A Ph.D. candidate when Amber found herself in the crossfire of the Las Vegas Rt. 91 mass shooting, left her with wounds unseen, but which cut to the bone. Taking a 4-year leave of absence before returning to her program in Organizational Leadership, Amber now reflects on this experience as an opportunity to elevate the importance of trauma treatment and recovery.
Applying her more than two decades as a leadership development and change management professional, Amber leverages both here executive knowledge and personal experience to share her story and the long-lasting impact of a mass trauma event.
Navigating her own healing journey, It was just months after the shooting that Amber was introduced to The Rebels Project, a non-profit peer-to-peer support organization that was pivotal in helping her verbalize her feelings and fears, and give her space to process what was next for her. Since then, Amber has been committed to helping other survivors through their own healing journey.
Amber’s passion to ensure mass trauma survivors have a supportive community resonates in her messages, with heartfelt clarity.
Hayley Steinmuller is a Route 91 Las Vegas shooting survivor and firmly believes that trauma should be a reason, not an excuse. Hayley was in graduate school to become a school counselor when she survived the largest mass shooting in US history and used her experience to write her master’s thesis on the different levels of support people receive after surviving a shooting based on a number of factors such as: gender, race, age, level of trauma faced, job position etc. After Hayley graduated, she moved to Colorado to be closer to a community of survivors and thrives as a counselor in an educational setting that understands her experience and values school safety as a top priority for students and staff.
Hayley quickly found a community of support online of other shooting survivors and volunteered on their leadership team for over 2 years. During this time she spoke on leadership panels, connected with others, volunteered at numerous events, and posted online content garnering over a collective 2 million views on Tiktok. She has given interviews for documentaries, podcasts, and magazine articles about her fierce resilience.
Michelle Wheeler is a survivor of the Columbine High School Massacre. She graduated from Columbine in 1999. For the last two decades, Michelle has worked on her mental health and tried many therapies to help her cope with her trauma. Michelle was diagnosed with long-term C-PTSD, anxiety and sleep issues. For the last 10 years, Michelle has worked side by side with other survivors, navigating this journey of recovery.
Remembering that day April 20, 1999, where she hid for her life in the auditorium and ultimately came face to face with one of her gunmen, Michelle has taken that experience and used it to help other survivor communities. She has held peer support meetings through a local non-profit and spoke on survivor panels about her experience on that day and her life afterwards.
Michelle is married and has one daughter. She studied Psychology at Metropolitan State College and Early Childhood Education through University of Phoenix. Michelle was a teacher for 21 years and recently left the classroom to become an Instructional Coach. Michelle is available to facilitate trauma workshops, panel discussions on a variety of topics supporting trauma, survival and recovery.