Mini Grant Dyad Needed: The mini grant has everything needed to succeed

AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization)…

AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) As a recipient of Healthier Jupiter’s first mini grant, we are happy to share our story of success. Within our “Charter Neighborhoods” there was, and is, a need for an opportunity for the youth to come together and play; Soccer was the preferred sport. I applied to AYSO to open a region in Jupiter. When the request was approved, we began playing soccer at the Jupiter Elementary School field on weekends. In the second year of play, HJ awarded AYSO Region 1639 a mini grant of $2500 for continuation of our soccer program with an emphasis on improving health among the mothers of the players. For 10 weeks we used the track at the school as a Walk/Run contest, the mothers improved their health and won Publix gift cards and had a great time! As our season came to a close, the families were treated to an evening of fun, food, and education at the Jupiter High School cafeteria. The JHS chefs prepared a typical Mayan dinner, with a healthy twist. Kathleen Waddell arranged for a Spanish-speaking educational speaker who gave us tips on improving our nutrition and provided a better understanding of the detriments of poor nutrition on the lives of our families. Our local marimba band played music while we all danced. HJ’s interest in us helped solidify our program in its second year. This soccer program, by the grace of God, continues to provide exercise opportunities to low income, high risk youth. Thank you for your part in this. As the years go on, some of our players have been invited to participate in the JTAA and Jupiter United programs where they make significant contributions to the success of Jupiter teams. Go Healthier Jupiter!

I recently taught a Drum…

I recently taught a Drum Circle Class at Vita Nova. Everyone learned the basic skills so quickly, leading to a very fluid session. I enjoyed getting to know everyone’s stories and how music played a role in their lives. My favorite moment was when each person shared a song that meant a lot to them; they then tried to duplicate the beat on their drums with everyone else following. I would definitely be open to working with Vita Nova in the future, they are an amazing group of people doing impactful work in our community.

Vida Smith sharing her story…

Vida Smith sharing her story of survival and struggle from domestic violence and being a homeless mother to a successful PhD candidate truly inspired me — as I listened to her story as part of Family Promise SPBC’s Sharing Survival Stories Saturday. My role at Family Promise is to interview the storyteller and prep them for going live or being recorded. Over the course of two days/six hours, I was enthralled with Vida’s story of leaving her homeland of Ghana and moving to the United States after getting married to a seemingly nice American man. Once here, she suffered terrible mental and physical abuse from a very controlling husband, who wanted to dominate her in every way – to the point, she was held hostage in her own house. When she had her daughters, the abuse worsened for her until one day with the help of an angel (her neighbor), she escaped with her children. Through local social services, Vida and her daughters were able to find housing and much needed help and guidance. Vida said that it is through her faith in God that she overcame this terrible situation. She decided to draw upon her inner strength to become the person and mother she wanted to be. She chose to be a role model to her daughters and not a victim. Today, she is working full-time AND earning her PhD in Leadership. How this story impacted me. Listening to her story, I thought how many other women, moms and children are out there – that go unnoticed as abused or trafficked. As a result, of her story (I’m getting emotional as I write), I have found a church that helps with abuse and human trafficking and aim to be an integral part of this mission.

This mini grant was liberating…

This mini grant was liberating and allowed me to make an impact in a creative way. I had a vision of empowering youth all over the County by shifting mindsets. This vision is not just about planting seeds of purpose, leadership, financial know how, and the like–it is about uprooting generational seeds of poverty and lack. This Future Leaders course is designed to deposit seeds of abundance and to tap into a curiosity about themselves and the world, which may not have existed before. I have had the freedom to invite keynote speakers who are passionate about a topical area that could speak into the lives of young people. So far, the workshop on discovering your purpose really had the youth engaged and questioning their individual purpose in a safe and reflective setting. The class on microaggressions and racial equity stirred up a lot of passion and shared experiences. The group was most quiet while they created their personalized vision boards using the canva software and many spoke in a group setting full of strangers for the first time during our public speaking course. Although the course isn’t over, (our graduation ceremony will be in July), watching the youth ask questions, get engaged and go through this stretching process called growth, has been amazing!

My process is going better…

My process is going better now that we have launched the art call. Since February, we have had over 12 organizations sign up to be involved, and over 25 artists have submitted to the art call.

At last my mini grant…

At last my mini grant has traction!
Self Compassion Matters has LIFT OFF!
Dovecot Farm has two retreats scheduled for next week….
St Mary’s Medical Team on Wednesday 24th March.
A group of therapists and Mental health practitioners in the recovery world on Saturday 27th March…
One fascinating trend is emerging in the DISC evaluation response…

South Grade Elementary is a…

South Grade Elementary is a Title I school, where 99% of our students are economically disadvantaged and 97% of our population are minority students, most of which are recent immigrants to the US. We recently became an AVID school, which focuses on college and career readiness from a young age. South Grade Elementary School was the recipient of a mini-grant from Healthier Lake Worth; the grant was in support our 4th and 5th grade Avid students obtaining a shirt that promote college readiness. On February 25th we had a grand revealing of the shirt, that was designed in-house. It was a beautiful sight to see our students proudly wearing their “Straight out of Avid, Straight into College” shirt. Every Thursday is Avid day and we wear our Avid shirt. The shirt is a constant reminder to our students that they have the potential to be great and to achieve great things.

