Alissa is a co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools and the mother of Emilie Parker, one of the 20 children who died tragically in the Sandy Hook School Shootings on December 14, 2012. In the wake of the tragedy, Alissa was moved to engage parents in securing the safety of their children in school. She became an active member of the Newtown Public Schools’ Safety Committee and has become passionate about school security and safety, traveling, listening and learning in school communities across the United States.
Alissa graduated from Weber State University in her hometown of Ogden, Utah. She is co-founder of The Emilie Parker Art Connection, which supports art programs for kids across the country, and the author of the book An Unseen Angel, a Memoir of Faith, Hope, and Healing. Alissa brings a powerful perspective and passion to our foundation. She is devoted to creating a legacy of safety for our nation’s children in honor of her beloved Emilie.
School Safety: A Parent’s Perspective Alissa tells her personal story and recounts the lessons she learned on December 14, 2012 and in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook School tragedy. She shares the inspiring way she has chosen to help school communities improve school safety in honor of her daughter, Emilie, and memory of the other 19 children and six teachers lost on December 14, 2012. Alissa’s perspective as a parent provides unique insight and inspiration for parents, administrators, school staff, emergency responders and community members who strive to make their schools safer.
Beyond Tragedy: Response and Recovery Following a School-Based Crisis
Alissa shares her personal perspective on the Sandy Hook School response and recovery efforts. Based on her own experiences, those of victims, survivors, first responders, community leaders, educators, families, and children in the Sandy Hook and Newtown community, Alissa outlines the challenges, successes, and lessons learned in the aftermath of tragedy and loss to better prepare others to respond and recover from emergencies, crisis, and disaster. She shares insights on emergency notification, communication, death notification, protection of victims and victims’ families, mental health needs and services, media management, and financial considerations, as well as other issues surrounding the response and recovery efforts within Sandy Hook and Newtown.
Panel Discussions and Q and A Sessions Alissa offers Q and A sessions following her keynotes or as a separate session. She is also available for panel discussions. As these formats are more organic and highly individualized, Alissa is available to discuss and plan for these types of sessions directly with clients.
“As I sat in the audience, I was quickly captivated. The audience, like myself, was transfixed as she shared her story of tragedy, pain, love, and mercy. Alissa spoke as if she had been on the circuit for years. Her demeanor on stage was bold, yet inviting, even tender at times. I have since had the pleasure of presenting with Alissa on several more occasions; my admiration continues to grow.”
– Whitney Johnson, author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work and Dare, Dream Do
“I have known and worked with Alissa for four years. Alissa is a gifted speaker who touches people’s hearts. Alissa has found a way to not make the story about her or even limit it to school safety. She delivers a message of hope and healing that touches literally everyone in the room.When you leave the room after she speaks, you are better for having been there. Equally important, you leave with specific steps you can implement immediately to make your personal world a little safer; whether it be at school, or work or just walking down the street.”
– Robert J. Martin, CEO, RJM Training and Consulting
“Very few of us can imagine the loss that Alissa Parker has endured, nor the pain that she and so many have lived with since that day at Sandy Hook. The tremendous strength and grace she displays should serve as an inspiration to all of us that even the most tragic of circumstances can build us as people, families and communities, and that, ultimately, our very survival may depend on it.”
– Aaron Sherinian, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, United Nations Foundation
“Alissa Parker’s story reminds us that sun follows night, love and faith are powerful balms, and we can choose whether we live in the darkness or light. Her healing story is a testament to the best parts of human nature and the power of resilience.”
– Lee Woodruff, Author and Journalist
“Alissa Parker’s personal journey brings you out from the depths of that fateful day at Sandy Hook Elementary School to lessons applicable to everyone on how to rise above the evil and hardships faced in our lives.”
– Mark K. Shriver, Best-selling author of A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver and Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis, and president of Save the Children Action Network