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Michele  Borba

Michele Borba

Best-Selling Author of Thrivers, Parenting & Child Expert, Educational Psychologist


If you are looking for the best way to raise or educate kids to be kind, empathetic, resilient and thriving, then search no further than Educational Psychologist Dr. Michele Borba. She is an internationally renowned educator, award-winning author and parenting and child expert and is recognized for her solution-based strategies to strengthen children's resilience, social-emotional intelligence and character, and reduce peer cruelty. Read More >

Dr. Borba is as well known for her warm, down-to-earth speaking style as she is for cutting-edge insights. Her informative presentations leave audiences with usable strategies. She often works with school districts before the date of an event to help gather cultural information and data that can be used to diagnose or home-in on a district's greatest issues from the students, staff or community perspective.

A sought-after motivational speaker, Dr. Borba has spoken in 30 countries on six continents and served as a consultant to hundreds of schools and corporations. Clients include Sesame Street, Harvard, U.S. Air Force Academy, 18 U.S. Army bases in Europe and the Asian-Pacific and H.H. the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. She offers realistic, research-based advice culled from a career working with over one million parents and educators worldwide.

Dr. Borba is an NBC contributor who has appeared 150 times on the TODAY show and countless other shows, including three Dateline specials, Dr. Phil, The View, NBC Nightly News, The Doctors, Dr. Oz, Anderson Cooper, three NBC Education Nation specials, Fox and CNN. Her work is featured in TIME, The Washington Post, Newsweek, People, The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, Reader's Digest and The Globe and Mail. She's a media spokesperson for major corporations, including 3M, Office Depot, Fisher-Price, Unilever, Mattel, General Mills, Mastercard, All, Galderma, V-Tech, Cetaphil, Splenda, Hershey, KidStrong, Walmart and Johnson & Johnson. She also served as a consultant to McDonald's, Disney, Apple TV's series, Get Rolling with Otis and Learning Curve's Caring Corner Mrs. Goodbee Dollhouse.

She is the award-winning author of 25 books translated into 21 languages, including Thrivers, Likes Me, No More Misbehavin', Don't Give Me That Attitude!, Building Moral Intelligence, Parents Do Make a Difference, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions and End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.

Her awards and recognitions include the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award in Character Education (presented by Character.org), a 2016 SHORTY nominee for "Best Social Media Influencer in Parenting," the National Educator Award (presented by the National Council of Self-Esteem) and the National Child Safety Award of 2016 by Child Safety Network. She was named a consultant for the Character Education and Civic Engagement for the U.S. Dept of Education, Disney Influencer and Goodwill Ambassador for M.I.T.'s One Laptop Per Child project. Board memberships include Parents, Child Safety Network and Boys & Girls Club of America. Her proposal: "Ending School Violence and Bullying" (SB1667) was signed into California law in 2002.

Dr. Borba is a former classroom and special education teacher with a wide range of teaching experience, including working in a private practice with children with learning and emotional disabilities. She received a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of San Francisco, an M.A. in Learning Disabilities and B.A. from the University of Santa Clara a Life Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. She lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband and has three grown sons. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDx: Empathy is a Verb

Unselfie: Why Emphathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

Virtual Keynote: How to Help the Pandemic Generation Thrive Both Now & Later

Tips for Raising Your Child To Be More Successful

You Are a Difference Maker

6Rs to Prevent Bullying

12 Keys to School Safety

Simple Ways to Boost Children's Character

How to Activate Kids' Empathy

Speech Topics

Thrivers: What Really Helps Kids Find Happiness Today & Success Tomorrow

Data shows that today's youth are the loneliest, most stressed and risk-averse on record. Though well-educated, they are failing to launch in real life. So how can we teach them to be mentally strong and more successful? Dr. Michele Borba empowers both educators and parents to help kids thrive in today's fast-paced, digital-driven, often uncertain world. Through her research, she found the difference between those who struggle and those who succeed comes down to seven teachable character strengths that set Thrivers apart and set them up for happiness, as well as greater potential later in life. She offers practical, actionable ways to develop these Thriver strengths for kids and shows you how to teach them to cope today, so they can flourish tomorrow in school and life. These are lessons that will last a lifetime. Read More >

