Pittsburgh's Essential Speakers

Empower. Encourage. Educate.

about us

Pittsburgh Essential Speakers Empowers, Encourages & Educates students to desire, value and seek out healthy relationships! Our team of speakers created a healthy relationship curriculum called “REAL TALK” that is accessible whether students are at home or in the classroom. Over the past 5 years, more than 15,000 students have heard our presentations. Each speaker is certified and trained in Sexual Risk Avoidance relationship education and each video lesson is designed to equip young people with the skills to combat challenges they face in adolescence.  Lessons captivate the heart and direct students toward positive, healthy decision-making. Learn more about lesson content here.

Why Real Talk?

The Teen Brain Is Unique

Long after the size of the brain is established, it continues to undergo major stages of development. One of the last regions of the brain to mature is the prefrontal cortex–home of the “executive” functions. Planning, setting priorities, organizing thoughts, suppressing impulses and weighing the consequences of one’s actions are some of the last skills to fully develop. In fact, the prefrontal cortex does not reach a level of genuine maturity until after high school… and college! Our curriculum was written with the teen brain in mind and challenges students to carefully consider every decision they make. 

Healthy, Safe and Thriving

Sex is a powerful, intimate act. Separating the emotional from the physical can lead to feelings of emptiness. One study found as many as three out of four females and more than half of all males who started having sex when they were teenagers wish they had waited. Those who engage in sexual acts as teenagers significantly increase their risk of contracting an STD/STI or getting pregnant. We encouraged students to think honestly about their reasons for having sex, consider the risks and challenge them to ask if it’s worth it. Waiting offers rewards, not regrets. 

Self-Worth and Identity

Adolescence is a critical time in life when many teens are looking to validate their self-worth and identity. Teens hear a variety of messages from the media, culture, friends and family about what it means to be valuable. As a result, it’s not uncommon for teens to struggle with insecurity as they seek the approval and recognition of others.  Our curriculum is designed to remind students that their value is not based on the changing standards of society or their friends, but is rooted much deeper. We believe that every student is unique, has intrinsic value and is capable of succeeding in all areas of life.

What teachers are saying

  • “It was FABULOUS. So very well made and the actress was clear in delivery and full of passion! It was engaging with the pop in visuals and panel of students at the end.” – Pam K.
  • “They did great with the breaking up lesson, as well as the preventing sexual assaults lesson…Thanks again for a high quality professional video.” – Kevin M.
  • “ I think a lot of health teachers are looking for this type of resource. Many are not comfortable teaching about relationships, and this would be a godsend.” – Kathy B.
  • “A lot of stuff is free now, but your videos were VERY WELL done- quality and content!” – Dave S.