From Surviving to Thriving: Supporting Our Youth Through Collaborative Conversations and Learning Sessions


A half-day workshop focused on youth, where parents, educators and mentors can learn holistic skills for the healthy development of our young people--in mind, body, and spirit.

10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Doors open at 9:30 am for light refreshments and exploration of community resource tables.

Winchester Thurston Upper School Building

455 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

RSVP: Kindly register online by Friday, June 8th.

Program Schedule

9:30- 10:00 am

Light refreshments and exploration of community resource tables

10:00-10:30 am

Welcome and Opening Presentation

Gail Hunter, LCSW, BCD will lead a presentation on various forms of trauma, how trauma manifests in mind, body and spirit, how to identify trauma in youth, resilience and how to grow it

10:30-10:45 am, Break

10:45-11:15 am, Breakout Session 1 (choose from list below)

11:20-12:00 Noon, Breakout Session 2 (choose from list below)

12:00-1:00 pm, Lunch: Light snacks will be provided. Please bring a bag lunch.

1:00-1:30 pm, Breakout Session 3 (choose from list below)

1:30-2:00 pm, Q&A, closing remarks

Breakout Sessions:

  • Gail Hunter: Breathing and Mindfulness
  • Gail Hunter or Dave Russell: Nonviolent Communication
  • Kristen Hannan: Yoga for Trauma
  • Anita Russell and Susan Evans: Positive Self-Image: Are You Up to PAR?
  • Angela Failor: Neurovascular Reflex Points: Train your body to better think your way through stress! 
    (Angela Failor MSCP, EEM-CP
    Master of Science,Counseling Psychology
    Eden Energy Medicine-Certified Practitioner)
  • Linda Puechl and Robin Clarke: Family Constellation Therapy
  • Marilyn Carpenter: Tai Chi

OMA’s primary goal is to create collaborative conversations regarding  the impact of trauma on one’s cognitive, emotional, and physical development as well as their interpersonal relationships and life choices. We will strive to identify needs and plan for systemic change in youth development and education programs in the Pittsburgh area.

Through collaborative conversations and learning sessions, we can grow and develop greater awareness about the needs that exist for healthy youth development. We are dedicated to teaching youth how to recognize and effectively manage their emotions in order to mitigate and prevent harmful effects of early childhood adversity and trauma. In order to do this, adult mentors and educators must be trained in these skills.

Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to learn a variety of holistic skills that can be used to support the healthy development of mind, body, and spirit—their own and that of youth.

We are committed to transparency, openness, honesty, respect, trust, active engagement, collaboration, communication, inclusivity and equity for all.


Beliefs: We believe that healing can only take place when the silence is broken, and that healing is possible when we work in collaboration. Through this collaborative model, and with the intentional creation of community partnerships, we believe we can rebuild an integrated support system for our youth so as to support the proactive development of resilience.

Vision: We envision a world in which all youth and all individuals have access to best practices that support and develop resiliency and the ability to grow in their understanding of connectedness to themselves, each other, and our earth. We envision a world in which all youth are supported and know—in deep and lasting ways—the interconnectedness of all living beings, and the ways in which we are all whole and all belong.

Next steps: In July 2018, we will gather again to continue our conversations and learning. Following the first event, we will survey participants. Using the data gathered, we will plan the second training to be held in July 2018.


  1. Collaborate with existing organizations and individuals to provide all adults, educators, caregivers with a set of skills to facilitate the development of compassionate awareness of various types trauma.
  2. Support educators, childcare providers, and individuals with knowledge useful for recognizing and understanding the symptoms and manifestations of trauma in youth.
  3. Through collaborative conversations and learning sessions, share best practices for the teaching of holistic and accessible skills that support the healthy development of mind, body and spirit in our youth.
  4. Share accessible and holistic skills individuals can use to support youth in their ability to understand, cope, and heal from trauma. In particular, we will support adults in developing deep breathing practices, mindfulness practices, emotional freedom techniques, strengthening conflict transformation skills, building skills that foster supportive relationships with adults and with youth, and supporting youth in developing resilience and social and emotional intelligence.
  5. Identification of needs and plan for systemic change to support all youth in their ability to move from surviving to thriving.  
  6. Development of guidelines and protocol that support the accessibility and implementation of best practices that promote and cultivate resiliency in youth.
  7. Support, highlight, and integrate community programs and resources currently existing in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

We are ALL Teachers

T Trauma- Informed

E Education

A And

C Collaboration

H Helps

E Empower

R Resilience &

S Social Emotional Learning


Hosted by OMA
Sponsored by WT Summer Camp Rocks! and WTAfter3

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