OUTreach and the Latino Students Social Work Association raise $3,000 for foster youth

by Jasmine Bermudez, Staff Writer

OUTreach and the Latino Students Social Work Association collaborated to raise $3,000 in donations for the California Youth Connection during a Resource Fair and screening of the documentary “Paper Tigers” on Friday April 15.

Ricardo Rodriguez, a member of California Youth Connection, said CYC is a youth-led organization run by current and former foster youth ages 14 to 24 who advocate for legislative and local change in favor of foster youth.

“We want it to be known that we are a resource for any foster youth in need of support, or who want to use their voice in helping foster youth improve their lives,” Rodriguez said.

The Resource Fair consisted of 14 organizations with the common goal promoting awareness of trauma and trauma-informed care practices.

Linsday Winters, MSW Intern from Survivors of Torture International, said STI helps those who have experienced torture in their country of origin.

“San Diego is home to 35,000 survivors of torture,” Winters said. “You can’t look at someone and know what they have experienced.”

Jennifer Hossler of Chadwich Center for Children & Families said she works with children and families who have been abused, neglected, and traumatized by helping them heal from their experiences.

She said it was important to have trauma-informed care events to give the public the tools they need to understand trauma.

“We want to support the community by helping to elevate the scope of trauma informed work in San Diego and connect with other local agencies who do similar work as we do,”Hossler said.

Gillian Leal of San Diego Youth Services said her agency is founded on the idea that trauma informed care is an important principle to base their services on.

“We align with this event to provide information on our resources to the community,” Leal said.

Silvia A. Barragan, a lecturer in the school of social work said she is proud of what was accomplished at the event.

“I think that the community really came together,” Barragan said. “We had representation from many different lines of work at the Resource Fair that were able to not only share their information with people who came to the event, but each other as well.”

Following the Resource Fair, an introduction to “Paper Tigers” was led by Godwin Higa, principal of the first trauma-informed care elementary school, Dana Brown, Southern California Regional Adverse Childhood Experiences Connection Community Facilitator, and SDSU psychology professor Audrey Hokoda.

Higa said he wants people to understand that they have to stop treating kids with disrespect.

“We are starting a revolution to promote trauma-informed care in every school,” Higa said. “Kids need to know that someone out there cares for them.”

Brown said it is important to understand that trauma impacts the way a person lives their life.

“When we live with an adverse childhood experience we live in the back of the brain and cannot connect with the part of the brain that regulates emotions, logic, decision making, and reason,” Brown said.

She said SDSU is the first university group online using ACEs Connection.

Sinquay Nobles was one of the 294 people in the audience of the “Paper Tiger” screening. She said she thought the video was amazing.

“I wish that everyone who is in a helping profession could watch it,” said Nobles. “I definitely think the key in helping young people transform unhealthy life styles into a resilient future is helping them feel a sense of hope and being cared for.”