ACE AWARE

Promoting Awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

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ACE AWARE AT A GLANCE

A Bit of Background

We know that sometimes all it takes to change the world is a little support. Since our founding in 2019, we have been determined to make an impact on our most vulnerable - children experiencing traumas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 45% of children experience at least one Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE), and at least 10% experience three or more ACEs, significantly increasing the risk they (and their children!) will develop physical, mental health, and/or social issues. ACEs are defined as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, exposure to domestic violence, household substance abuse, household mental illness, parental separation or divorce, incarcerated household member. Decades of research have established a link between a child's exposure to trauma and its effect on their neurological and behavioral development. The impact can be significant and long-lasting but can be reduced and even prevented by providing parents, schools, and social service providers the training and tools they need to establish safe, stable and nurturing environments for children. We at ACE Aware are committed to providing children with support to address their emotional scars and thrive in the future by training our nation's teachers with evidence-based best practices trauma-informed skills.

 

 
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GET CONNECTED TO LOCAL COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES

Here at ACE Aware, we’re committed to investing our expertise and resources to further achieve our cause in providing awareness to the prevalence and long-term effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as well as provide access to training for teachers across the country to better support students who have experienced a traumatic event.

 

PRESENTATION OF ASSEMBLY BILL 343 

Nevada 2019 Legislative Session

 
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PEYTON BARSEL

Founder & Vice President

Peyton, 18,  lost her father when she was nine years old. She subsequently experienced a difficult time socially and academically at school. Years later, after volunteering with other grieving kids and surveying them about their school experiences, she realized that teachers were not trained in how to support students who have experienced trauma. In fact, many students were being re-traumatized by the teacher's responses & actions in the classroom.  In 2018, Peyton researched laws throughout the United States and found one in North Dakota mandating teachers be trained on how to identify & support children suffering from an ACE. She used that law to write her own bill and presented it in the 2019 legislative session. She developed a video training module along with Clark County School District. that every public school employee must watch annually as indicated by 2019 Senate Bill 80.  Peyton founded ACE Aware to provide this training to teachers nationally, raise awareness about ACEs, their impact on children and offer a comprehensive list of community service-providers who support people who have experienced various types of traumas. Peyton is also a Core Member of the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy & Practice nonprofit which lobbies for federal and state legislative changes to form a trauma-informed nation.  She is currently enrolled at Columbia University to attend beginning in Fall of 2021 and is working this year as a researcher for Carrara Nevada.

 
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KELLY KNIGHT

President

Kelly was widowed in 2011 when her children were 5 and 9 years old. She witnessed her children's personalities change as they attempted to deal with the loss of their father along with their mother's unsettling grief. Understanding that their lives had been permanently changed and she was not in a position to fully support their emotional needs, she enrolled them in a local peer support group for grieving children. All three were initially participants in the program, later going through a year-long training to become group facilitators. Kelly and Peyton facilitated grief groups there for 5 years before starting ACE Aware for people who have experienced all kinds of traumas, not just loss, through teacher-training and community awareness. Kelly is fully committed to making her daughter's dream of training all teachers nationwide a reality. She currently does peer support for a local nonprofit associated with a title one school.  She has a professional background as a CPA.

 
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MYNDA SMITH

Treasurer

Mynda is a first-generation Las Vegas resident and has lived here for over twenty years.  She has raised three children in this community and has been an active member of her church, her community association (where she has served on the board for over ten years), and her children’s schools.  After her sister was killed on 1 October, she was overwhelmed and proud of how much love and support her family received from the Las Vegas community. She has worked tirelessly to support the other families of the 58 lost in the Route 91 tragedy and will continue to find ways to make Las Vegas a better place to live and raise a family.  ACE Aware is near and dear to her heart after experiencing such a traumatic event.

 
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RUAH SEIDEL

Secretary

Ruah is a retired Professional Nurse. During her career, she has volunteered with HIV pediatric aids patients, ventured on international medical outreach trips and assisted friends and family through many medical and emotional crises.  Ruah has served on the board of the Scout Fuller Fund for Social Justice since its inception in 2007.  Her interest in Ace Aware is two-fold. Ruah and her husband, Erik, have been involved in Peyton Barsel's life since birth.  Alex, Peyton's father, was a very good friend.  Ruah has always been involved and interested in hospice care and grief counseling so to be on the board of Ace Aware is an opportunity to support Peyton and her vision to provide support within the school environment to students.

 
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LAUREN SUGARS

Director

Lauren is a mother of five and a community advocate in Las Vegas. She married her love for “all things kids” and has a passion for helping others through becoming heavily involved in several local charitable organizations, most of which are dedicated to helping children. After Lauren experienced the tragedy of the Route 91 shooting, she saw the impact that the trauma had on the entire Las Vegas community. It was at this time that she learned about ACE Aware and immediately recognized the importance of the program.

 

NEWS & VIEWS

Since the 1997 ACE study, researchers and legislators have made great strides in helping children overcome the adverse effects of experiencing traumas. Here are some recent articles addressing issues that relate to those advancements.

July 4, 2020

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NEW LAW IN NEVADA REQUIRES POLICE SEND NOTICE TO SCHOOLS IF STUDENT IS EXPOSED TO TRAUMA

July 18, 2019

OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME AND SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING: A FEDERAL POLICY & FUNDING REVIEW

September 4, 2019

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DURBIN, CAPITO, COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

June 11, 2019

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NEW LAWS: RESPONDING TO TRAUMA WITH SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING

December 3, 2018

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OPIOID LEGISLATION WITH SIGNIFICANT TRAUMA PROVISIONS CLEARS THE CONGRESS, AWAITS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SIGNATURE

September 28, 2018

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“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope”

Martin Luther

 

CONTACT ACE AWARE

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