There are no guarantees of personal safety and, all too often, we think it will happen to someone else. But, remember, to someone else, you are someone else. That’s why we prepare teens and young women to navigate their world with safety and confidence JUST IN CASE.
How do we do that? By shining a light on simple strategies, practical skills and self-defense techniques they need to have. We will teach girls to think smart and do whatever it takes to avoid danger and avert violence. We help build their confidence and teach them to tap into and act on their intuition. We will teach them to take charge of their safety and the power of being prepared.
Empower the Girls training is the seat belt of personal safety. It can reduce their risk and save their life!
We focus on the positive and bring the fun into learning. Our classes are engaging, interactive and easy to follow – no matter age, size or ability. Sign up for a class or contact us to organize a session or presentation for your group or organization.
“I learned self-defense isn’t only about physical protection but it’s about the mental change through to thought process, confidence and believing in yourself – knowing what to do before it happens.”
“Very influential course. I learned so many life lessons.”
“I feel more confident and ready for anything.”
“I feel more confident that I can get out of a tough situation.”
“I liked the reality and truth of the course.”
“Every human should take this course – very empowering!”
“This is an essential program for any woman/teen who ever asks herself “what would I do if…? I feel empowered to survive what I thought would be in survivable acts of violence.”
“Thank you so much for this class. I was so impressed and it is probably the most important class the girls will ever take. We all learned so much and I just can’t thank you enough. I will definitely be spreading the word.”
“Very important information. Should be required in all schools!”
“Essential information, potentially lifesaving! Everyone should have these skills, they are empowering.”
“I had so much fun and learned things I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about.”
“Definitely very important for all girls to take.”
It started in the late 1970's when women in England protested against violence. They
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Ellen C. van Olden
Ellen C. van Olden, the founder of Empower the Girls, has over 20 years experience in the security and safety training industry. She brings a tremendous amount of passion and commitment to empowering people; particularly young women, with tools necessary to reduce their risk of becoming a victim.
Growing up the daughter of the Executive Officer for the Connecticut State Police Training Academy, safety has always been an intrinsic and paramount aspect of Ellen’s life. After earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Connecticut State University in 1988, she began working in the safety and security field alongside her father, Roland W. Ouellette. He is known as one of the top law enforcement trainers in the country as well the author and founder of the Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB®). Ellen eventually worked her way to becoming the Vice President of MOAB® Training International, a company with the purpose of providing safety and security training for personnel in law enforcement, hospitals, universities and colleges; and whose programs have benefited thousands of individuals.
In 2007, Ellen and her father Co-Founded SAM Training, LLC to address the rising threats of violence directed at educators and students on campuses nationwide. They developed a program, Strategies on Safety a preparedness, and prevention program to empower faculty and staff with practical skills to avoid danger while learning strategies for managing physical conflicts or threats of violence.
Most recently, Ellen founded Empower the Girls, LLC with the intention of providing valuable and much-needed safety skills to women of all ages with a focus on teens and college-aged women. With the reality that her two daughters would soon be heading off to college, Ellen took action and immersed herself in the development of Empower the Girls Personal Safety Training 101, a prevention education, safety awareness and self-defense program that builds confidence and provides practical skills to reduce the risk of becoming a victim. With her team of experts and skilled practitioners, Empower the Girls is fast growing and impacting hundreds of lives.
Roland W. Ouellette, Director of Training for Empower the Girls, is the author, trainer and founder of the highly acclaimed Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB®) program, implemented worldwide in a variety of workplace settings since 1983. Recently he retired as the Director of Training and co-founder of SAM® Training, LLC. The tragic and violent events in schools and on university campuses in recent years deeply moved and spurred Roland into action. Founded on the same principals as MOAB, SAM was developed specifically for educators, leveraging Roland’s life experience and passion for nurturing and protecting people.
With a passion for hard work, conviction, and compassion for others, Roland has amassed many years of research in avoiding violence and managing confrontation, beginning with martial arts training while stationed in Japan in the U.S. Army Security Agency. Roland taught martial arts for many years while continuing his career in public safety with the Connecticut State Police, retiring as a Lieutenant in 1981. Additionally, he has served as a supervisor for the Connecticut Department of Corrections; an Adjunct Professor of Law Enforcement and Security at Naugatuck (CT) Valley Community Technical College; and the Executive Officer of the Connecticut State Police Training Academy.
For nine years Roland also served as the New England Director of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET) and is currently a member of the Advisory Board for International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA). In addition to authoring the book, Management of Aggressive Behavior, Roland is a contributing author of another book, Total Survival Management, and has authored numerous articles on managing confrontation. His portfolio includes staff training at educational institutions for students with developmental disabilities and special emotional and behavioral needs.
