Linnita Hosten

Linnita Hosten is an award-winning student success strategist who empowers students to identify and go after their DREAM career.


▪Leadership ▪Women’s Empowerment ▪First Generation College Students ▪Personal Growth ▪Organizational Development ▪Character Development ▪Athletics ▪First Year Experience ▪High School Issues


▪Leading from the Passenger Seat
▪First-Year Excellence
▪The Couch Conversation: Excellence First Starts in the Mind
▪Own Your Emotions in Leadership


Linnita’s Bio

Linnita Hosten is an award-winning student success strategist who empowers students to identify and go-after their DREAM career.

Linnita’s work with students began at age 18 as a recreation summer camp counselor and expanded through numerous roles to include: Resident assistant, orientation team leader, high school cheerleading coach, private tutor, college access advisor, college professor, and 5X author.

The high-energy edutainer provides content-packed and research-based success strategy programming for organizations, universities, and community groups; and group coaching to students.

Linnita has been honored with various awards including: Excellence in Education; Youth Speaker of the Year; 40 Under 40 in Education; Education Book of the Year; and Alumni of the Year.

She is the visionary behind the book The College Strategy and the founder of Excellence Brainery, education and career planning resource hub for parents, educators, and community leaders.

Linnita is passionate about preparing ambitious students to get clear on their plans and confident about pursuing their DREAM.

When not on stage, you can find the pescetarian in the produce section at your local grocer; diving in a good book or enjoying the company of her favorite person in the whole wide world —her sister, Makenzie

Linnita’s Blogs

The following are past entries Linnita has written for the CAMPUSPEAK Speaker’s Voice Blog

Black Lives Matter


Personal Growth

Promotional Materials

To help you promote your event with Linnita, CAMPUSPEAK has created promotional templates you can use. In this folder, you will find resources for social media, a promotional poster for printing, and press photos you can use for your event.
Link to Promotional Materials

Logistical Materials

Below you will find logistical resources for the day of your event with Linnita.
In-Person Event AV Needs (PDF)
Speaking Introduction (PDF)

Right from the beginning, my experience with CAMPUSPEAK has been fantastic. Any questions I had, were answered promptly and I would get emails when information was needed. I had access to email and phone numbers, which was appreciated. Linnita, our guest speaker, was AMAZING. Our students loved her speech and I was pleasantly surprised at how she would stop to allow people to ask questions and how engaging and comfortable that made our students feel. We had never had an event that turned out so well.

Zahayra Razo

TRIO SSS Director, Thomas College

UPLIFTING. Authentic. Relatable. Linnita was wonderful! The students took a lot from her message, many were waiting after her speech to say thank you or to take a picture with her. She connected well to our student group and everything about her resonated with our students, it was a pleasure to have Linnita!

Assistant Director of Residence Life for Community Standards

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

See What People Have to Say!

We had the pleasure of having Linnita serve as our keynote speaker for 3 sessions of our extended orientation program at the University of Illinois! From our initial planning meeting, I knew selecting Linnita as our speaker was the best decision to support our incoming students. Linnita’s captivating energy, adaptability, engaging personality, and motivational message was the perfect combination to encourage our students to reflect on their upcoming collegiate experience. If the opportunity presents itself again, our office will definitely be reaching out to Linnita in the future, and we highly encourage you to do the same!

Curtis Johnson – New Student Programs at University of Illinois of Urban-Champaign, Assistant Director

We have had the privilege of working with Linnita on several occasions as a keynote speaker for both in-person and virtual international events. She is truly one of the most engaging speakers we’ve ever worked with! She immediately connects with her audience and, in our case, that audience spanned from current college students to collegiate alumni and university faculty and staff. Her message is powerful, her experience robust and her ability to engage people is beyond compare. There is a reason she is one of our most requested speakers. I always know our registrations will grow when we tell our members Linnita is speaking. We cannot wait to book her again.

Melissa Hinson Leitzell – Golden Key International Honour Society, CEO

Thomas College’s TRIO SSS program has invited Linnita to speak with students multiple times in the past few years because of her ability to engage with students and motivate them. She has been our keynote speaker at multiple First-Generation Celebrations and has exceeded expectations each time. What distinguishes Linnita from other speakers we have invited to campus is the way that her message resonates with students, especially those who have experienced hardships. Students remember her years after she speaks and request her by name. From a staff perspective, I found Linnita to be communicative, engaged, and professional in all interactions. She adapts well to groups of different sizes and with various backgrounds and infuses humor and real talk throughout. She went above and beyond to connect with us before, during, and after the event. I would highly recommend Linnita for campus speaking engagements!

