtis Johnson, Associate Head Coach- Men's & Women's Track and Field, Bates College
Virtual Presentation to Student-Athletes: "Amazing presentation tonight!! Thank you so much for taking the time to present to our department and sharing your story, insight and perspective. I think there is tremendous power in listening to someone’s personal experiences and the advice that is shared from them... and I think tonight was incredibly relatable and impactful to many. You have an amazing story to tell and are doing so much good for the world - keep up the great work. Also - thank you again for tying in our ITL core values and annual theme. I think it really helped with making the connection to what we are trying to go after this year within our ITL culture programming."
- Jen Fabian, Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance & Marketing/SWA
Virtual Presentation to Student-Athletes: "Ivy was an AMAZING, engaging and relatable speaker for our student-athletes. Given the times we are as a country, student-athletes are struggling and having someone who could speak on their own struggles and make it align with what are student-athletes are going through was great. She was able to speak on the steps she took to overcome her mental health challenges and provide some quick steps for our student-athletes to do on a daily basis."
-Jackie Nicholson, Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator, Albany State University
Virtual Presentation to Coaches/Athletic Staff: "Your presentation was AMAZING! You killed it! You delivered your story in a powerful way, and the suggestions and tools you gave us to work with were spot on."
- Will Sanborn, Director of Athletics, Saint Joseph's College
Virtual Presentation to Student-Athletes: "Ivy did an amazing job of discussing her story and how it relates to what student-athletes are facing today. She is a vibrant speaker and was able to capture our whole staff with her creative ways of participation and offered solutions to problems that student-athletes deal with. She is energetic, passionate and I loved having her speak. I'm excited for our students to get to hear her speak." - Megan Warren, Head Softball Coach, Defiance College
“Your presentation was absolutely perfect. I was able to easily relate as a person diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but I believe you covered some topics all high school students can relate to. You helped me to better understand and accept my anxiety as just a part of me, just as much as my determination and kindness are a part of me. Your presentation inspired me to start to get my life together, and to start to learn to love me again. Standing up that day and coming up to you after the presentation was the start of me taking back control of my mind.” – Student, Sacred Heart Academy
"You gave me the strength to schedule an appointment with a counselor on campus to help with the negativity and stress that I've been dealing with for so long. I finally feel empowered to make a change in my life after being in the dark for so long. I think everyone in the room took something out of your story." -Student-Athlete, Bentley University
"You were outstanding last night! I hope you truly know how good you are and how impactful I felt you were for our student athletes. I think your program was the very best we have done for our student athletes in many years." - Cindy Scott, Associate Athletic Director, Bentley University
"Your presentation kicked off the day terrifically! You are dynamic, inspiring and genuine. We were very lucky to have you on campus speaking to the entire school!"
- Margie Bailey, Program Coordinator, Dana Hall School
“Your story resonated so much with me. You were just so inspiring and honestly, just thank you so much for speaking to us tonight. Knowing that someone as inspirational and confident as you, has been there too, just makes me feel so much more secure. You are truly incredible”
– Student-Athlete, Stonehill College
I’ve heard nothing but positive responses from students and staff members regarding your presentation. Your message was clear and the students heard it. I still think we have a ways to go with acknowledging mental health and creating a culture where people aren’t afraid to admit when they need help, but it is through messages like yours that we continue to break down that barrier.
- Nathan Burns, Principal, Nashua North High School
"One of the easiest and best decisions I have made on bringing in a guest speaker to present to our students and student-athletes was bringing in Ivy Watts to discuss mental health. Her passion to do so and her own individual story really allowed for a realistic presentation that all of our students could easily relate to and I am sure help some as well. It was very powerful and she did an outstanding job of presenting such a serious subject in today’s society while also making it comfortable for all. I highly recommend bringing Ms. Watts to your school to discuss this serious topic for all of your students."
- Ryan Hall, Athletic Director, Mayville State University
"Your talk helped to open my eyes and allowed me to see that I shouldn't degrade myself and that I should learn to love myself. I want to teach my future children this message that it is so important to love yourself early on in life. You reminded me that things can get better, even when things are difficult, recovery is possible. Thank you for coming today."
- Student, Timberlane Regional High School
“I have heard dozens of speakers in my life, yours was by far the best speech I have ever heard” – Attendee, New Hampshire Student Leadership Conference 2019
“It was a pleasure having Ivy Watts come and speak to our high school girls track team. The week following Ivy’s visit, it was obvious many of our girls had a newfound sense of confidence and belief in themselves while practicing and competing on the track. Not to mention, several girls expressed openly that they had been positively impacted by the conversation. Ivy gives a raw, first-hand account of her experiences as a competitive athlete, her struggles with perfectionism, negative self-talk and the scary places it can sometimes take you when you ignore it, rather than address it. Ivy’s story is very powerful, and in my opinion, is not often embraced despite being extremely relevant in the sports realm and beyond. I think we all know someone who could have benefited from this conversation. For that reason alone, I would recommend every team, group, company, or organization consider inviting Ivy to speak. Ivy will break down the barriers surrounding mental health topics and will teach her audience how to find the self confidence and sense of worth that everyone deserves.”