Lisa Campanelli-Rose, Creative Director for Empower the Girls, is the Owner & Art Director of Campanelli Designs. She is a dynamic, highly creative individual who thinks well outside of the proverbial box; far beyond traditional boundaries. A runner; both literally and figuratively, Lisa is an energetic woman who approaches every endeavor both holistically and passionately.
What does Lisa Campanelli-Rose do?…Creates possibilities. In the most concrete sense, by artfully and ingeniously helping to grow and promote businesses through traditional marketing strategies, as well as social media. She builds and maintains strong working and personal relationships. With a love for writing and a keen eye for advertising design, Lisa has a degree in Communication from Suffolk University (formerly New England School of Art & Design in Boston, MA). Lisa can take companies from mere concepts to well-branded players.
She also has a natural gift to inspire others. In 2010, she created Webe Running with a friend. Webe initially began as a group of individuals who met regularly to run for physical fitness, as well as support each other in this habitual enterprise. Eventually, Lisa segued Webe into a group who not only ran and helped one another but became more intimately involved in each other’s lives; helping to foster one another’s personal and professional growth. She accomplished this through the creation of programs developed to inspire women to reach personal and professional goals; one such program being “5k On Our Way.” This is a blueprint, which takes beginning runners to their first 5k in an 8-week period while simultaneously setting positive intentions to improve their lives.
As a mother of two daughters, Empower the Girls aligns with Lisa’s passion and commitment to work toward paving the way for change.
Joe Follendorf brings over 28 years of experience as a defensive tactics and firearms instructor to the Empower Team. He served 26 years with a Western New York Police Agency. During his law enforcement career, he stood as his department’s Senior Firearms Training Officer, Physical Force Instructor, Assistant SWAT Team Commander and adjunct academy instructor. Joe is continuing with his law enforcement career as a sworn uniformed peace officer with the Erie County (NY) Sheriff’s Office Scientific Reserve Staff. He carries his training and experience to this specialized staff, consisting of local academic, medical, legal, and business professionals, assisting the Office of the Sheriff with matters specific to their field.
As a trainer and a published author in his field, he has become an internationally recognized instructor teaching officers around the world. Joe is an active staff member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA). As an accepted international police trainer, Joe has devoted many hours and accumulated an extensive list of certifications in the use of force disciplines from subject management, defensive tactics, handcuffing, police baton, electronic control devices, chemical agents and other impact weapons to various firearm platforms. As a contract instructor for a variety of law enforcement industry leaders and the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, Joe continues to teach and train law enforcement officers and security personnel around the world.
Joe has taken his training and experience to a new level being a consultant and trainer for Delta Airlines Global Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Airlines Inc. He continues with his passion for educating and training law enforcement officers and security personnel by delivering intense dynamic training to the private citizen through the creation of Incident Defense LLC.
Along with his staff of NRA Instructors, law enforcement trainers and legal professionals, they provide awareness, education, and application of recognized self-defense courses, pistol permit safety courses, firearms, basic through advanced levels of proficiency, judgmental and decision-making skills, along with a host of other survival skills courses.
The vision of Incident Defense is nothing less than realizing that safety and security come in the form of education and training. Delivering to individuals, responsible gun owners and law enforcement officers the knowledge and skills necessary to protect themselves from predators is the primary corporate goal. From awareness to firearms proficiency and beyond, Incident Defense wants YOU to be prepared. Whether beginner or expert, it’s all about advancing knowledge and training to WIN!
Dennis Jurasz retired in 1994, after 20 years of service, as a police officer from an upstate New York police department. As a member of that agency, and as a holder of various degrees of Black Belts in several martial arts, he was their Physical Force Instructor for over 10 years, and the Assistant Team Leader, for their Emergency Response Team (ERT), for over 18 years.
Mr. Jurasz is a National and International Instructor in a number of defensive tactics systems; Monadnock PR-24®, Monadnock Straight Baton (MEB®), Monadnock Defensive Tactics (MDTS®), Quik-kuf®, Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint (LVNR®), Casco Baton, Handgun/Long Gun Retention and Disarming, and Management Of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB®), just to name a few. He has traveled and taught law enforcement, military, embassy and private security personnel all over the world, in such places as Switzerland, the Philippines, Guam, Egypt, Uganda, Italy, Japan, Tanzania, South Africa, Belgium, The Caribbean, England and Malaysia.
He is currently a member or a past member, of a number of National Advisory Boards and/or International Training Staffs, including, but not limited to; Northwestern University and the Center for Public Safety as part of their Developmental Steering Committee for their new Security Management and Leadership Institute (SMLI), Monadnock Police Training Council, Inc, (MPTC), Monadnock PR-24 International Seminar, American Society of Law Enforcement Trainer (ASLET), National Law Enforcement Training Center (NLETC), International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI), International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), Firearm Training Systems, Inc. (FATS®) and Police Marksman Magazine, which he is a frequent contributor to, as well as numerous other magazines and journals. He is also a co-author of the book, Total Survival.
