Letters To The Editor - Hear how children can control their lives

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Dr. Vincent Felitti, who is one of the original researchers on the ACEs project in San Diego, is coming to Walla Walla.

Dr. Felitti's research has been a beacon of light for those who have been dealt adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and have suffered as adults. People with ACEs in their background can feel like they have become a victim, that they have no control over their lives and that the light of hope has faded.

Dr. Felitti will share his view that the adverse childhood experiences that you have had to deal with throughout your life don't have to hold you back from becoming the incredible person you were meant to be. You will learn about how stress impacts the brain, how it impacts our ability to make good decisions, and how it can throw us onto a path of no hope.

The good news is that his research has found that through developing positive and meaningful relationships with other caring adults, you can build resilience and begin to trump the ACEs in your life. Patterns that we grew up with can be broken, personal empowerment can motivate us forward, and hope can become the bright light that leads us out of feeling like a victim, feeling unworthy, and feeling lost.

We have implemented the ACEs strategies at Lincoln High School with amazing results: We are seeing students rise above the abandonment, the emotional abuse, physical neglect and growing up in a substance abuse environment.

Students are seeing that they can't control the environment in which they were born, but they can control the direction of their lives, and they can walk the path to becoming the beautiful person they were meant to be.

I encourage you to come to Dr. Felitti's presentation to put you on a pathway of hope, empowerment, and the start of a new journey.

The Children's Resilience Initiative program in our community is making a huge impact, and the Initiative is partnering with the Walla Walla Violence Prevention Conference to bring Dr. Felitti to Walla Walla.

He will speak to local medical staff and then address the conference March 26 and 27.

Principal Jim Sporleder
Lincoln High School
Walla Walla

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