The award-winning keynote speaker and college success enthusiast is the author of The College Strategy- a roadside kit, coaching students to max out the college experience, generate competitive advantage and enter the interstate of life AFTER college in full gear.
Linnita’s work with students began as a recreation summer camp counselor and expanded through numerous roles to include a cheerleading coach, private tutor, resident assistant, orientation team leader, college advisor, personal mentor and college professor.
Linnita’s passion for steering students in the their lane of success, birthed The Driver Seat concept. Seeing students completing their college experience in neutral – lacking direction and momentum, created an opportunity for Linnita to reprint a new driver’s manual.
This time, leading the discussion with hazardous conditions, distractions, inclement weather and how these conditions can impact the student experience.
Currently, the edutainer provides content-packed and researched based empowerment programing for organizations, universities and community groups.
With over 400 hours of presentation delivery, Linnita has been referred and/or rebooked to speak to hundreds of high school/college students, United States Army soldiers, Job Corp participants, and many other notable organizations, schools and community groups.
Linnita received a bachelors of science degree in Mass Communication from Towson University and a masters of science degree in Nonprofit Management and Association Leadership from the University of Maryland, University College.
In her spare time, Linnita enjoys the company of her favorite college mentee—her sister, Makenzie.
How I started speaking
I was having lunch with a business colleague and very abruptly he asked me,
“Have you thought about speaking? I’ve watched you interact with crowds and how they respond to you. YOU NEED TO BE SPEAKING TO YOUTH.”
I was flattered but I sat in silence with an array of thoughts running through my head…. “UMMM… I’m not really a fan of public light. I don’t know…. I’m young…would people take my message serious? I have enough on my plate…”
I went home that night and thought more about it. I thought about every time I took the podium or stage on behalf of the University System of Maryland. Technically I was already a speaker—who had already been exposed to thousands of students, parents and educators across the state of Maryland.
As an outreach liaison for USM, I was being sent out to conferences, workshops, panel discussions, Back-to-School Nights and PTA meetings, to lead dialogue on college preparation and high school success. And to be quite frank, I was extremely GOOD!
You name it, I had experienced it:
- An audience NOT INITIALLY interested in your speaking topic
- Only two event attendees
- Shy or quiet audiences
- Noisy and inattentive audiences
- Hyper-active audiences
- Equipment malfunctioning presentations
- Standing room only events
- Stadium seating events
- Gymnasium school assemblies
- The list goes onnnnn……….
SO……I rationalized, what’s the difference? The only difference is… this time it would be MY message to world.
I decided to go for it! I started by studying other speakers who served a similar target audience. I read quite of few books. I was extremely observant when attending conferences, workshops and group-led settings.
I started collecting testimonials every time I spoke. For the first 5 engagements, I invited a videographer and photographer. The images were used to build credibility and proof that my message to students was relevant and engaging.
I began branding with photo shoots, a website, press kit, business cards, and social media mediums….the rest is history.
To this day, I credit my transition to building my platform as a speaker to a good friend of mine Maurice A. Kinsey. Maurice was the friend at lunch that day. He poured into my business by helping me establish my online presence and connecting me to conference opportunities.
The journey as a speaker has been incredible. I have influenced and inspired thousands of students from elementary to college-aged audiences. I’ve had people ask me how do I measure if my messages resonate with my audience and I respond:
“Majority of my speaking engagements have been by referral.”
I always smile when I read that :). It’s an awesome feeling to know people can count on you to come and do exactly what YOU said you COULD do! For me that has always been inspiring others to live their BEST life! If you are visiting my site today and read through this bio of mine, I hope these 3 things resonated with you:
- If you set your mind to accomplish something, see it through to completion.
- Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, it does NOT have to be accomplished alone.
- Sometimes it takes the voice of others to speak to you for you to consider operating OUT of our comfort zone.
Indie Author Legacy Awards Education Book of Year Finalist, 2018
Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund 40 under 40 (Education) Honoree, 2017
University of Maryland, University College Alumni of the Month, July 2017