Stay Tuned for upcoming events!

Past Events:

Responding to Complex Trauma - The Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) Framework - February 1, 2018 & December 1, 2017

This workshop is designed for participants to learn about the ARC Framework. ARC is a comprehensive framework for intervention with youth exposed to complex trauma.  The framework can be adapted to fit the needs of individuals and groups for all people who work with youth.  Attendees of this  workshop will learn the 10 building blocks of the ARC model.  Because the framework is flexible, participants will be able to apply the concepts as appropriate for their classroom, office, or practice.  

Presenter:  Maurene Stanton

Resiliency Academy:  The Resilience Academy was a series of professional development offered to support building resilience through our work and in our community.  The events included:

  • "Caregivers" (January)- This film will be shown as part of the Spotlight Film Festival at the Lincoln Theatre from 7-9pm.  It is free with a $5 suggested donation.  To learn more about this film and others that are part of the film festival, please visit 
  • Emotional Wellness with Julie Thomas (February) This workshop is provided by Victim Support Services and is free of charge.  Registration is required to ensure we have adequate space. To learn more, click HERE
  • Nurturing Attachment and Building Executive Function with Deborah Gray, MSW, MPA. (February) .  To learn more, click HERE
  • Resiliency in Action with Nan Henderson (March) - To learn more, click HERE
  • "Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope" - (November)  - This film chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles of violence, addiction and disease. Following the film will be a discussion on building local resilience.
  • Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Resilience (NEAR) -  (August)  Course Description: The amazing breakthrough of the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study and our new understanding of society & biology reveals powerful secrets we can use to transform the quality and effectiveness of our work. Experience during development whether nurturing or toxic affects the quality of our relationships, self-regulation, health, and school and work performance. This training will provide direct instruction about a cluster of emerging scientific findings that include ACE Study, developmental neuroscience, epigenetics, and resilience research discoveries. Participants will review the ways that toxic stress during development can affect cognition, relationships, health, behavior and patterns of crisis and coping that can affect experiences. Washington Data that illuminates community variation in ACEs, community resilience, and health will be introduced. Participants will explore the implications for this science in their sphere of influence and generate ideas for action that can help to moderate ACE impacts and improve outcomes.
  • Responding to Complex Trauma - The Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) Framework - (January 2016) This workshop is designed for participants to learn about the ARC Framework. ARC is a comprehensive framework for intervention with youth exposed to complex trauma.  The framework can be adapted to fit the needs of individuals and groups for all people who work with youth.  Attendees of this  workshop will learn the 10 building blocks of the ARC model.  Because the framework is flexible, participants will be able to apply the concepts as appropriate for their classroom, office, or practice.  


Motivational Interviewing - October 26, 2015
Course Description:

People often have conflicting feelings about making behavior changes.  Change involves more than simply giving people new information. Instead, it is more effective to engage in short conversations that quickly help someone find their personal reasons for change.  Over 200 international studies show that Motivational Interviewing (MI) is one of the most promising ways of helping people to change behaviors by using a person-centered approach to help people to prepare for change by addressing ambivalence and focusing on "Change Talk," The personal ability/reasons/need/desire/to make changes.  MI creates a partnership between helping professionals and their clients, enabling them to work together as "co-experts" towards shared goals.

  • MI helps people identify their own motivation
  • MI is the opposite of telling people what to do and how to do it
  • MI activates discussion about change and minimizes talk about being stuck in unhealthy habits
  • MI involves specific measurable skills designed to create effective interactions

Learn and practice tools to enhance your skills and confidence working with people making behavior changes in health care, school settings, mental health, substance abuse and/or life decisions.

  • Exercise/Nutrition/Health
  • School/Truancy issues
  • Diabetes management
  • Depression
  • Parenting Skills
  • Educational Decisions
  • Substance & Tobacco use
  • Collaborations with families/parents

About the Presenter: Jonnae Tillman, Clinical Director of Research at the UW School of Social Work, Adjunct Faculty, Seattle University, Graduate Nursing Program, Trainer/Consultant  

Jonnae is a member of MINT, Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, an international group of professionals trained in MI and committed to improve the quality and effectiveness of training, research and practice.  She has conducted training and consultation of MI in a variety of settings and organizations.


Youth:Engage 'em, Inspire 'em, Energize 'em, Empower 'em! - Sept. 21, 2015
Course Description: Now it's time to ignite youth leadership with Youth First!™ innovative youth leadership training that worksGo with learning that sticks, sessions that rock, experiences that change behavior, trainings that build leaders.                         
Learn to get the full attention of youth audiences and deliver relevant, motivating, and memorable content - get young people to your programs and keep them coming back... Get them talking, get them thinking, get them active! Using brilliantly designed initiatives and simulations to spark imagination and creativity, promote synergy, and create opportunities to inspire each young person, Youth First™ provides direct experience with leadership and real-world skill development. Explore powerful youth development that's inspiring and fun - and empowers youth to grow with excellence and passion.                         
Youth First!™ programs integrate social emotional development, and are based in the science of youth leadership training and youth development: Hawkins and Catalano's Social Development Theory, and the Search Institute's 40 Assets™.  The day-long session will be an exciting, hands-on, and practical process that will be immediately relevant to your work

About the Presenter: 

Solomon has been working in the field of youth development for the past 20 years. Does he look familiar?  You may remember him from trainings here in Skagit and throughout Washington when he went by his nickname Kenya Masala. We are pleased to be bringing him back to Washington and hope you join us for what is always a wonderfully engaging training!