Cote Theriault – Director of Trio Student Support Services at Thomas College

Each year, I attempt to identify a crowd-pleasing emcee for this event. This person has to be someone who can deliver important remarks, keep the crowd energized, and stay flexible throughout the event for last-minute twists and turns- Linnita exceeded my expectations- needing almost no guidance. She memorized her remarks, mingled with the crowd, and made the audience feel engaged during the program. I look forward to working with her again soon. I highly recommend her for speaking engagements.

Director of Institutional Advancement Services – University of Maryland Global Campus

Linnita made the students each feel that they were the most important person in the room. Not only is Linnita a “competent” teacher, but her passion is also infectious.

Faculty – Anne Arundel Community College

The session was very informative and honestly weight lifting. It made me open my eyes to a lot of things I’m dealing with as well as helped me see others are experiencing the same.

Student Leader – AFLV Central Conference Attendee

This presentation was invaluable in helping me to realize the importance of my core values, and how to better communicate as a leader. I learned that I need to make my leadership quantifiable. I loved the passion and the enthusiasm. I know I can take the knowledge learned back to my community to be a better service leader

Student Leader – Santa Monica College


Leading from the Passenger Seat

Congratulations! You’re the leader of your team, your organization, your chapter! When it comes to being the leader, do you have to be in front of the crowd at all times? Most students believe yes, but Linnita Hosten believes true leaders don’t always take the driver’s seat. A student and/or chapter leader displays healthy and inclusive leadership when they lead from the “Passenger Seat.”

The seat in which you lead- it matters. In the program, Linnita teaches students the three traits of passenger-centered teams and how seat positioning infectiously impacts and influences those you lead in your organization.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to apply soft skills such as observing, communicating, and listening; and evaluate its impact on establishing and maintaining an organizational culture,
  • how to intentionally incorporate and model soft skills within an organization, and
  • how to appropriately process and respond to organizational feedback from team leadership and team participants.
Own Your Emotions in Leadership

Women leaders are irrational, emotional, and indecisive. That’s what the “world” says. We know that not everything the “world” says is true. But is that statement true to your leadership style? Do you find yourself struggling to manage your emotions when dealing with organizational and personal issues?

Using the latest research in women’s leadership, Linnita teaches women how to manage the complex and instinctive state of mind known as emotions. Learn to own your leadership, objectively, confidently, relentlessly, and undistracted.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to define and identify emotions and their distinction from feelings,
  • how their emotions impact those they love and lead,
  • how to identify what triggers the development of emotion, and
  • how to better identify and manage emotional reactions that show up in pursuit of organizational success.
First-Year Excellence

Your first year is hard. A new place. New people. New schedule. New environment. New emotions and new beginnings. If you’re honest, new is uncomfortable and sometimes scary. But what if you could nail down one simple way to make your first year more successful?

The success of your first year in college is determined by the goals you set. Beyond successfully completing your coursework, making new friends, and having a great time- what are your goals? Learn why it is critical to think strategically about your college experience and how you can leverage your college degree (with strategic planning) -before college graduation. 

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to identify their non-negotiables of success (study routine, communication needs, fitness lifestyle, self-care practice, etc.)
  • how to draft a roadmap to navigate a successful first-year.
  • how to identify valuable on-campus resources and opportunities to assist them with living out their success plan.
  • how to make a clear connection between their engaged student experience, degree attainment, and career success.
The Couch Conversation: Excellence First Starts in the Mind

Are self-sabotaging thoughts swimming in your mind about who you are and what you have the potential to be? If you’re super honest, you’ll admit that this “quiet conversation” with yourself does exist. You may be the first to admit it, but you are not the only person experiencing this mental war. Learn to win the war with your mind. 

Linnita Hosten will help students learn that the way they think of themselves from the start will determine their courage and fearlessness throughout their college years.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to explore the mental roadblocks that show up and affect their self-concept,
  • the three practical tools that all high achievers use to win the war of their mind, and
  • the three science-proven coping strategies to support mental toughness.