CECIL B. MOORE >> Trauma has a way of changing the brain. With much new research on how one gets traumatized, how trauma is passed down from one generation to the next and the consequences for children who experience it, all can seem like gloom and doom.
That is where the Our Kids are Not Broken: Empowering the Traumatized Youth event came in. This was a three-hour session held at the Gesu School, 1700 W. Thompson St., Friday, Nov. 3. The focus of the event was to discuss ways to overcome childhood trauma so that those who experience it can become thriving and adjusted adults.
This was the Gesu School’s 20th annual Symposium on Transforming Inner-City Education. The day was billed as one that would examine the best practices surrounding the impact of trauma on students. It opened with the Gesu Gospel Choir led by H. L. Ratliff and culminated with remarks from Robert Weinstein, the school’s vice president of development.
“This was a powerful professional development session,” said Miriam Lagona, who works at the Serviam Girl’s Academy in New Castle. “The fact is that kids come to school and we see them, but we don’t know their story. That’s why this was so eye-opening. I learned that there can be so much more beyond the surface.
“I am glad I came because now I can say that I understand what trauma really is. I learned ways that I can reach the youths who have this trauma. Now I can go back to work with new ways to reach them,” Lagona said.
Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg was the keynote speaker. He explained the effects of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. He explained how caring adults can contribute tremendously to allow traumatized children to develop resilience, strength and positive coping strategies.