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TRF Tuesday – Vital Connections [Week 5]

2022-02-15 16:00:00 -
2022-02-15 16:30:00

Vital Connections: Exploring the role of the caring adult relationship as a powerful resilience factor for children and adolescents

Since the pandemic began, there has been a loud and urgent call to pay more attention to the mental health crisis that is gripping so many people around the world. For children and adolescents, the impact is real and profound, and it is getting worse.

In the US, the Surgeon General just published a report detailing the severity of this crisis for children. In October, the American Academy of Pediatrics, along with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a state of emergency in child and adolescent health.

Parents, caregivers, teachers, social workers, coaches, and youth workers are exhausted. They have put so much of themselves into mitigating this experience for the young people in their lives. As is so often the case, the hardship of this kind of experience amplifies the longer it prevails.

For the 20+ years of our organization’s existence, we have anchored our work in youth development on the research that the most protective factor for a young person is the presence of a caring adult. We have tried to uncover not just what this means, but HOW a caring adult can leverage this vital connection to provide that one healing moment, that slightly better hour, that more manageable day, and even that better night’s sleep. 

Relationships protect and buffer. They can also nurture and heal.

As 2022 begins and we think about the young people in our lives, consider joining us as we uncover some of the most powerful and practical ways that we can harness the power of relationship to foster resilience.

Session 1: Time

Session 2: Story

Session 3: Belief

Session 4: Conversation

Session 5: Community

Session 6: Commitment

Meet Your Instructors: 

Lou Bergholz

Lou is the founder of Edgework. He has worked in out-of-school time settings for over 30 years, from running the gym at the Boys and Girls Club in Cleveland, OH, to developing a mental health promotion and violence prevention program in Gaza. Over the past 10 years, Lou has been working to design and support the implementation of trauma-informed youth programming on four continents. With his leadership, Edgework has trained staff and developed healing-based youth programming for UNICEF, CARE International, Mercy Corps, the Newtown Parks and Recreation Department, the Serious Fun Network, and Street Soccer USA.


Maren Rojas

Maren is a career youth worker. She has spent 20 years as a soccer coach at the collegiate, professional, and national team levels. Over the past eight years at Edgework, she has helped lead our work in the sport for healing. She has worked domestically and globally with organizations, including Kids Play International, Legacy Youth Tennis, Newtown Parks and Recreation Department, Spirit of Soccer, Up2Us Sports, Free to Run, Washington Youth Nationals Baseball Academy, DREAM RBI, UNOSDP, Boston After School and Beyond, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. 

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