ADVOCATES FOR YOUTH WELLNESS!
Fly By Nature Foundation is a DC based 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization that was created based on the founders Adverse Childhood Trauma lived experiences and academic troubles. Using the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) 5 Core Competencies, we designed our curriculum around healing centered engagement and positive youth development. Our trauma-informed approach helps caregivers, families, schools and students align with a common understanding around healing.
Our Mission: Our mission is to help empower DC area youth, school staff and caregivers by strengthening their knowledge, skills, and attitudes to heal from childhood trauma through our Social Emotional Learning curriculum.
A world with caring, emotionally intelligent, resilient and bully free trauma survivors thriving in their purpose.
How We Got Started:
In 2016, I stumbled across an article about 8 year old Gabriel died from suicide. He was bullied at his Elementary School and they didn't do anything about it. They didn't even notify his mother about the incident. The school lost in a wrongful death settlement they were fighting to avoid paying. That story touched me because I had a cousin the committed suicide back in the 1990's. He had lived with my grandparents for a period of time. We never knew what his reason but he died by suicide. Fast forward to 2016, I started noticing the trend of younger children associated with suicide. With bullying being one of the main causes, after doing more research I discovered that a large population children especially in Washington, DC were experiencing severe childhood trauma. In 2016, I came across a Washington Post article about ACE's. According to the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, 47 percent of children and teens have experienced a traumatic event, such as the death or incarceration of a parent, witnessing or being a victim of violence, or living with someone who has been suicidal or who has a substance or alcohol dependent, according to new federal data. We know that number is significantly under reported. As I read more research about childhood trauma and the poor outcomes it causes, the statistics were startling. I knew something needed to be done. Because I suffered from childhood trauma, PTSD and anxiety, I wanted to create curriculum to help raise awareness. In 2018, the Founder/Executive Director Victor Terry reached out to an experienced Educator/Dean of Students with over 20 years of experience with creating curriculum framework. Her Organization Lead The Seed had a cohort program for people wanting to design curriculum to develop youth programming. Using evidenced based Social Emotional Learning Framework was our approach. Research data from the Center's of Disease Control (CDC) Youth Risk Behavior Survey, we were able to address some of the major pain points for youth in the District of Columbia. After watching a few YouTube videos on CASEL, I thought that would be a good framework. Using CASEL 5 core Competencies. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. My grandfather Richard Bradford, was an ANC Commissioner in Ward 5, community activist and founder of DC based nonprofit The Busy Bee Community Association Inc. which was established in 1983. I now understand why I struggled academically from Elementary - High School. I was blessed that I was able to escape the poor outcomes that a high percentage of youth in DC have fail victim too. Most of my childhood friends are dead and served 25 + years in prison. My younger wasn't so lucky. He has been incarcerated for 13 years now. I witnessed first hand how much of an impact the organization had on communities and youth.
COVID-19 Impact on Student Achievement and Academic Growth in DC:
EmpowerK12 analyzed local assessment results of nearly 30,000 students in DC Public Schools (DCPS) and charter schools, finding that DC students students across grades K-8, on average, ended the 2020-21 school year with lower math and reading achievement. Achievement was lower for all student groups in spring 2020-21. However, students designated as at-risk, Black, and Latinx students were disproportionately impacted. When you add the rise in suicide across the US, students need additional emotional support. Fly By Nature Foundation Youth Wellness Program will provide these students the tools and resources to cope with depression, anxiety and stress.
As a trauma survivor of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s), I know first hand the challenges the youth are experiencing growing up in poverty stricken areas riddled with drugs and gun violence. I was able to survive those high stress environments but not without severe PTSD, anxiety, suppressed childhood memory and academic struggles. School staff was unable to figure out why I was struggling academically. My family had no clue what to do. This cycle transpired from Elementary School through High School. I attended Summer School several times so I could advance to the next grade. When I made it to the 11th grade, I had matured, using music plus art as coping mechanisms; I finished my Junior & Senior year with a 3.0 GPA. Over the years, the more I analyzed research and studied brain function; human behavior is when I realized the impact childhood trauma had on my life. During my research, I stumbled across ACE’s Aware website. The ACEs Aware initiative is a first-in-the nation effort to screen patients for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to help improve and save lives. I took the 10 questions pre-screening and my score was a 7. That score 7 out of 10 indicates that I experienced extreme childhood trauma.
