StandUp & Choose! Tour

Virtually. Life-changing.


Inspiring middle school students to StandUp and lead

by making positive choices – and to respect themselves and others.


This video offers a glimpse of the StandUp and Choose! Tour and its impact in schools.

Your message really seemed to resonate with our students. In my 18 years here, I do not remember so visceral a reaction to an assembly.”

Mr. Mark Maurer

Music Teacher, Elizabeth Forward Middle School

487 students were surveyed after attending the StandUp & Choose! Tour assembly


are more aware of how their actions affect others


can recognize the difference between healthy and un-healthy relationships


better understand how having goals can positively impact their choices


are more aware of how their choice of friends can influence their future

StandUp & Choose! Tour Speakers

Mary Dreliszak

StandUp & Choose! Tour Founder and Host

It’s an honor to present life-changing assemblies with such a courageous cast of speakers. Together, we’re inspiring hope. We’re breaking the stigma of mental health support. And we’re creating a culture of kindness and respect in schools. 

The StandUp & Choose! Tour empowers students with coping skills so they can be strong from the inside, out. Now with virtual and customized presentations, we’re taking it to the next level – so that kids everywhere can too.

Lauren Gross

Behavioral Health Professional, Choreographer, Coping and Confidence Speaker

Mary Sampey

Faith Formation Leader, Drug Prevention Advocate, Healthy Mind and Body Champion

Ethan Keedy

Survivor of Father’s Suicide, Life Advocate, Entrepreneur, Future President

Scott Fichter

Educator, Entrepreneur, Fitness Instructor, Positive Hip Hop Messenger

Daynelle Sanner

Love Life Foundation Chair, Fitness Instructor, Competitive Trail and Obstacle Athlete

Sarah Schimansky

Musician, Youth Mentor, Positive Self Image Advocate

Eric Johnson

Pastor, Army Veteran, Retired Corrections Officer, Personal Trainer, Survivor

Justice Greer

Anti-Bullying Advocate, Actor, Bullied Overcomer

Blakeley Herrilko

Future Educator, Theater Company Leader, Self-Love Advocate

“I learned to believe in myself. I learned to make good life choices. It was a very moving assembly. I wanted to cry so many times! It taught me to not be so hard on myself. I have a voice, and dreams. I am, and always will be, unapologetically, me.

-Allison, Connellsville Area Middle School

Bring the StandUp & Choose! Tour to your school!

Contact Mary at 724-984-0860 or to make it happen!

After assemblyServing as the host in both productions, Mary engages students and gives an empowering message on bullying. Joining her are:

  • Lauren Gross, a behavioral health professional, speaking on coping and confidence in 1.0 and 2.0.
  • Daynelle Sanner, chair of the Love Life Foundation in memory of Jarrett Hutton, sharing inspirational art and messages of hope. In 2.0, she returns and joins Scott Fichter, an educator and an underdog who inspires students to overcome obstacles. They share their stories with positive messages and Hip Hop student engagement.
  • Justice Greer and Sarah Schimansky, telling how they gained a healthier perspective of themselves and changed their response to bullying in both presentations.
  • Mary Sampey, courageously sharing the story of her sister’s heroin overdose death. In 1.0, she encourages students to seek counseling support for emotional issues and in 2.0 continues the conversation on healthy relationships and why they matter.
  • Ethan Keedy, delivering his powerful and personal story of rising above his father’s suicide to make positive choices in his life. In 2.0, Ethan returns to focus on how having goals impacted the choices he made and his ability to overcome.
  • Blakeley Herrilko, sharing how the journey to reaching her dreams was stopped by bullying – only that is, until she learned to start loving herself. With humor and joy in both presentations, Blakeley inspires students to do the same.
  • Eric Johnson, serving as a voice of hope to those with no support system. The pastor and retired corrections officer grew up in an inner city neighborhood and knows first-hand the consequences of wrong choices. He joins 2.0 on video and live to provide inspiration, motivation, and love.

Mary’s high energy, interactive approach – along with her co-presenters – create an unforgettable experience. Are you ready to create a culture of respect at your school and impact the lives of students? To learn more about bringing a virtual presentation to your school or to book the StandUp & Choose! Tour!, contact Mary at 724-984-0860 or at

Proud StandUp & Choose! Tour Sponsors

I know the stories truly impacted everyone in that room...thank you all for reminding us to respect and Love Life.

Ms. Monyak, teacher

Connellsville Area Middle School

I've never seen a program like this one! What you did for us and showed us, is amazing.


Middle School Student


I thought the assembly was the best one yet. It taught me that even though I have a hard life, I'm not the only one.


Middle School Student


I thought your assembly was very emotional and informative. I appreciated the (speakers) sharing their stories with the entire school. That took a lot of courage.


Middle School Student

The assembly was so heart-touching, wonderful and inspirational. The work you must have put in must be tremendous. It was appreciated dearly by not only myself, but everyone else too.


Middle School Stuent


I'm starting to talk to my parents and starting to make good decisions in my life. I am really glad that I went to school that day because if I didn't, I would have missed the assembly.


Middle School Student

While searching for a meaningful yet engaging assembly for our student body we found Mary. Mary and her team did a great job engaging our students and delivering a powerful message. It was a pleasure to have her in our school.

Mr. Charles Michael, principal

Connellsville Area Middle School


It made me appreciate life more. I've learned you should keep your eyes on your goal, no matter what people do or say...the assembly was phenomenal. It taught me so many things.


Middle School Student

You and your crew set up such a positive and powerful message for all of us. How (they were) able to share their stories about how they had once been lost in life and how they have overcome their dark situations amazes me.


Middle School Student

What a great and amazing assembly! I have never seen our students so engaged and attentive!!

Jamie Bielecki-Quinn, guidance counselor

Connellsville Area Middle School

The assembly you have organized for our school was very inspirational...More people need to hear these stories.


Middle School Student

Thank you for organizing the program for our school. It was the best program this year.


Middle School Student

I loved the assembly...I loved the video...I learned to speak up for people that get bullied.


Middle School Student

I personally loved your program. I enjoyed all the films that were shown and the stories that were told. This changed me by allowing me to realize not to take wrong paths and to think about how others would feel.


Middle School Student

The presentation changed me because it taught me that if you are dealing with something, it’s better if you talk about it with someone.


Middle School Student

I am very appreciative of you for teaching us so many lessons....Now, every time I leave a family member I make sure they know I love them.


Middle School Student


I learned that I shouldn’t let things build up inside of me and not let them out. The presentation changed the way I think about what happens to me and about drugs. Thank you for such an informative program.


Middle School Student

The lesson I learned was to love life…and live life to the fullest.


Middle School Student