I’m Mary Dreliszak – and I’m a fan of the underdog and the achiever in all of us. Maybe it’s because I’ve been both, starting in high school when I was the underdog in a speech contest. And won.
I learned something about myself then – that I could do anything I put my mind to. Just like my mom told me when I was growing up. So I went on to college to pursue a career in communications with a degree of confidence I wouldn’t have otherwise had.
My first job out of college was executive secretary for the Pittsburgh Steelers. While I enjoyed this role, my passion for public relations was calling. I accepted a position with a healthcare facility with the promise that I’d soon start their PR department. And I did.
As I grew in my career, I also helped to grow organizations. I held leadership roles in public relations, business development and education and delivered motivational assemblies to more than 150,000 high school students. I grew so much that I outgrew my box. So I started a blog here at MaryMotivates.com to keep growing my storytelling skills and to help move other people out of their box too.
The blogs’ “People Who Inspire” series became a book and is now a television show on Armstrong Cable. As the host and co-producer, I interview ordinary people who are living extraordinary lives. And prove that if we just take a moment to connect and have a conversation with those around us, we can be inspired.
I’m also giving a voice to StrongKids. In partnership with Connellsville Area High School’s iMedia Center, I host the StrongKids podcast. I talk with students who have risen above and as well as those who are working to make a dream come true; who make life better for others, and who model strength of character. The goal is to inspire all kids to see each other from the inside out.
I’m the founder and host the StandUp & Choose! Tour – an anti-drug, anti-bullying, and life-affirming assembly for middle schools. This high energy, interactive and multi-media presentation features a cast of speakers who inspire students to make positive choices – and to respect themselves and others.
During a StrongKids podcast focused on kindness, it became clear that was time for the kids to be the life-changers. So I founded a kindness club called (i)impact for k-12 schools. Pronounced “I impact”, its purpose is to empower students to be the difference by doing small things to impact a life – a smile, a note of encouragement and so much more.
And to inspire much needed hope and positivity during this pandemic, I launched the Better Living Now podcast. Here, I talk with people who have experienced a big change in their life and have chosen to live better now because of it. My guests have included high school teachers, students, neighbors, and celebrities.
I’m an ATHENA Award winner and I’m on a mission to bring out the best in you. My hope is that while you’re here reading a blog story or catching a show or podcast, that you’ll discover something about yourself in the process. And if you’re an educator, that you’ll find just what you’ve been looking for. Connect with me at Mary@MaryMotivates.com and at 724-984-0860.