Why should adult patients be screened for ACEs?
Over the past 20 years, studies have demonstrated the impact of exposure to ACEs on adult morbidity and mortality.
There are several critical ways that screening for ACEs can benefit adult patients:
ACE screening can improve clinical assessment, patient education, and treatment planning for chronic health conditions.
ACE screening helps providers and patients address behavioral pathways to ACE-Associated Health Conditions.
ACE screening can validate and empower patients and contribute to improved family health.
Why screen children and adolescents for ACEs?
Children are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of an overactive stress response because their brains and bodies are still developing. While the plasticity in the brain during early childhood and adolescence is a source of vulnerability to ACEs, there is also an opportunity for effective intervention and treatment. Annual ACE screening:
Routine screenings for children can capitalize on critical opportunities for prevention, early detection, and intervention.
ACE screening can prevent and reduce the accumulation of exposures to adversity and the risk for negative health outcomes.
Screening improves clinical assessment for and treatment of childhood health conditions.
Fly By Nature Foundation was formed to bridge the gap to the community, the schools and families around healing centered engagement and communication. We use a holistic approach to address the whole child instead of focusing on one troubled area. We created a curriculum aligned with Social Emotional Learning that helps youth develop self-awareness and self-management skills to achieve school and life success. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) about 61% of adults surveyed across 25 states reported that they had experienced at least one type of ACE, and nearly 1 in 6 reported they had experienced four or more types of ACEs. Our Youth Wellness Curriculum helps cultivate compassionate school environments that support hurting kids while building safe communities.
According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, 47 percent of children and teens have experienced a traumatic event, such as the death or incarceration of a parent, witnessing or being a victim of violence, or living with someone who has been suicidal or who has a substance or alcohol dependent, according to new federal data. In Maryland and in Virginia, the rate was 41 percent. The findings come from state-by-state survey data released Thursday from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, which aims to take a first-ever real-time look at the rate of children affected by adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. Public health advocates hope this data, which is expected to be collected annually, will undergird a wide range of policy changes to prevent such adversity and to help children heal.
CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE!
Students love the mixture of core learning, fun reinforcement activities, role play reenactments, visual videos and Circle share discussions. We make our Youth Wellness Program Curriculum engaging for the students.
FISCAL YEAR 2022 - 2024
Looking for a few compassionate candidates to serve a 2 year term on our Nonprofit Organization governing board. This is an opportunity to have a positive influence and impact on DC area k-12th graders. Send us a resume to vterry@FlyByNature.org
Our programming was originally designed for in-person learning. Due to COVID-19, we had to pivot and restructure our curriculum. We took that time off to convert our program virtually. We are now able to conduct our program via zoom. We look forward to conducting a Summer Program targeted for Middle School aged students that will be become Fly By Nature Foundation Ambassadors. They will be trained to pitch their student lead initiatives with their school administrators with our guidance and assistance.
Fly By Nature Foundation is very thankful and appreciative to all of our donors, volunteers and support circle. We are extremely grateful to our corporate and individual donors that have reached our tiered giving status.
Support a good cause that advocates for
When you purchase a coffee mug, your contribution will be used for the following.
1. Purchase meals for students in our program
2. Purchase program supplies
3. Pay for program operations
Text (202) 539-1417 to pre-order our coffee mug
100% of the proceeds will go towards our Youth Wellness Social Emotional Learning Curriculum.
1 for $12
2 mugs for $20
what our youth think
My Mental Health
Here is just a small snapshot of what students thought of our workshop we done. Students are really engaged during our Bullying Prevention workshops. Some of the motivation factors that drive their passion to learn what we offer is a chance to enhance skills that adults struggle with. The fatigue dealing with the growing culture of teasing and embarrassing students on social media. Fly By Nature Foundation is striving to become that support system for schools & the communities we live in.
Reasons To Hope Foundation is a DC based 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit Organization established to integrate non clinical recovery support services. Services also include peer support, Allied Behavioral Health Recovery Support, Group Support and Wellness consultations for businesses.
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