Free Educational Topics in Chicago

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Now the speaker will contact you in the next few days to coordinate details.

  • A Consumer’s Guide to Going Solar

    Kate Shonk, Sustainable Communities Liaison , Citizens Utility Board (CUB)

    Are you interested in going solar? Learn if solar is right for your home and how to get the most value out of your solar system from consumer advocate experts. In 2019, CUB staffers gave over 70 solar presentations, and we are excited to answer all your solar questions! MORE >

    CUB is very excited about new solar incentives available to homeowners in Illinois. However, we know that with all the new advertising and high pressure sales pitches it can be confusing to know what is best for you. At this presentation we will go over solar basics, including:
    ---why now is the best time yet to go solar,
    ---how solar panels work with your home and the grid,
    ---an overview of state and federal incentives,
    ---why it is almost always better to purchase, rather than lease solar panels.

    Please note that depending on my availability, another one of our trained outreach staff may take my place as speaker at your meeting, but I will confirm when you contact me.

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  • Applying for Medicaid and Protecting Assets

    Matthew Margolis, Partner, Margolis Weldon LLC

    Learn about Medicaid eligibility in Illinois nursing homes and how to protect assets when applying. A lot of people think that if they don't protect their assets 5 years in advance, they are out of luck. This is not the case and many people are continuing to spend down their assets in nursing homes until they have nothing when they could be protecting some for their spouse, children, or grandchildren. MORE >

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  • Building High Performance Teams

    Bob Miller, Founder and CEO, PFCC Group

    High performance teams don't just happen. They require good leadership and a good operational game plan that includes shared vision, the right people, personal commitment and accountability.

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  • Can we print fake mail ballots? (not really)

    Ed Spire, Co-lead, Restore our Democracy Project, NWSOFA-Indivisible

    There's lots of talk about how easy it would be to flood an election with fake mail ballots. Let's take a look at what it would take to do that...

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  • Career Readiness Before College

    Georgia Koch, Community Outreach Coordinator, Career Vision

    College planning is not just for college but for career planning as well. Believe it or not, sophomore year of high school is not too early to start. Georgia will show audiences why.

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  • Congress Doesn’t Care What You Think

    Ed Spire, Co-lead, Restore our Democracy Project, NWSOFA-Indivisible

    this presentation addresses the problem of unlimited political money corrupting our democracy. We explain the problem clearly, and discuss the causes and possible solutions, including steps that we can take in our own communities to begin addressing this structural problem in our country. The presentation is non-partisan and brings issues to light which are of concern across the aisle. MORE >

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  • Cured: Is Recovery from Mental Illness Possible?

    Sarah Fay, Ph.D., MA, MFA, Award-winning Author and Mental Health Advocate, Northwestern University

    In this gripping talk, Sarah Fay shares her experience of a full recovery from serious mental illness. She was one of those “hopeless” cases: twenty-five years in the mental health system, six different diagnoses, nearly a dozen different medications, and unable to live independently. MORE >

    Her life changed with one word: Google. That’s right, Google. Her psychiatrist told her about a patient who’d fully recovered and gone on to become an executive at Google.

    Recovery? No one recovers from mental illness or any psychiatric diagnosis. Anorexia, bipolar disorder, OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia, etc.—those are forever.

    Turns out that’s not the case. To psychiatrists, mental health recovery is the moment when a person who’s experienced debilitating mental and emotional suffering is no longer disabled by it. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

    For Sarah, recovery required a complete shift in her understanding of the world, her treatment, and herself. It was incredibly difficult and full of wrong turns and setbacks, but she did it.

    This talk explores the various definitions of recovery, the data on recovery, what mental health recovery looks like, and how we work toward it. It’s especially well-suited to high school, college, and university students—who are experiencing a mental health crisis and often given no hope— and women—who are the largest users of mental healthcare services in the country.

    Learning points: 

    -What mental health recovery looks and how it differs for each person

    -Why we think psychiatric diagnoses are lifelong and the data on mental health recovery

    -The difficulty in terminology—are we “cured,” recovered, well, better?

    -Personal versus clinical recovery

    -Concrete tools and resources for mental health recovery

    -Crafting mental health narratives

    -How to find support

    -How to guide others—particularly children and young people—in their journeys toward recovery

    -How to create work, education, and living environments that foster recovery
    Find out more and watch Sarah's speaking reel here:

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  • Demonstrating and Teaching Mental Math Methods

    Cliff Petrak, Retired Teacher, Brother Rice High School

    Learn to master a multitude of little-known, super-shortcut computational methods involving addition, subtraction, fractions, squaring and multiplication. Unfortunately, our country consistently finishes among the bottom third of industrialized countries in the annual mental math competition for students. Learning these strategies and methods will leave your calculator-dependent friends in the dust!

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  • Don’t Pay the College Sticker Price!

    Joseph Orsolini, President, College Aid Planners, Inc.

    The program will highlight the three key areas of opportunity to reduce the overall cost of a college education. The presentation will focus on strategies to maximize need-based financial aid eligibility, target the right colleges for merit-based financial aid, and exploit tax-saving opportunities.

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  • Energy Efficiency, Utility Bills, & Your Home

    Kate Shonk, Sustainable Communities Liaison , Citizens Utility Board (CUB)

    Wouldn’t it be great to do your part to save the environment, and save money at the same time? Here in Illinois, it’s possible--thanks to a number of statewide policies that CUB fought long and hard for. In this talk, I’ll give you the lowdown on how you can benefit from cost saving energy efficiency programs. MORE >

    CUB is a non-profit, statewide utility watchdog organization created in 1983 to work for lower gas, electric and telephone rates. CUB has been on your side for 30 years—blocking utility rate hikes, winning consumer refunds and helping to pass important consumer protection laws. Our outreach team has spoken at hundreds of community meetings across Illinois and would love to come to yours!

    Please note that depending on my availability, another one of our trained outreach staff may take my place as speaker at your meeting, but I will confirm when you contact me.

    Request This Free Speech