The key goals for the project are to enhance trauma awareness throughout ASN Network member schools, and to assist schools in the development of trauma-informed policies and practices that are guided by the principles of trauma-informed practice: safety, trust, collaboration, empowerment, peer support, and cultural responsiveness. The project is a three tiered approach with those schools in Tier 1 receiving the most intensive trainings as well as support with the development of a school staff-led steering committee, titled the Resilience Team, who are tasked with fostering the development of the trauma-informed approach within the school. Tier 1 schools include, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, CCA Academy, ASN Prep, and Association House High School. Tier 2 and Tier 3 schools, including Latino Youth High School, West Town Academy, Innovations High School of Arts Integration, Youth Connections Leadership Academy (YCLA), McKinley Lakeside Leadership Academy, Antonia Pantoja High School (ASPIRA of Illinois) and Olive Harvey Middle College, receive varying levels of professional development trainings depending on each school’s needs.
As of March 2017, 114 hours of training have been provided to 606 participants at 14 participating network schools and at several community-based youth-serving organizations throughout Chicago and the state of Illinois. The feedback from the schools and staff has been consistently positive.
"Sometimes a student's presentation makes adults take a step back. Trauma and crisis intervention training aid staff in seeing through a student's fear, frustration, and anger to find the hope, potential, and possibilities underneath. These trainings have helped me to reconnect to, and to love students even when they are pushing everyone away. After all, it is love that facilitates growth through one's hurt and pain." said Dr. Myra Sampson, Chief Education Officer (CEO) at CCA Academy.
Dr. Genessa Schultz, Academic Dean at CCA Academy, had this to say regarding her experience with the Youth Resilience Project: "Becoming trauma-informed has really helped me to step back and evaluate how I interact with students. I believe that numerous situations have been avoided because as a staff we are looking at the underlying issues with which students are dealing on a daily basis. Rather than reacting to the behavior being displayed, we are able to calm students down and work with the real issue that is causing the behavior."