AwareNow: Issue 25: The Light Edition

Page 135

“I want to know why children 0-5 years old end up in the burn center because we are going to decrease those numbers.” Hilary’s virtue of service through education helped her rise from the darkness. Helping others through her compassion, helped her move to action. She wanted to keep kids safe. When she began interviewing professionals in the fire and safety world, she recalls starting her conversations with a statement - “I want to know why children 0-5 years old end up in the burn center because we are going to decrease those numbers.” Through tedious investigations, interviews and research, Hilary authored the Brecker Bunny series, an international children’s book series about fire and water safety. To date, there are 300,000 books in the hands of firefighters and children all over America thanks to the many sponsoring organizations and her friend and partner at that time, Michelle Heim.

The more that Hilary taught, the more she needed to stay in compassion instead of hurt, as she shared, “If I stayed in detachment, I could be a resource to others. I could use that pain to prevent my experience from happening again.”

The children’s book series was intentional in how to educate families about fire and water safety. These books are not just full of lovely little rhymes. Rather, illustrations were carefully designed to show in-home sprinklers, house safety equipment, and firefighters, police people and EMTs in full uniform using tools that help. Hilary didn’t want children to be afraid of emergency helpers. She knew that the more children saw and understood their home and helpers, the safer they would be. Each book has a guide, safety tips, and safety checklists that families can review together.

Hilary says, “Education is THE answer. It may not look like sitting at a desk. It’s starts with understanding that you can’t possibly have impact if you don’t seek to understand first. Understanding is its own form of education.”

So where does becoming a lifelong learner begin?

Hilary shares that "kids’ first teachers are their parents. We often think of educators as being separate from families, but they aren’t. Reading time at night between parent and child lowers cortisol levels. It is the most ideal time when the brain is most receptive to learning.”

Since the Brecker Bunny book series and comprehensive work with the fire and safety world, Hilary went on to work with vulnerable teens through state programming. She wanted to help teens see who they are in a positive way. Speaking at Alcohol and other Drug Abuse conferences all over the country, she was determined to help others see the best in ALL kids through trust-building skills and virtues.

When parents and the community witnessed the change in their teens, adults became curious about their own personal development, and Hilary began working with parenting groups and companies on and off until January 2020, when Hilary launched Lived Inspired full time. In March 2020, she cofounded The DH Effect with Sonja Montiel. Her mission as a trust and belonging consultant, life coach and educator is to help people, families, organizations and corporations unlock their potential through curiosity, trust and belonging so that they can shine and innovate as their true selves. 135 AWARENOW / THE LIGHT EDITION