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Donna Valenti

Donna Valenti

Program Coordinator

This evidence-based program offers a fun and safe space for students to learn how to identify, regulate, articulate their emotions, listen to triggers, and challenge negative thinking.

My Story

My favourite thing about being a Program Coordinator?

I am often asked why I have chosen to work with children.

I find working with children and their families the most rewarding job I can think of!

Knowing that my job is to help kids unfold with a happier sense of themselves and their world around them, and to feel more comfortable and confident in their unique and beautiful minds so that they can achieve their full potential brings a huge smile to my face every day.

I love that at the end of my day, I get to think about the children I am privileged to work with, their progress, and how I can help them further. When they leave our sessions, I hope they leave our sessions feeling better, stronger, empowered and happier.

I absolutely admire children’s endless energy, honesty, creativity, flexibility and resilience. My job allows me to draw on these traits and apply them within the play therapy sessions to teach them practical life skills and knowledge.

I have found that since having children of my own and working with children, I am a more knowledgeable and understanding person, as it is in a child’s nature to be very curious, but at the same time, not have the tools yet to deal with the intense load of stimulation and information being fired at them every single day.  So in this, it has given me the opportunity to look for answers and understanding, question myself, my world, my values and my behaviours in such a way that I believe I am a much more well-rounded individual, with more patience and appreciation for their beautiful open, innocent and perfect minds.

What is unique about me as a program coordinator?

I am co-head of Circus Valenti here in my household. I am a mother of 3 neurodiverse children, with my husband and I having a bunch of acronyms ourselves. We have been through a loooooong process of wins and utter failures, great highs and insane lows, as we have bumbled our way through the dark and confusion to find random lights at the end of random tunnels and begin putting the puzzle pieces together to forge plans for education and understanding for each member of the said circus.


I have found that this experience, together with my work and bachelor's degree in Health Promotion (primarily the education, program and seminar delivery and mental health aspects), has given me the unique and essential qualities to deliver this program.

What are my goals?

I believe we have all had the privilege to be thrown on this crazy planet to live, learn and be merry…otherwise…what’s the point!? So, my and my family’s life goals are to live as happy and healthy lives as possible while unfolding ourselves through enjoyable learning.


This is the goal…..though the wheels come off A-LOT, and as I have been enjoying the lightbulb moments and successes while trying to put the wheels back on and keep them on in my own house, my goal is to share my learnings to assist facilitate positive mental attitudes and behavioural change in others.

Most impressive Achievements?

The access to education and knowledge is something that I have been fortunate to grow up with, and so it is self-confidence and resilience that has been my biggest area of weakness and focus in my years post-schooling.


Therefore, my biggest achievement would have been the courage and perseverance through the move my husband and I made to live in Switzerland for several years, leaving behind everything familiar and certain, for a world that looked, smelled and sounded, so very different. Looking for work and a home while learning an entirely new language was one of the most exciting but almost most nerve-wracking experiences of my life. But I am so grateful that I persevered through the tests and lonely times so that I could finally enjoy and experience the beauty, friendships and wonder within another culture.

One quirky fact about me?

I physically cannot listen to music without singing along. My kids hate it hee hee (So they have now given me an almost mute button).

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