– Kara Walsh, Waltham High School Girls Track Assistant Coach
"You have really inspired me to love who I am. I am more confident because of you. You are an angel in disguise." - Student, Timberlane Regional Middle School
“Outstanding presentation. Ivy was fantastic and engaging in sharing her testimony. If you missed the session, you missed out!” – Tony Price, Athletic Director, Randolph High School
“Ivy’s story reflected the emotions that student-athletes can face on a daily basis, and she created a safe environment for student-athletes to understand the mental challenges associated with participating in Division II athletics. Though Ivy was a track phenom, her experiences can be relatable to anyone who has struggled with their mental health. At the conclusion of the presentation, Ivy encouraged all of the student-athletes to repeat a series of positive affirmations. This is important because it reminds students that they are ‘worthy, capable, and powerful.’ Not only do these words carry significance in their athletic journey, but they will also have an impact on their career aspirations and life goals.” –Chelsea Abreu, Senior Captain of the Adelphi University Women’s Lacrosse Team
"I have struggled with my mental health, but I am recognizing that I can heal through speaking about it. You inspired me to keep using my voice, so thank you! If you had any doubts if you touched anyone in this room, know that you touched me" - Parent of a student-athlete at Randolph High School
“I wanted to say thank you so much for speaking at Stonehill, I just found your story so real and relatable. I really want the stigma around mental health to change and I just wanted to say thank you. I am hopeful that people who have never experienced mental illness will understand it a little bit more” – Student-Athlete, Stonehill College
I really enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to hear you speak this summer in Indianapolis at the NCAA Coaches Identity Workshop. Outstanding perspective on mental health. -Coach, Seton Hill University
"You are amazing!! Yes, you've done amazing things, but you ARE amazing! Your delivery and presentation were high energy, engaging and packed a punch! My daughter is an A student where everything seems to be OK -- your speech will help me better approach her to see if she's really OK and how to let me know if she isn't. Thank you for your bravery to speak out and stand up!!"- Parent, Timberlane Regional High School
“Your story was so moving; it was real and honest, and the kids felt really felt a genuine connection to you. Bravo on putting on such a memorable presentation. This is one story that’ll stick with me and these kids for the long term. YOU ROCK!” – Jenna Giannelli, Softball Coach, Nashua North High School
"It was inspiring and empowering to hear you speak about mental health. For me, as a person of color, the affirmations and how you were able to speak your mind in front of a crowd, gave me hope. I admire your strength and wisdom. I too hope to one day spread help and awareness and give voices to the voiceless." - Student, Timberlane Regional High School
“I have attended this conference two years in a row, and you were by far the best speaker we have ever had. Thank you for sharing your story.” –Student-Athlete Attendee at New Hampshire Student Leadership Conference 2019
"Your presentation helped me to feel as though I am not alone. You really opened my eyes and changed the way I view things in a good way..You made me realize that it is okay to not be okay." – Student, Sacred Heart Academy
"Thank you for sharing your inspirational story!! It was amazing and I am blessed to be able to hear the wise words you spoke. It truly helped me so much"
-Student, Winnisquam Regional High School
“Ivy said, ‘if you’re seeking perfection, you’ll always fall short.’ As athletes and coaches, we are wired to strive for excellence, so hearing that message was compelling. Our identity, self worth, and happiness cannot be defined by performance and career achievements. Like Ivy said, there is power in daily affirmations. ‘I am worthy. I am capable. I am good enough.’ This message was well-received by our student-athletes.” -Missy Traversi, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Adelphi University
“Ivy spoke to our fall student-athletes this past August 2018. She spoke to them about a very difficult subject and did an amazing job of sharing her personal story. Being an alumna of our school and being a very successful athlete both in high school and in college made it even more impactful. I truly feel that all student-athletes benefited from hearing this message, and that any athlete who has ever dealt with mental health issues was deeply impacted by Ivy’s message. I would highly recommend her to speak about this subject.”-Steve Laforest, Waltham High School Athletics
“After hearing your presentation, I felt empowered and inspired. As someone who struggles with mental illness, it was something I needed to hear. I’ve heard many lectures about mental health, but I’ve never heard one so raw and pure” – Student, Sacred Heart Academy
“Your positivity is contagious and I’m thankful for the chance to have heard your story.” -Rachel, Softball Athlete, University of New Haven
“Your story was eye opening for me and brought great, open conversation, that was well needed in my life and many others, thank you!” – Student-Athlete, Adelphi University
“Our student-athletes were both educated and inspired by hearing of your personal journey and the steps you have taken to overcome the obstacles. Your presentation allowed those in the room, whether dealing with a personal issue or not, to understand the conditions as well as learning of the various lifestyle changes that can assist in recovery. Breaking down the stigma of mental health remains a challenge, however your openness to sharing the experiences will help foster a sense of confidence in those struggling themselves.”-Chris Palmer, Athletic Director University of New Haven
“You helped to shed light on a lot of issues that I didn’t know and your talk helped my students open up to some of their daily struggles and mental health issues. A lot of coaches don’t realize how important it is to be aware of these issues, it’s not just about the X’s and O’s, we need to know what is going on with our athletes, peers, friends and families. Since your talk, I’ve made sure I keep my eyes open to any signs positive or negative. THANK YOU, Ivy, for sharing your talk with us all, because we all needed to hear it.”–Shaunnaya Williams, Director of Cross Country and Track and Field
“I am truly inspired by your story. It’s so amazing and brave that you came to share your story. You have put the message in my head that I can do whatever I put my mind to. You reminded me that I am not alone. You are amazing!” –Student-Athlete, New Hampshire Student Leadership Conference
“You are such an inspiration, and an overall amazing person. It was great to have someone to relate to, I was speechless. That was by far the best speech I’ve heard. Thank you for sharing. You deserve the world! Let’s make a change!” -Student-Athlete, New Hampshire Student Leadership Conference
“I’m very happy you came and told your story, because the lessons you learned, and your story is so valuable to so many people! – Student-Athlete, Stonehill College
“I resonated so much with what you were saying and I appreciate you opening up and sharing your journey. You were absolutely amazing and your visit was much needed and I firmly believe you are making such a positive impact on this world doing what you’re doing” – Student, Stonehill College