Meet the Regional Parent Engagement Advisory Groups!

This week, we are highlighting the work of the Be Strong Families Regional Parent Engagement Advisory Groups (RPEAs). RPEAs are made up of parents who are ready to be the architects of change in the lives of children and families who have been trained in Parent Cafés and are committed to building Protective Factors. They model the Be Strong Families vision of parent leadership. The parent leaders share their own story of Parent Cafés and the power of meaningful parent engagement, and have the opportunity to weigh in on a national agenda and local work through delivering Parent Cafés, piloting and giving feedback around new trainings and Cafés and bringing parent issues and concerns to the table. There are RPEAs currently in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles, with groups to come soon in Oakland, Peoria, Pasadena-Altadena, and Washington, D.C.

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Jessie SchrantzComment
Deeds speak louder than words…right? Or maybe not... / Los hechos hablan más que las palabras ... ¿verdad? O tal vez no...

“Obras son Amores No Buenas Razones” (Deeds Speak Louder than Words) … my mom, Ana Maria Gomez, used to say emphatically to my siblings and me a lot! I am a father who doesn’t say much, talk a lot about love, or expresses how much I love my family and friends… But oh man, do I enjoy it every time my wife or my children or my friends tell me they love me!

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Bringing Wellness to the Workplace with Journey to Vitality

Last year, Be Strong Families served as the pilot for our new Journey to Vitality Workplace Wellness Program. Our Vitality Cafés grew out of a realization, developed after hosting hundreds of Parent Cafés, that a healthy family is the foundation for a strong family. In Parent Cafés, we talk about the importance of taking care of yourself – putting on your own oxygen mask so that you can be well for yourself, your children, and your family. In Vitality Cafés, we address taking care of yourself across 6 Vitality Domains – physical, mental & emotional, spiritual, financial, environmental, and social, which work together to support each person’s vitality.

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Parenting Emerging Adults

Back in the day, when we were coming up, our parents considered themselves pretty much done with their job as parents when we hit 18 (or 22) and graduated from school. Today? Not so much. Now, we know that adolescent brains aren’t fully developed until the mid-twenties and, as parents, our experience is that our 20-somethings still need us ... sometimes a lot. Depression and anxiety are off-the-charts for this demographic (18-24 +) and suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death. So, what’s going on and what can we do to prevent disaster and to successfully launch our kids into adulthood? 

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What’s Love Got to Do with It?

On this, a nationally recognized “day of love,” I sit here to acknowledge that my definition of love has been expanded beyond recognition this year. I have seen unfold before my eyes as many versions of love as there are songs with it in the lyrics. The center of my learning, growth and personal capacity expansion has been cultivated at one of the locations where we serve group homes of youth in care.  

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Jessie SchrantzComment
A More Perfect Union Launches on A National Day of Racial Healing

What do you get when you bring together local artists sharing songs, rap lyrics and poetry about truth, respect and unity, and small, intimate table conversations centered around peace, justice and racial healing? Answer: You get an outpouring of folks from all walks of life culminating in a safe, welcoming space where people authentically share their lived experiences, hopes and dreams for a more perfect union!

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Jessie Schrantz Comment
Abrazando Diversidad / Embracing Diversity

El equipo de Abrazando Diversidad es la fuerza principal en los esfuerzos de Be Strong Families para modelar la inclusión, honrar la diversidad y promover la equidad y la justicia social en toda la organización al brindar servicios en otros idiomas; desarrollar/adaptar entrenamientos y otros recursos que se sientan auténticos y que respondan a diferentes poblaciones; así como el comunicarse abiertamente unos a otros y con los padres al reunirse con ellos donde ellos se encuentran.

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Jessie Schrantz Comment
Rock Star Dad

I’m a Rock Star Dad and I can prove it. All you need to do is ask my son Sterling and some of my proudest moments as a father have been proving it to him. It’s not entirely altruistic. There’s no doubt that I love the feeling of performing on stage and that I benefit from it—whether in front of 10 or 400. I “selfishly” need to perform and be creative in order to channel my energy into the rest of my life.  We say often at Be Strong Families Parent Cafés: you have to take care of yourself in order to be strong for your family.   When I put those moments into the context of raising my son, that’s the message I want to send him.   

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Guy Schingoethe Comments