Author Archives: Linda Remsburg

Let’s rise to the challenge of adverse childhood experiences

The other day a young adult friend and I were talking about Challenge Day, a national program that helps schools break down barriers between student peers as well as between students and adults in order to foster a school climate where everyone feels safe, appreciated and able to be their best selves. It’s an intense day that includes the sharing of personal, often difficult and painful stories, but ultimately leads to the realization that we’re all more alike than different.

My friend and I had each participated in a Challenge Day within the last few years—she as a high school student and I as a community volunteer. Both of us recalled being struck by the number and depth of difficult experiences we heard about from students. It was an eye opener for sure.

Reflecting on that day was a reminder that for way too many people, childhood isn’t the happy time we would like to think it is. And we would do well to practice empathy toward those affected by adverse childhood experiences—or ACEs—so that everyone has the chance to be their best selves.

There is a movement afoot in Michigan and around the nation to raise awareness and action around the effects of ACEs on public health. Michigan’s ACE Initiative is based on research including the CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study, which shows a direct link between ACEs and negative health outcomes in adulthood. Science tells us that domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness and other forms of toxic stress can negatively alter a child’s genes and brain predisposing them to risky behaviors, chronic health problems and early death.

Grow & Lead is partnering with a number of state and local organizations to host a showing in Marquette of a new documentary film that offers hope and strength to communities in fighting the effects of ACEs. Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope will be shown to the public at Marquette Senior High School Monday, Sept. 25 at 6:30 with a community discussion afterwards. There is no charge, but we ask that you register here.

Much like Challenge Day is to schools, we hope the film and discussion will be a step forward for communities in fostering a climate where everyone feels safe, appreciated and able to be their best selves.

Graduation and alcohol don’t mix

High school graduation will soon be here. With graduation come open houses and other parties. With parties often comes drinking. I’d like to remind all community members to be extra vigilant this time of year to keep our young people safe and healthy by keeping alcohol out of their hands. Some parents may be tempted… Continue Reading

Little Ukulele Makes Mighty Impact

Little Ukulele Makes Mighty Impact

What do ukuleles, the U.P. and kids have in common? If you answered “Yooper Uke Week,” give yourself a point. If you answered “They all hold a special place in Linda’s heart,” give yourself two. Hiawatha Music Co-op recently sponsored the second annual Yooper Uke Week which celebrates the small, but mighty, ukulele which has… Continue Reading

EQ + IQ = Success

We all know what IQ stands for, right? It’s short for Intelligence Quotient, a measure of our cognitive and intellectual intelligence. But how about EQ? This lesser-known acronym stands for Emotional Quotient, a measure of our emotional intelligence. At a pre-holiday in-service training for GLCYD staff, we learned all about emotional intelligence or EI, for… Continue Reading

Youth on Nonprofit Boards

With a name like Great Lakes Center for Youth Development, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that our organization has young people on its board of directors. However, you might be surprised to know just how much our youth board members contribute. Out of 15 board members, currently three are under age 18. The… Continue Reading

Spreading Youth Development Awesome Sauce, One Giant Octopus at a Time

Spreading Youth Development Awesome Sauce, One Giant Octopus at a Time

I saw the coolest story on the NBC News the other night. It was about the three Bartz brothers, ages 17 to 21, from New Brighton, Minnesota who build a giant snow sculpture each year in front of their family’s home. They recently put in over 500 hours together creating an octopus whose icy tentacles… Continue Reading