Workshop Focuses on How Adverse Experiences Shape A Child’s Behavior

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Ian Mercier (left) of the MCG Foundation speaks to Transforming out Communities event at SRP Park. Photo by Dana Lynn McIntyre.

By Dana Lynn McIntyre

Diverse agencies trying to move communities from adversity to resilience gathered to exchange ideas and share what has worked from them.

Attendees filled the WOW! Club at SRP Park on Sept. 29 for the day-long event, sponsored by Resilient Communities of East Georgia.

The workshop focused on “Adverse Childhood Experiences.”

“Our goal is to build a powerful network that addresses trauma and adverse childhood experiences,” said Julie Miller, regional manager with Georgia Family Connection Partnership and a member of the Resilient Communities team. “We want to see a change in how our communities, how people are treated in communities, how its systems treat people within them, how schools treat children, how work force treats their employees, we want to see all of that change.”

She said the goal is to get people to understand the basic facts about adverse childhood experiences, the impact on the child and the role the experiences can play in a child’s behavior. The hope is to get people to understand the behavior is not a sign of a bad person, but rather the result of physical or emotional traumas.

Among the agencies participating in the program were The MCG Foundation, the Community Foundation of the CSRA, Augusta Locally Grown. Speakers presented topics ranging from how Tik Tok is affecting youth to a youth justice panel.

While many of the topics focused on children, Miller said the lessons can also be applied to adults, particularly relationships between employers and employees.

“It’s from birth to death. I mean, really, we talk a lot about because those early years are very formative years, and they impact our brain development, it impacts who we are. And so we want to really focus a lot on that early years,” she said, adding teens are also part of the equation.

“We can’t forget about the teens who have already encountered the juvenile justice system. We know there’s a relationship between adverse childhood experiences, and children and who are delinquent or who had been involved in the juvenile justice system.

WOW! Club at SRP Park filled for Transforming Our Communities event. Photo by Dana Lynn McIntyre.

Angela Bakos of the Columbia County Community Connections was in the audience. She said some of what was presented is an extension of wraparound service provided in schools. She said it is helpful to know a child’s background to help solve problems.

Bakos is also planning to take information from this event to share at her upcoming, second Resourced Fair.

“I think it’ll help as far as making sure that we have a variety of resources or if there’s any that we’re missing,” she said. “We definitely want to make sure we have all the puzzle pieces.”
Bakos started Resourced to help community groups, organizations and agencies share what assistance they can provide. More than 100 people spoke at the first fair, held June 1.

The second Resourced Fair will be Oct. 25 at Savannah Rapids Pavilion.

More information about Resilient Communities of East Georgia is at

More information about Resourced Augusta is at

Dana Lynn McIntyre is a general assignment reporter for The Augusta Press. Reach her at

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