I pray that all has been well since the last time we spoke. So let’s jump right in! In my last post, I shared my initial thoughts on beginning my new role as an Executive Administrative Intern, at Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton. Here’s a brief recap:
“Before starting in this new position I thought that I would walk in and instantly be barbed with questions and requests that I secretly had no Idea how to respond too. However, I am glad to report that my experience thus far is quite the opposite. I am not in a new role at all. I am still a student and life is my…(stay tuned for part 2)”
New Role (pt. 2)
Here we are, as I previously stated I am not in a new role at all, as I pursue my year of service, I remained in my previous role as a student. The only difference is that faith serves as my teacher and life is my classroom. Over the past 3 months, I have been fortunate to attend local events that support not only the mission and values of Catholic Charities but also the development of my professional and personal life.
Resilience: Healing and Preventing Trauma
In early October, I attended a free event hosted by one of CCDT’s community partners, Trenton Health Team. Trenton Health Team, in partnership with the City of Trenton and the Urban Mental Health Alliance, with generous support from The Nicholson Foundation. Gathered to learn, discuss, and explore ways to heal and prevent trauma in our community. As I sat in a room full of professional representatives of some of the most well-known organizations in the Trenton community. We anticipated discovering new-found knowledge from the documentary Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope, and post discussion with Dr. David Johnson, whose work is highlighted in the film.
As the film begins, the statement, “The Child might not remember, but the body remembers” pierced through my body and I wondered if hearing the statement had moved through those around me as it moved through me. Many are unaware of the significant affect one’s encounter with trauma, can have on the physical development of children and young adults. The film primarily focused on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), and its presence New Haven public school system. Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris, a pediatrician who is the first and current Surgeon General of California, noticed the presence of ACE’s in the lives of her patients, and decided to pursue change, because “we are a storm of everything we have lived.” Dr. Burke-Harris preceded by educating herself and others on the ways trauma can affect a child’s physical development and academic performance. Check out this video for more information on her research:
As the documentary came to an end and the post discussion began Kimme Carlos, Executive Director & Founder of the Urban Mental Health Alliance shared her journey as a recovering alcoholic and expounded on her desire to address the root cause of her addiction. Carlos informed the room that every person she contacted in her personal and professional circle to discuss childhood trauma, “did not want to talk about it”. That is when she realized that the only way we can begin to normalize conversations centered around mental health in the urban community is by addressing trauma head-on. Dr. Johnson added that one’s community resilience impacts an individual’s resilience when faced with trauma. When we are waiting for things to work itself out we are creating a formula for failure. If one is going to develop individual resilience their community must be properly informed of the resources available to those in need. Johnson informed the room that in Trenton the problem is not the lack of resources, we have enough of that. The issue is the lack of public education. We have multiple organizations offering the same services to a community that remains broken. Dr. Johnson concluded the discussion by alluding that instead of residing on our own as an organization we should bridge together as did the organizations who sponsor and co-sponsored this event, to offer the community a sense of hope in their time of need.
Trenton Health Team. also offered an evening screening of the documentary and discussion with Dr. Johnson, free of charge for residence of Trenton and the surrounding counties. I left the event that afternoon, in deep thought. My inner voice spoke to the broken part of me and said “just because you do not talk about the trauma you have experienced as a child and adolescent does not mean it will mysteriously disappear. The only way you can be healed is by talking about it! Not for you but for those who believe that their silence creates peace, and not generational dysfunction”.
Before I let you go.. I know with months post was a little heavy, so here’s a fun fact, to lighten the load!
Did you know that November 6 is National Nacho Day? Go celebrate! & remember…
Live out your purpose, not in your pain! – Q