An essential element of courageous heARTS programming is that we will implement a trauma-informed approach to our work.  What does it mean to be trauma informed? 

According to the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, "When a human service program takes the step to become trauma-informed, every part of its organization, management, and service delivery system is assessed and potentially modified to include a basic understanding of how trauma affects the life of an individual seeking services.  Trauma-informed organizations, programs, and services are based on the understanding of the vulnerabilities or triggers of trauma survivors that traditional service delivery approaches may exacerbate, so that these services and programs can be more supportive and avoid re-traumatization."

Our goal is to provide training to all of our volunteers, staff and board members about the causes of trauma and its effects on the body, mind and spirit.  We hope that many of you with an interest in volunteering with courageous heARTS can attend the upcoming training being offered at our space about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).  Please check out our other blog post about the ACE Study and the important information it has gathered. 

We hope you will register to attend this great -- and FREE -- training opportunity by clicking the button below.  
Eventbrite - Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Training
Art has the innate capacity to be a container for our hopes, dreams, fears and heartaches. By creating a space free from judgment— that focuses on the process of art making rather than the quality of the product— we hope to open new worlds of possibility for the youth who walk through our doors.  Our Principles of Process will be an essential element of our arts programming.
Principles of Process | courageous heARTS
The sun is shining, the snow is melting and we have awesome news to share! 

Today, we were awarded a grant from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs in partnership with the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association to develop our Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and infuse youth voice (and art) into the community.  We are very excited and honored to have been chosen for this Neighborhood Partnership Initiative!

With these funds, we will have the capacity to build the YAB and develop 2-3 community art projects over the summer that will engage the neighborhood in issues important to our youth.  

The Advisory Board will consist of 10 youth who meet the following criteria: 
  • 13-18 years old and currently enrolled in a middle or high school
  • Live in Standish/Ericsson or go to one of the following schools:
  1. Folwell Performing Arts
  2. St. Helena Catholic School
  3. Wellstone International
  4. El Colegio
  5. Roosevelt High 

Youth who are interested or want to learn more should contact Lindsay: . Please consider sharing the flyer below if you know someone that might want to be involved!
Between 1995-97, the Center for Disease Control conducted the first Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study.  This groundbreaking study asked adults to identify adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect and family dysfunction.  The ACE Study shows a statistical link between the prevalence of those experiences and physical/emotional health outcomes later in life.  The original ACE Study found that nearly 64% of adults surveyed had at least one adverse childhood experience-- with nearly 1 in 5 of those, experiencing four or more.

On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health released it's own ACE Study.  It found that 55% of Minnesotan's have had at least one adverse experience in childhood.  Of those, 1 in 4 have experienced four or more.  This data is significant and shows the need for programs like courageous heARTS.  In today's Star Tribune coverage of this study, Dr. David McCollum from the Dept. of Health reported that "the findings do not mean that someone has an unchangeable "destiny" just because of problems in youth.  It does mean the state needs to understand the risk factors and help children and adults cope."

It doesn't matter what you call it-- adverse experiences, trauma, or heart hurts-- the stress is toxic to our minds and our bodies. courageous heARTS wants to help heal these wounds by building courage in our young hearts.
What are courageous hearts?  How do they manifest in the world?  What does it look like? Feel like?
We want to build courageous hearts, so over the course of the next few months we'll share examples of courageous hearts when we find them, through a series of posts called "Courageous hearts...".  Make sure to follow us on social media so you can be the first to know when we've discovered a new heart filled with courage!  We've created a "Courageous hearts..." board on Pinterest where we'll keep an on-going collection of our posts.  Below are the first of many to come.

Students from Newton, CT:  Courageous hearts speak.
Caine: Courageous hearts persist-- against all odds.
Shortly before the New Year, Pinterest asked people to share their plans for 2013 in the way of a pin.  courageous heARTS submitted the picture below, which links to Lindsay's blog post, Building Courage.  Hundreds of people submitted their pins and our's was one of only 42 that were selected for The Pinterest Challenge board!

If that isn't exciting enough, this pin grew exponentially in popularity! 900+ repins and over 200 "likes", make it is clear that we all have a desire to listen to our hearts-- no matter the odds.  Our heads and our hearts often dance, but hearts filled with courage take the lead.  

Give today, and help us build courageous heARTS-- so we can build courage, build community, and build leaders