Working on Center for Child Counseling’s…

Working on Center for Child Counseling’s training, Healing the Healers: Creating Happy Healthy Healers and a Happy Healthy Workforce, during this global pandemic has been an interesting and eye-opening endeavor. In our lifetime, there has never been a more challenging time in health and mental health care in terms of the major stressors professionals and clients/patients alike are experiencing at the same time. Working as a helper/healer has always been a challenging and stressful career choice, although for those who survive and thrive in such careers long-term, we also find tremendous reward, satisfaction, and joy from our work. However, with the stress of COVID-19, as well as other concurrent stressors (racial unrest/violence, rise in hate speech and hate crimes, political polarization and upheaval) that we have experienced in the US in the past year, there has been significant rise in the need for both health and mental health care, pushing our medical mental health institutions/providers to the limit, and significantly and adversely impacting the well-being of many of helpers/healers, for example, increased rates of anxiety, depression, acute and posttraumatic stress disorder, and suicide seen in frontline healthcare workers.For helping and healing professionals, it has always been important for us to think and talk about stress, vicarious trauma, burnout, compassion fatigue, stress management, compassion satisfaction, resilience building, self-regulation, and self-care, although it is often overlooked or under-focused upon by our training programs, as well as supervisors and administrators in the institutions and agencies where we work. Honestly, I personally have significant regrets that I did not spend enough time on these topics in the many years I was an administrator overseeing and supervising a team of child trauma therapists. It is easy to overly focus on our interventions/treatments with our clients, measuring outcomes, paperwork, billing, etc., but doing so without concurrently focusing on the topics included in our Healing the Healers training is very short-sighted. Client care and health of our organizations/institutions directly relates to health and well-being of the individual workers. In the current climate, our need to focus on these topics is greatly magnified and must be in the forefront of our conversations as helpers/healers. The overused, but nevertheless very important analogy of putting your own oxygen mask on a plane during an emergency before helping others with theirs rings abundantly true today! Plus, the good news is that even in the face of COVID-19 and other concurrent societal stressors, there are strategies to combat stress on an individual and organizational level that can dramatically improve the well-being of all helpers/healers, including those most vulnerable to stress, and this, in turn, will lead to improved care of all of clients/patients and healthier, better-functioning organizations. With that being said, once our team completed a first draft of our Healing the Healers presentation, Power Point and notes, and the pandemic dragged on (with all the associated personal and professional issues it created for helpers/healers and their patients/clients alike), we realized that there was a need to expand this part of our presentation to include the latest anecdotal and research data on the impact COVID-19 was having on helping /healing professionals, and what support and assistance was most needed at this time. We have now done this, while continuing to monitor the emerging literature, so we can make any necessary updates to our presentation. At this point, we have a rich 4.5-hour Power Point presentation completed that covers the types and roles of helpers/heaters; causes and types of stress; biology/physiology of stress; ACEs and their relationship to stress and well-being; impacts of stress (burnout, vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue); challenges faced by specific groups of helpers/healers (African-American and other minority and LGBTQ healers); COVID-19 and the impact on helpers/healers; and self-care, self-regulation, and resilience building. Our next step is to record the presentation, so we can the disseminate it before we as an organization are able to return to doing live trainings. Even though we cannot do this training live at this time, in addition to information we included in the training, we have added videos, role-plays, activities, and resources to make it as engaging and interactive as possible. We are stuck by how timely and important this training is for our community of helpers/healers, and we feel so grateful to have the opportunity and funding to do this at the very time it is so desperately needed.

With the funds that I…

With the funds that I…

With the funds that I was able to receive from the mini grant, I purchased some resistance bands to use with my online Zoom class because of the whole pandemic restrictions at the time. The bands that I had left over, I was actually able to use those and give them to the ladies that were present in a fitness class that I was able to co-teach at a dance studio that’s located in Riviera Beach. I started attending there a couple of months ago, just to network with other women, to put myself more out there, let people know what it is that I do, so when I do have upcoming events, people already have a sense of who I am and what I am all about. So, I was able to give the ladies the bands that were not used for the class and it was an awesome time.

My experience of this mini-grant….

My experience of this mini-grant was one where the kids that attended the Theater Appreciation/Monologue Acting Workshop were free to express themselves in their own, unique way. They expressed what they wanted to get out of the workshop, what they came to work on, and what their biggest “take-aways” at the end of the 2-hour workshop. I experienced them experiencing connection with everyone there, a safe and sacred space, creating value through creative self-expression, exploring their passions, and building their experience/expertise and knowledge around that workshop’s topics. We could’ve stayed longer than the 2 hour-window we had set and scheduled for this specific workshop! The participants/kids attending had shown real potential and talent in their self-chosen monologue acting, expressed their gratitude for the workshop and those other participants/kids around them in the workshop as well as myself leading it, and really impressed the adults there including myself with what words they used when sharing from their hearts all the way down to their performances at the end. They exhibited diversity amongst themselves with very different, relatable monologues that resonated with them and performed in their own, beautiful ways often using the word “dynamic” in what they wanted to work on and accomplish in the workshop. Hearing them share what value they created in those 2 hours warmed my heart. I see bright futures for these young actors and would love to do something like this again as soon as possible! The value in building confidence in these kids and connecting with them truly is priceless.