Mr. Jurasz is an internationally recognized expert in the police use of force and has qualified in local, state and federal courts.
Dennis is the previous co-owner of Dimensional Tactics Systems, Inc., and the past owner and chief consultant of Dj Productions of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is currently the Training Manager for the Security Division of Delta Airlines Global Services, LLC. He brings extensive experience and training to the Empower Team.
Mike Kaselouskas has over 20 years of training experience starting as an auxiliary police officer for the town of Enfield Connecticut from 1981-1985, where he assisted in training new recruits for the auxiliary unit, including firearm training. In 1993 he was hired by the Department of Public Safety at the University of Hartford and was the Assistant Chief.
Mike is an Instructor Trainer, certifying fellow instructors in the areas of handcuffing, OC pepper spray, and Police Domestic Violence Instruction through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He is also a Certified Instructor for the Monadnock Expandable Baton (MEB), PR-24 Baton, Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB), Rape Aggression Defense (RAD), laser radar, motor vehicle stops, sexual assault investigations and critical incident command. Also, he teaches recruits annually in defensive tactics, use of force, and search & seizure. Mike writes and instructs an 80-hour police in-service training curriculum which is held annually and attended by the University of Hartford officers as well as various outside agencies and Police Departments.
Mike has studied personal safety for both Police Officers and the Private Sector. He was selected by the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services to receive an award for his dedication and service to the community and law enforcement in teaching in this area. Mike is also a public speaker for the University as well as for outside community groups on personal safety awareness. Also, he has served as an expert witness in a court case regarding Police Training.
Mike participants in many professional organizations and is a member of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association (NEOA), New England State Police Network, Rape Aggression Defense Systems, and the International Police Mountain Bike Association. Mike brings his passion, dedication and leadership to the Empower Team.
Guy Rossi is a retired Police Sergeant of the Rochester, New York Police Department who specialized in patrol, recruit, field training and defensive tactics instruction. He has been a nationally recognized law enforcement trainer since 1982. His experiences in officer survival skills are published in over two hundred magazine articles and chapters in books on training. Upon retiring from active duty, he was employed as a Program Coordinator of Curriculum Development for the Public Safety Training Facility of Monroe Community College (MCC).
He was a Program Coordinator of Curriculum Development for the Homeland Security Management Institute of MCC. His current focus is assisting in the instructing and ongoing development of the Safe Approach for Managing Aggressive Behavior (SAM®) as well as the Management of Aggressive Behavior Programs (MOAB®). Guy has a Master’s Degree in Adult Education – Instructional Design and plays Lead Guitar in a party band called Rochester Brass & Electric.
He is also a proud charter member of the International Law Enforcement and Educators Training Association (ILEETA) and served as the Editor of the ILEETA Review for three years. In his spare time, Guy continues to peck away at a serial killer novel he has been working on entitled, “Bloodline.”
Terry Smith oversaw the Monadnock® training operations in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire from September 1988 until March 2010. In that role, he developed and managed courseware, along with establishing curriculum procedures across several users and instructor levels, for the Monadnock PR-24®, Monadnock Expandable Baton (MEB) and Monadnock Defensive Tactics System (MDTS) programs. Throughout this period he provided daily material support and advice to a vast, worldwide network of agency trainers who voluntarily participate in one or more Monadnock programs that began in 1972 with the PR-24 program for First Responders.
As a Corporal with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana (1978-1988), Terry developed the logic behind the color-coded baton chart that Monadnock later adopted as a standard within the PR-24 and MEB programs. Terry accepted an invitation by Paul D. Starrett, Monadnock President (1972-2000) to be the editor for the Monadnock Instructor Course Notebook. He is also a contributing writer to various chapters of the notebook.
Terry has written many supportive documents for and published several articles relating to Monadnock programs. The Monadnock Compact Disk Educational Series was his brainchild, which consists of fourteen individual CDs that advance the philosophy of Protect & Restrain. He is the originator of several products that include the Monadnock Fighting Shield (US Patent Pending), Control Device 21 baton, Tactical Targeting Tip (Lime Green 3xT) and Window Breaker. Terry is also co-patent holder with Paul D. Starrett for the Safety Tip and Power Safety Tip for Police Batons.
Terry remains deeply involved in both advocating and instructing Monadnock educational programs around the world, which started with Lon R. Anderson teaching him the PR-24 program in March 1975 (USMC, PMO, Quantico, VA). For example, Terry is one of the first 14 Monadnock International Instructors, Founding Advisory Board Member and recently named to the Monadnock Hall of Fame. At the Annual International Monadnock Instructor Seminar, he participated as a staff member between 1980 and 2009, and organized that event between1988 and 2009, when it was re-named the Safariland 2009 Less Lethal Conference.
Terry participates in several professional organizations that include, but is not limited to, National Rifle Association (NRA) and International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) and an associate member of the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) and International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST).