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The Walking Tall Movement

Helping people learn how to Walk Tall again until they can Walk Tall on their own.

The Walking Tall Movement was created by two separate mass shooting survivors and heroes from their events, and a renowned mental health doctor who all joined forces to share their own stories of adversity and strength, and then how they learned how to Walk Tall after being knocked down.


The Podcast will feature a variety of guests both in the mental health space and those who have overcome and continue to fight through their own struggles and adversity. The movement will spread a message of strength, togetherness, love, and support. In a time of despair, there is hope and a community of people that will help lift you up and Walk Tall for you until you can Walk Tall on your own.


The "Walking Tall Movement" is here, and we are ready to Walk Tall for you and then with you!


Dr. Vanetta LaRosa is a highly accomplished and compassionate professional dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with neuro-developmental disabilities. As the founder and Executive Clinical Director of Helping Hands LBAS, she has made a significant impact in the lives of those facing challenges such as ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury, behavioral issues, and more.

Dr. LaRosa's impressive educational background showcases her expertise in the field. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, specializing in human learning and development, at Southern Illinois University. Her studies were supported by a full academic scholarship and a doctoral Fellowship at the esteemed ACHIEVE Center, where she had the privilege of learning under the guidance of the late Dr. Barbara Cordoni, a renowned figure in the field of Educational Psychology and ABA.

Being a licensed behavior analyst in the state of New York and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst with doctoral distinction, Dr. LaRosa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her work. Furthermore, she undertook a Postdoctoral Respecialization in Clinical Neuropsychology under the mentorship of Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, a distinguished global leader in the field of Neuroscience. This additional training has enhanced her understanding of the intricate connections between psychology and neuroscience.

Dr. LaRosa's commitment to academic excellence is exemplified by her membership in Phi Kappa Phi and Gamma Beta Phi, prestigious honor societies recognizing outstanding scholastic achievements. Her passion for education extends beyond her own learning, as she spent two decades as a dedicated psychology teacher. During her tenure, she served as the primary thesis advisor for students in experimental psychology, nurturing their academic growth and fostering a deep appreciation for the subject.

With her extensive knowledge, clinical expertise, and unwavering dedication, Dr. Vanetta LaRosa is at the forefront of providing comprehensive support and care for individuals with neuro-developmental disabilities. Through Helping Hands LBAS, she continues to make a lasting impact, empowering individuals to overcome challenges and lead fulfilling lives.

Chris Maliszewski, the Co-Chair of the July 4, 2022, Highland Park, IL Independence Day Parade, is a remarkable individual whose life took an unexpected turn during a tragic event. On that fateful day, a mass shooting shook the community, resulting in the loss of seven lives and injuring over forty people. However, it was Chris's selfless acts and unwavering dedication to the well-being of others that have since made him a true hero.


In the face of danger, Chris exhibited extraordinary courage and leadership. Working tirelessly with law enforcement for over seven hours, he orchestrated the rescue of parade staff and the swift evacuation of public areas immediately after the incident. His quick thinking and compassionate actions saved countless lives, earning him the admiration and gratitude of his community.


Since that harrowing day, Chris has become an emblem of resilience and recovery. Recognizing the importance of his own well-being, he embarked on a personal journey of healing. Through the practice of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, Chris is learning to process the traumatic experience and navigate life with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). His determination to overcome adversity is an inspiration to others facing their own challenges.


Before his remarkable involvement in the Highland Park community, Chris excelled as a NCAA Division I baseball coach. He honed his coaching skills at prestigious institutions such as The University of Iowa and Valparaiso University, leaving a lasting impact on aspiring athletes. Today, he continues to channel his passion for sports and community as the Director of Recreation for the Park District of Highland Park.


Beyond his professional achievements, Chris finds strength in his role as a loving father to two beautiful children. His life experiences have equipped him with captivating stories, and he effortlessly shares them to inspire others. Through his own journey of resilience and Walking Tall, Chris offers a shining example of overcoming adversity, instilling hope, and fostering a strong sense of community.


As we welcome you to explore the remarkable story of Chris Maliszewski, we hope you are inspired by his unwavering dedication, resilience, and the transformative power of the human spirit.

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We are excited to introduce Todd Blyleven, a remarkable individual who has overcome unimaginable challenges and emerged as a beacon of hope and inspiration. Todd's life was forever changed on that fateful night of October 1, 2017, when he found himself in the midst of the worst mass shooting in modern history, at the Route 91 Country Music Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, NV. In the face of unspeakable tragedy, Todd's selfless acts and unwavering bravery saved lives and earned him the title of a "Hero."


Throughout the harrowing ordeal that spanned over eight grueling hours, Todd fearlessly carried the injured over his shoulder and provided aid to as many people as he possibly could. With his actions, he embodied the true spirit of courage and compassion. However, the road to recovery was not easy for Todd, as the traumatic events of that night left him grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

With the strength of his faith and the guidance of a skilled EMDR licensed therapist, Todd embarked on a transformative journey of healing. Through a combination of EMDR therapy and traditional therapeutic conversations, he gradually processed his memories from that terrifying night, allowing him to rebuild his life and find a way to Walk Tall once again. Todd's resilience and determination in the face of adversity serve as an inspiration to all.

Todd's life has been shaped by a unique blend of experiences. Growing up in the world of Major League Baseball, following in the footsteps of his father, MLB Hall of Fame Pitcher Bert Blyleven, he learned the ins and outs of professional sports firsthand. After his own successful career as a professional athlete, Todd transitioned into the role of a Major League Baseball Scout before venturing into the corporate sports industry for the past 13+ years.

Currently residing in north Texas, Todd is a devoted husband and father to three beautiful children. Building on his passion for sports and his remarkable journey, he has founded his own sports technology company, The Scout Hub. Through his diverse background in sports and life, coupled with his triumph over adversity, Todd brings a wealth of captivating stories to share.

We invite you to join Todd Blyleven on the Walking Tall Podcast, where he delves into the depths of his experiences, offering profound insights, and inspiring listeners with his extraordinary resilience. Prepare to be moved by Todd's remarkable journey of triumph over tragedy and his unwavering commitment to Walk Tall.

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