By Sam B. Cooper III, LMSW-IPR
Although it has been many years since I have worried about passing a chemistry quiz or "getting a tardy" for running just the slightest bit late (OK, maybe it was the fourth time in two weeks…), some of those memories seem as fresh as the traffic jam I faced on the drive in this morning. I know that what seemed to be insurmountable challenges of those days were overcome with the support and nurturing adults in my life. Parents, grandparents, teachers, scout leaders and faith leaders all played different parts, but in the end, provided a net of support for many of us. It is hard to imagine how I would have handled the new challenges that our teens and young adults face today.
Heightened attention to body image, physical and cyber bullying, community and intimate partner violence, and global terrorism are touching the lives of our youth. Maternal and child health leaders must incorporate culturally appropriate and trauma informed care to strengthen social networks and develop new support systems that can meet the needs of America's youth. This issue of Pulse includes timely resource information that can be used in your states and communities. Contributors have outlined best practices and targeted initiatives that can make a difference.
Of course, to make any of these efforts have the greatest possibility for success, we need to pull in our young "contributors" from our own backyards, neighborhoods and schools. The freshest thinkers, debaters, rebels, and agents for change are right in our midst and are the best resource for facing the future ahead. Through your partnerships, hope and promise for better times are ahead!