Children's Resilience Initiative: One Community's Response to ACEs through Resilience - June 3, 2015
Course Description:

The Children’s Resilience Initiative (CRI) began with a grassroots, community-based focus on awareness of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and brain architecture impacted by toxic stress. By creating a community conversant in these topic, we could then focus on the powerful effect of resilience as a protective factor. CRI put the theory of the science into action by engaging agencies, partners and parents and embedding the principles of the research into practice. Teri Barila, co-founder of CRI, will discuss CRI’s development, and give examples of the various ways the community came together around ACEs as a framework for response. Strategies and teaching tools will be discussed and demonstrated. Lessons learned will be shared, and group conversation will be invited.

About the Presenter: 

Teri Barila is coordinator of the Walla Walla County Community Network, part of the Washington State Community Network System. Together, this family-community-state partnership reduces expensive social problems by involving each community in finding its own unique pathway to thriving families. Building community capacity is a key element of the Network’s mission, and we are bringing awareness of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences as the major determinant of adult- and public- health to our community through the Children’s Resilience Initiative™. Teri has a Masters of Science in Fisheries Management and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Her area of expertise for 20 years with salmon and steelhead Federal recovery planning in the Pacific Northwest was focused on fish stress. She has lived in Walla Walla since 1984, and has been the Network coordinator since 1998.


Science to Practice: NEAR and Trauma Informed Principles - May 11, 2015

Course Description:

NEAR science is a cluster of science that stands for Neurobiology, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Resilience. This cluster gives us a more whole picture of the experiences over the life course and over generations.

During this workshop, participants learned about the progressive nature of adversity - from historical trauma and ACEs to peer and adult trauma and suffering - and about three systems for promoting resilience and creating transformative and sustainable change. We reviewed and discussed breaking news about resilience factors that are correlated with improved health and functioning among parenting adults, and hold promise for both improving adult lives, and helping parents to prevent ACEs in the next generation. The course gave an overview of three models for trauma informed care.

Participants will generated ideas for how to create trauma informed environments and practices that are informed by ACE, resilience and related science and utilize the wisdom and experience of colleagues to improve those ideas through peer consultation.

About the Presenter: 

Laura Porter directs the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Learning Institute for Foundation for Healthy Generations. She oversees analysis of ACE and resilience data from Washington youth and adults, and works with local and state leaders to embed developmental neuroscience and resilience findings into policy, practice and community norms.

Laura is an award winning public servant who is best known for directing systemic improvements to the child and family serving system in Washington. For 17 years Laura worked with Washington State officials and community and Tribal leaders to embed ACE Study and related neuroscience and resilience findings into policy, practice and community norms. Laura and her colleagues developed a unique model for improving the capacity of communities to deliver stunning results for a small investment. Communities using the model have documented reductions in the rates of seven major social problems and Adverse Childhood Experience scores among young adults.

The Resilient Learner - March 11, 2015

Course Description:

Why do some students survive and even thrive in the face of great adversity while others seem to wither and struggle when faced with minor challenges? Why is it that some students just seem to be self-aware and self-assured? How do students successfully juggle a successful school career and a chaotic life? The concept of resiliency gives educators insight into these phenomenon and provides them with a new way of working with all students. By recognizing and understanding the interrelated nature of the seven interpersonal resiliencies and the factors within the classroom that mitigate risk educators can learn to empower students to set goals, learn and excel.

About the Presenter: 

Cathy Gangstad brings a unique and diverse perspective to her workshops based on her three decades as an educator. An expert in the field of differentiated instruction, brain-compatible learning and at-risk learners, Cathy specializes in translating brain research in effective and practical classroom practices. Cathy believes that one of the best ways to ensure student achievement is to empower teachers and paraeducators to transform classrooms into dynamic learning environments where students can excel and become life-long learners. Cathy has conducted workshops for thousands of administrators, teachers, paraeducators, boards of education, and parents in school districts throughout the United States. Her straightforward, practical approach to education as well as her ability to model brain-friendly teaching techniques and her sense of humor make her a favorite local, regional, and national presenter.

Underage Drinking Summit - December 2, 2014

Course Description:

We were pleased to bring Linda Becker, Ph.D, from the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery to share information on the impacts of alcohol privatization at the state and local level, and youth consumptions and behaviors.

In addition to Dr. Becker, students from the Concrete Prevention Posse, a newly formed prevention group, shared about the projects they have completed in the last year, results of community alcohol assessments, two trips to statewide leadership conferences, and the future goals for the group. 

About the Presenter:

Linda Becker, PhD., Senior Prevention Research Manager, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. Dr. Becker manages evaluation and research associated with the Division's prevention work, and has the lead for many of the data colleciton efforts that support planning research.  During the last two years a major focus of that work has been the surveillance of the public health impact of the state's changed alcohol and marijuana regulatory systems.

Linda's PhD from the University of Wahsington is in Social Geography. Her work as a social geographer leads her to draw attention to the uneven nature of the social world.  To provide data for measuring the unevenness, she has worked with several of the state's data systems to collect and provide data at the community level, from small rural towns to large urban cneters. As an Air Force "brat", Peace Corps volunteer, and geographer, Linda has lived and travelled all over the world.  Seattle is home, where she gardens, rows, and recently started a neighborhood chicken project.