Youth Healing Team Newsletter Article
The Hopeworks Youth Healing Team is a group of hardworking and empathetic teens motivated to help change the trajectory for youth like themselves by helping others understand and operate using a trauma informed framework. Since 2014, the Youth Healing Team has trained 900 people in more than 30 different sessions. Their biggest client is the Camden School District. They have also trained Teach for America fellows, staff at Camden Charter School Network, Gesu School, members of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, and staff at Rutgers University. Not only does the team train outside agencies, but they also play a critical role in the trauma trainings for staff and youth within Hopeworks. What makes these trainings different and more effective is that the Youth Healing Team has developed and incorporated a set of fun games and comical clips from popular videos to help lay the foundation for understanding trauma.
At their most recent training with Urban Promise staff in September 2016, a teacher asked the youth how knowing about trauma has changed their lives personally. The youth responded by highlighting how they have come to understand what lies beneath their own emotions and spoke to how they, not only teach others about the tools in their trainings but use the tools in their day to day encounters at school and home. Aunyay Fussell, a junior at Camden County Technical Schools, shared that learning about trauma has helped her to become more mindful of how other people think, feel, and how they might view different situations. Lebaron Harvey, a sophomore at Penn Tech, comments “before learning about trauma and the tools that can help us cope, I would lash out at people whenever I would get upset. Now, I think about sneakers and that helps calm me down and put the situation into perspective.” In conclusion, Gemyra Wynn, a senior at Brimm Medical Arts shares, “growing up in a community with a high crime rate, trauma is all around us. But, as part of the Youth Healing Team, I now have the power to rise up and the tools to help overcome the difficulties of my environment and make a real difference in the lives of the people in my community.”
To read more about the great work of the Youth Healing Team, check out this article written by Anndee Hochman on https://acestoohigh.com/2016/09/09/teens-lead-way-in-teaching-camden-nj-about-aces-and-resilience/
Be on the look-out for an upcoming article in the Courier Post about the great work that the Youth Healing Team is doing in Camden.