About Diane

As well as being the Founder and Primary Instructor at ABLE To Sail, Diane is available as a Motivational Speaker for your school, as well as other youth or parent organizations. Diane speaks to the heart and soul of teens and those who work with them – essentially, on the topic of why, as human beings, we struggle to believe that we are “Good Enough,” how that drives us to choose high-risk behaviors, such as drugs, alcohol, cutting, or worse – and how to shift that to an empowering mindset of “Enoughness,” and Possibility!

Diane is an “approved speaker” for the St Vrain Valley School District, and received the “Make Time for Kids” award from Mayor Coombs in 2013 for the presentation, “Being Good Enough – The Realization”.

Prior Speaking Engagements

  • Keynote Speaker for 2017 State of Colorado Parks and Rec Summer Kickoff Conference
  • Mead High Student Body Assembly – 2018
  • Health and Relationships Classes –Katie Saenz, Mead High
  • Adams County Diversion School – The R.O.C.
  • OUTBoulder County Youth Groups
  • Longmont Youth Center – Multiple Occasions
  • Natural High’s
  • Fire Mountain Youth Drug Treatment Center
  • Youth Services Initiative
  • Niwot High State Champion Track Team
  • Rotary and Chamber Events
  • United Church of Christ – Guest Sermon
  • Olde Columbine High School​


Speaking Topics

  • Being Good Enough – The Realization
  • Discovering the “Self” in Self-Esteem
  • The Only One Who Thinks in Your Head
  • Why We Believe What We Believe (and how to change it!)
  • …and then some!


In February 2017, Diane McKinney came to my Relationships class at Mead High School to talk to my students about self-esteem, decision making/choices, addiction and overcoming obstacles. Diane has a tough life story that she shares with my classes to help them see that when we are made to feel worthless, we make bad choices, and then blame those bad choices on feeling worthless… it becomes a never-ending cycle. Diane tells the students that they are enough just the way they are and they have to believe in themselves to make better choices. She also reinforced that the only approval they need comes from within! We were so moved that we have asked her to address the entire student body in 2018!

Katie Saenz

Health and Relationships Teacher, Mead High

Here is what some of my students said about Diane and her presentation

  • She was raw and upfront
  • Everything she said we NEEDED to hear!
  • Diane was edgy and intense, in a good way!
  • She was very informative
  • Diane was influential during her presentation

She delivers a raw, tragic, and ultimately redeeming testimonial that moves me to take stock of my life every time I hear her. Diane’s story and music transport her audience out of their chairs, into her life, and then back again to their own lives – which they see with new eyes.  Her message and her presentation are powerful!

Ben Ready

Gang Interventionist, Longmont Youth Center

Youth Center teens had this to say

  • I never thought of myself like that before…good enough? Amazing? Important? It feels pretty cool!
  • I want her to come to my school and tell everybody. There’s so many kids who need to hear that!

We left ABLE To Sail with a new partner, as Diane followed up by visiting us and speaking to a new group of students. The feedback we received from our youth was that Diane’s story was so powerful because they could relate to her background and experiences, and they felt it was nice to know that somebody else has been through similar things or felt similar emotions. When she speaks, Diane shows her passion for working with youth and her message comes through loud and clear. Diane is an example of a success story, is a powerful motivator, and a person we are happy to call a friend!

Paul McCain

R.O.C. Coordinator