Additional Follow-Up Keynotes or Workshops include: Read Less ^

  • Teaching Resilience: Next Steps to Helping Students Thrive
    A deeper dive into best practices and innovative strategies to teach the strengths and skills of resilience.
  • Creating Resilient Learning Cultures Where All Students Thrive
    Proven, no-cost ways to create inclusive, equitable and safe learning cultures: the foundation to achievement, mental health and resilience.
  • Helping Young Children Thrive: Resilience-Building (Early childhood development]
    This session provides simple, proven resilience-building practices that help young students thrive and give them a jump-start for success in their brave, new world.
  • Resilience Building: Solutions to the Youth Mental Health Crisis
    A range of science-backed ways to teach self-regulation, respond-not react-to dysregulated behavior, reduce anxiety, improve well-being and boost resilience.
  • How to Be an Upstander (For middle school students)
    Students learn six bully BUSTER skills to mobilize compassion and courage, so they know how to step in and help when they witness peer cruelty and injustice.
  • How to Boost Resilience and Stress Less. (For secondary students)
    Students discover their potential to thrive is learned and are offered a range of simple ways to reduce stress and thrive more.

Thrivers: Parenting Tips and Tools to Help Kids Thrive in An Uncertain World

Our kids are the smartest on record; but they also are the loneliest, most stressed, risk-averse and depressed. It's why we must rethink our parenting so they can thrive in an anxious, uncertain world. The good news is that thrivers are made, not born. In this thought-provoking session, you'll learn seven traits that science says matter most in happiness and success (even more than IQ and grades) and help kids thrive both now and later. You'll learn how to help your child cope with everyday frustrations, as well as bigger challenges; solve problems and develop resourcefulness; bounce back from failure; develop an optimistic spirit; and recognize their unique passion to increase authentic confidence. This session offers hands-on tools to raise successful, self-reliant less-pressured kids who thrive in school and life.

The Critical Need for Caring Champions

Study after study shows that during adversity, the single, most-important thing kids need is the calming presence of an adult champion. In this keynote, Dr. Michele Borba shares inspiring stories and examples of real educators who are those champions and prove they make a difference that helps our students bounce back and thrive. The key, she says, is that they use what we already have within us: hope, empathy, atmosphere, resilience and trust. Each of these concepts is ordinary, doable and doesn't cost a dime but can transform our children's lives both now and later.

Empathy Is a Verb: Lessons for Success in the Digital Age

What can businesses, organizations, institutions of higher learning and associations learn from the latest science on empathy? Plenty, especially in today's plugged-in world of virtual workplaces, electronic communications and increasing personal disconnection. Dr. Michele Borba points out that we're all born hard-wired to care. But like all human qualities, empathy must be constantly activated. The habits that achieve this also make us more effective leaders, insightful managers, collaborative colleagues and compassionate community members. Drawn from her inspiring TEDx talk, Dr. Borba shows us how to use the "Empathy Advantage" to build valuable social capital within our organizations and with customers, patients, donors and students. Her motivating presentation is a reminder that being more empathetic makes our workforce stronger, our communities more stable, our stakeholders more engaged and all of our relationships longer lasting.

Unlocking the Power of Empathy: Why the "Other Side of the Report Card" Is a Must for Student Success

In today's complex, global, digitally-driven world, there's one trait that seems to be missing in our youth. Teens today are 40% less empathetic than just a generation ago; narcissism has increased by 58% and bullying is at an all-time high. This isn't just a crisis of character. Dr. Michele Borba explains why cultivating empathy is essential to creating caring children, compassionate schools, just communities and a civilized society. In this game-changing presentation, you'll discover why creating empathetic, inclusive climates as the foundation for learning is the smartest strategy for ending the cycle of youth violence. You'll also learn why empathy is one of the most important skills that today’s learners will need to thrive. Dr. Borba shares how educators around the globe weave empathy-building practices into existing lessons and help students to develop empathic mindsets in a test-driven culture that doesn't always value them. This inspiring session is guaranteed to be informative and filled with practical ways to create positive outcomes by cultivating empathy in your classrooms and school, and the simple tools you'll need to reduce bullying and victimization.

Future-Proofing: Getting Kids Ready for the Real World

Today's society is fast-moving, complex and digitally driven. Uncertainty is the new normal. And yet, the way we teach our children has remained the same. In this thought-provoking presentation, Dr. Michele Borba reveals why we need to reset the way we think about what our children will need for the future and cultivate an updated skill set. Human skills will equip them to handle an uncertain world. She shares the competencies and practices that will "future-proof" students and details why adding resilience to our parenting and education is crucial. Finally, she offers evidence-backed ways to prepare kids for an uncertain world while instilling in them the leadership qualities that they will need to make a difference in higher ed and corporate environments.