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Local Organizations Join Together To Build HOPE and Resiliency in San Diego’s Children


April is National Month of Hope. While hope is something we all need right now as we surpass one year of the COVID pandemic, HOPE (Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences) means something different in our work as ACEs Aware grantees.

The YMCA of San Diego County, San Diego State University Social Policy Institute, San Diego Accountable Community for Health (SDACH) and American Academy of Pediatrics – California Chapter 3 are combining efforts as ACEs Aware grantees to work with families, the community and AAP-CA3’s pediatrician members to address adverse childhood experiences – one way to do this is by applying the HOPE framework.

Similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, children need access to the Four Building Blocks of HOPE – 1. Supportive relationships; 2. Safe, equitable, and stable environments; 3. Social and civic engagement; and 4. Emotional growth – in order to thrive. Factors such as systemic racism, historical trauma and adverse childhood experiences can disrupt access to the Four Building Blocks.

“We know that ACEs are very common, what we want to do is be able to offset the negative effects of those Adverse Childhood Experiences with Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs),” AAP-CA3’s ACEs Committee Co-Chair, Dr. Wendy Pavlovich said. “The way we do this is by focusing on resiliency and the Four Building Blocks of HOPE, and ensuring our families have the resources they need to be successful. We are certainly not going to do this alone and addressing adversity and promoting resiliency is going to happen in a community.”

Throughout the month of April, the ACEs Aware grantees are focusing on reframing the conversation around Adverse Childhood Experiences by demonstrating how it is a public health issue. Whether it means reducing financial pressures by implementing policies around child tax credits and paid family leave to creating stronger communities by addressing racial inequity, we are dedicated to showing there is HOPE for San Diego’s children.


The American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 3 (AAP-CA3) is dedicated to achieving physical, mental health and social well-being for every infant, child and adolescent in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Founded in 1961, AAP-CA3 is one of four American Academy of Pediatrics chapters in California. Visit for more information.


The YMCA of San Diego County is the largest Y association in the nation, serving nearly 500,000 San Diego County residents and employing more than 5,500 people. Through a variety of programs and services focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y unites men, women and children - regardless of age, income or background - to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The YMCA of San Diego County is dedicated to improving the quality of human life and to helping all people realize their fullest potential as children of God through the development of the spirit, mind and body. Visit to find your local YMCA or call (858) 292-YMCA (9622).


The Social Policy Institute (SPI) is an affiliate of San Diego State University’s (SDSU) School of Social Work. The Institute educates, inspires and collaborates with partners and community stakeholders through an integrated learning system, training and technical assistance, continuous quality improvement, consultation, research and evaluation. SPI is focused on bridging academia with government, business and community partners to increase the well-being of children, families and communities.


The San Diego Accountable Community for Health (SDACH) is a multi-sector initiative that addresses critical community health issues through collaboration and redefines our local health system to extend beyond traditional healthcare institutions. With a focus on equity, the SDACH brings together clinical providers with public health, schools, social service agencies, community organizations, and others in a collective effort to make our community healthier. Since its inception in 2016, the SDACH has become widely recognized as a respected leader and convener of stakeholders across medical, social, and community networks of care to create clinical-community linkages, build capacity and share best practices.

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