To my beloved community,
My wife and I started our company, SHEWORKS, a home remodeling and electrical company as a vehicle to connect with our community and raise funds for our passion, a non-profit, that will change the world.
I am most passionate about overcoming and reducing childhood trauma. My wife and I want to start by creating a non-profit Therapeutic Boarding School, that has housing pods that consist of two house parents and 4-8 children per household. Our target demographic is at-risk youth, whether in foster care, or a resource for parents that are struggling in their current circumstances. The school will address the "whole self" and help children "holistically heal" through morning meditation, reading, gratitude journaling, having trauma informed staff, individual EMDR and Flash therapy, group therapy, equine and animal therapy, and creating a tight knit community. Academically, the school will be challenging, literacy based, but more of a hybrid of Entrepreneurial and Montessori style teaching, where children can discover their passions.
Today, children are labeled with ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, etc where we put these expectations on children to sit still, be quiet, and focus. Where we fail is we don't find out the "why" behind why these children are behaving this way, we don't ask the question "What Happened to You?". Instead, we shun them even more and they feel that something is wrong with them, when nothing is wrong with them. We unintentionally create a school to prison pipeline when we continue to fail these children. Children that grow up in poverty, or other adverse circumstances, have the absolute worst chance of succeeding. Substance abuse? Root cause is childhood trauma. Violence? Caused by being stuck in a constant fight or flight response, due to a long period of childhood trauma. Childhood trauma alters the brain's functionality, creating an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, making it impossible for children experiencing childhood trauma to have impulse control. Impulse control only happens in the prefrontal cortex, yet we are disciplining children for "their behavior" which is retraumatizing the child and creating more distrust. This doesn't result in behavior changes, this results in a fast track to prison, where anger manifests, and repeat offenses continue to happen. I believe that the biggest impact will need to happen by addressing the root, which is childhood trauma. We plan to open this school in Phoenix, then duplicate the model all over the United States. My goal is to change the way we have public schools, at minimum, I want all public schools in at-risk areas to be this Therapeutic Day School, with many options for Therapeutic Boarding Schools. I want these schools to provide education to the parents, so they understand that they are great people that just need to heal. We are a community of people that have adverse childhood experiences, through no fault of our own, but it is our responsibility to take ownership, regain control over our lives, and heal.
After I set the foundation for the school and launch it, so that it is self-sustainable and it can essentially be duplicated anywhere, then I will take on the prisons. Inmates need to be asked "What Happened to You?" and tell their story! They are not in prison because they are "bad human beings" there is no such thing. They are in prison because they don't know that childhood trauma is the root cause of how they ended up there, and adults failed them, our system failed them, OUR COUNTRY FAILED THEM. They think it is them, they are beating themselves up, they are lost, they are a scared child inside that needs to be healed.
I am casting my vision as far as my imagination will take me. I see myself as the next Martin Luther King Jr, a person that doesn't like the spotlight, but is so passionate about the cause that I will move MOUNTAINS. I want Oprah to know about my vision and be a power partner alongside of me. I want Lady Gaga to sing from the soul and create powerful rhythmic songs that will help regulate children and adults when they are experiencing dysregulation. I don't have just a dream, I have a VISION that will change our world as we know it. I won't stop until I'm dead, and I hope that I create a following large enough that the work will continue even after I'm gone. I know this will take years, but I am confident it will be able to happen in my lifetime.
I have done this on a small scale by changing the organizational culture at my job, that I am leaving to live out my mission. Concurrently, I wrote to an inmate for the last two years, starting from a very basic level that they would be able to understand, and transformed them so they could see their value and worth. Tomorrow, she is being released from prison 5 years early after county jail officers wrote recommendation letters, her dad wrote a letter, and I wrote a letter. She is being released YEARS earlier by the same judge that put her in jail, she is an inspiration, an incredible person, convincing a judge that has every reason to keep her in jail because they have personally invested money in the jail she resides at (yes, you read that right, judges can invest in jails and have more incentive to SEND people to jail then help rehabilitate them). She did the work, the officers saw the change, the inmates saw her change, her dad who had lost all hope has had hope restored, and most importantly, that judge has witnessed her transformation. She can now go on and make a positive impact in society and fulfill her dreams. This is why I do what I do, it is the stories, the outcomes, the positive differences, and it is bringing the community back together.