Educating and Empowering Young People

Real Talk has reached more than 15,000 high school and college students across the state of Florida through honest discussions about the physical and mental effects of substance abuse.

What is Real Talk?

Real Talk is a combined initiative of Advanced Recovery Systems and the Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant. Real Talk educates Florida high school and college students about the effects of substance abuse through in-person assemblies with Miss Florida or other pageant participants.

The Real Talk curriculum incorporates prevention techniques included in The Alcohol Literacy Challenge™, developed by nationally-recognized researchers Michael Dunn, PhD and Thomas Hall, PhD. The Alcohol Literacy Challenge™ is the first classroom-based prevention program that specifically challenges students’ beliefs about the effects of drinking alcohol.

McLean and the Real Talk Ambassadors use this curriculum as a springboard to educate students on the risks associated with newly emerging drug trends and equip them with skills on how to abstain from dangerous behaviors. The Real Talk presentation is offered free of charge and is appropriate for ages 13+.

Check out Michaela McLean’s, Miss Florida 2020, Virtual Real Talk Event: Watch Now

About Real Talk Ambassadors

Our Real Talk ambassadors are current and past Miss Florida Scholarship Program candidates. These young women are passionate about fostering open, honest discussions about drug and alcohol abuse with high school and college students.

Through small group assemblies at schools and colleges, Real Talk contributors encourage students to ask questions about substance abuse, share their experiences without guilt or fear, and embrace healthy habits for their futures.

Each Real Talk ambassador welcomes students to talk openly about the realities of substance abuse in a supportive, judgment-free environment.

As of July 2019,  Florida became the third state in the nation to require mental health education in public schools. Schools can incorporate the information into preexisting curriculum and classes or use outside educators or organizations, like Real Talk, to help deliver this crucial instruction. 

If your school or university is located in Florida and you’d like to host a Real Talk presentation, reach out to schedule a date and time.

To book your Real Talk presentation, complete the form below.

Michaela McLean

Michaela McLean

Real Talk Ambassador 2019, 2020

MISS FLORIDA 2019 — Michaela McLean, Miss Florida 2019, joins us as the official spokesperson for the 2019 Real Talk School Tour! She recently graduated from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, studying Dance and Public Relations with a specialization in Sports and...

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Taylor Tyson

Taylor Tyson

Real Talk Ambassador 2018

MISS FLORIDA 2018 — Taylor Tyson is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Florida Atlantic University, accepted to Stetson University's College of Law. Classically trained since age four, Taylor has studied piano with Van Cliburn winner Vladimir Viardo, at Boston University's Tanglewood Institute,...

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Sara Zeng

Sara Zeng

Real Talk Ambassador 2017

MISS FLORIDA 2017 -- Sara Zeng has hosted successful Real Talk presentations across the state of Florida. Sara graduated from Florida State University in 2017 with a degree in music education and plans to pursue a career teaching children about music. Sara is an incredibly talented piano player...

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Courtney Sexton

Courtney Sexton

Real Talk Ambassador 2016

MISS FLORIDA 2016 - Courtney Sexton represented Orlando in the 2016 Miss Florida pageant and won the title on July 2, 2016. She was the first Miss Florida titleholder to represent the Real Talk campaign. As a spokesperson for the campaign, she visited 23 middle and high schools in Florida to...

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Aaliyah Manning

Aaliyah Manning

Real Talk Ambassador 2019

MISS RIVER CITY 2019 —Aaliyah Manning, Miss River City joins us as a Real Talk Ambassador in 2019! She is a junior at The University of Central Florida from Jacksonville, Florida, studying Mass Communications. In addition to serving as an ambassador, Aaliyah also dedicates her time to...

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Alana Scheuerer

Alana Scheuerer

Real Talk Ambassador 2019

MISS TALLAHASSEE 2019 — Alana Scheuerer, Miss Tallahassee, joins us as a Real Talk Brand Ambassador in 2019! She is a graduating senior at Florida State University, from Coral Springs, Florida, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management and Tourism and is currently...

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Hannah Adams

Hannah Adams

Real Talk Ambassador 2019

MISS FLORIDA'S OUTSTANDING TEEN 2019 — Hannah Adams will travel throughout the state speaking, volunteering, and impacting thousands of people’s lives throughout her year of service! Hannah is currently a junior in high school holding leadership roles throughout her community. As a...

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Izzy Skormin

Izzy Skormin

Real Talk Ambassador 2019

MISS PASCO COUNTY 2019 — Izzy Skormin, Miss Pasco County, joins us as a Real Talk Brand Ambassador in 2019! She is a junior at the University of Central Florida from Orlando, Florida, studying finance. In addition to serving as an ambassador, Izzy also dedicates her time to advocating for...

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Janiah Mccray

Janiah Mccray

Real Talk Ambassador 2019

MISS MIAMI BEACH 2019 – Janiah McCray, Miss Miami Beach, joins us as a Real Talk Ambassador in 2019! She is a sophomore at Valencia College from Coral Springs, Florida, studying Biomedical Sciences. In addition to serving as an ambassador, Janiah also dedicates her time to serving her...

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Jordan Thorp

Jordan Thorp

Real Talk Ambassador 2020

MISS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2020 -- Jordan Thorp, Miss University of Florida joins us as a Real Talk Brand Ambassador in 2020. She is a Senior at The University of Florida from Gainesville Florida, studying Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Disabilities in Society, and she is on...

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Kelty Zavitz

Kelty Zavitz

Real Talk Ambassador 2019

MISS SWAN CITY 2019 -- Kelty Zavitz, Miss Swan City, joins us as a Real Talk Brand Ambassador in 2019! In just three years, she graduated from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, with a degree in Elementary Education. In addition to serving as an ambassador, Kelty also dedicates her...

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Lindsay Bettis

Lindsay Bettis

Community Outreach Associate

MISS WINTER PARK 2020 —A Lindsay Bettis, Miss Winter Park, joins us as a Real Talk Brand Ambassador in 2020! She is a senior at the University of Central Florida from St. Augustine, Florida, studying Marketing. In addition to serving as an ambassador, Lindsay also dedicates her time to...

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Lauren Nielsen

Lauren Nielsen

Real Talk Ambassador 2019

MISS TAMPA 2019 — Lauren Nielsen, Miss Tampa, joins us as a Real Talk Brand Ambassador in 2019! She is a 2015 musical theatre graduate of the University of Tampa, from Bradenton/Sarasota, Florida. In addition to serving as an ambassador, Lauren also dedicates her time to Uniquely You;...

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Leah Roddenberry

Leah Roddenberry

Real Talk Ambassador 2019

MISS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2019 — Leah Roddenberry, Miss University of Florida, joins us as a Real Talk Brand Ambassador in 2019! She is a sophomore at the University of Florida, from Bradenton, Florida, studying Family, Youth, and Community Sciences on the Pre-Law track. In addition to...

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Megan Price

Megan Price

Real Talk Ambassador 2019

MISS CITY BEAUTIFUL 2019 — Megan Price, Miss City Beautiful, joins us as a Real Talk Brand Ambassador in 2019! She is a recent graduate of Florida Southern College from LaBelle, Florida, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Multimedia Journalism. In addition to serving as an ambassador,...

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Ashley Klement

Ashley Klement

Real Talk Ambassador 2020

MISS PALM BEACH COUNTY 2020 -- Ashley Klement joins us as a Real Talk Brand Ambassador in 2020! She is a Junior at Florida Atlantic University, from Cooper City, Florida, studying Health Sciences with a concentration in Public Health and a dual minor in Health Administration and Psychology....

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