Page 1

NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE

PAID

106 E. TENTH STREET DALLAS, TEXAS 75203 214.915.4700 momentousinstitute.org

DALLAS, TX PERMIT NO. 8

WINTER 2017

SAVE THE DATE

Momentous in

MAY 14 - 20

MEMPHIS It’s

Wednesday

morning

at

Making peace with UNCERTAINTY

Perea

Anxious? Overwhelmed? Depressed by the

Preschool in Memphis, Tennessee, and

news headlines? With so much unfolding on

parents and students have gathered for

the world stage, the capacity to deal with

an arts and crafts project. The task for the

uncertainty is a critical skill for all of us.

jar: a simple tool to help children learn

Identifying ways to not be bullied by fear is

how to manage stress.

important because when the fear center of our brain is activated, it suppresses the part

Your support transforms lives.

Perea Preschool, along with Porter Leath

of our brain most able to fully attend to what

Early

is in front of us and to connect with others.

Academy,

recently

Here

coaching and the sharing of innovative,

deal with uncertainty:

research-based strategies to strengthen

We cannot thank you enough for your continued support of our 2017 annual campaign. The focus of this year’s annual campaign is community engagement towards making Dallas a great place for ALL children and families by strengthening social emotional health. Your generosity has helped us secure $375,000 toward our $500,000 goal. These contributions allow 6,000 children and family members to receive high-quality, innovative services in education and mental health so that they can reach their full potential. Momentous Institute also relies on support of our work in research and training to advance our social emotional health model through partnership with thousands of professionals each year. If you have not already done so, please join our efforts and consider a year-end contribution.

To make a gift or for more information, please contact Jessica Trudeau, Director of Development & Strategic Partnerships, at 214.944.5713 or jtrudeau@momentousinstitute.org.

are

three

practices

to

help

us

1. Nurture relationships.

goal is to demonstrate the many positive

We need relationships because our

brains are social organs and

for children when schools make a true

without

commitment to social emotional health.

brains literally shrink.

relationships,

our

Differences of opinion can push us away from our

and Evaluation, beams when she talks

loved ones unless we are intentional about not

about the collaboration. “It is such a

letting that happen.

to understand how poverty and trauma

One of the best ways to get through difficulties is to

impact students – and how to mitigate it.

nurture a few key relationships in our lives that allow

We’ll be incorporating a variety of

us to speak truth, express confusion, laugh and

observational,

exhale — relationships that remind us who we are

student

assessment measures to help capture the

and what ultimately matters.

3

Donor Spotlight: Dana Juett

focuses on courage and the strength of the human fuels my ability to take the next steps and participate in a solution.

The children’s book Zoom , by Istvan Banyai, begins with a splotch of color. Turning the page, the picture zooms out, and you see that splotch is actually the comb of a rooster. On the next page, picture of children gazing out a cottage window, and so on.

seeing until you turn the page and gain an entirely new understanding. In this whimsical way, the book shows the importance of widening our lens when we feel stuck or overwhelmed. Nurturing relationships, minding our narrative and

impact of the work.”

(continued on page 3)

debilitating and overwhelming. But if my narrative

On every page, you think you know what you’re

privilege to work with teachers who want

and

focuses on fear, I will experience the situation as

you see that the rooster is only a small detail in a

Karen Thierry, Ph.D., Director of Research

survey,

For example, if my narrative about natural disasters

3. Zoom out.

student social emotional health. The academic and social changes that result

circumstances can be much more important than

spirit, I’ll be lit up with passion and hope, which

teamed up with Momentous Institute for a four-year project that includes teacher

The narrative or story we develop about our the circumstances themselves.

day? Make your own Settle Your Glitter

Childhood

2. Mind the narrative.

zooming out will help us stay grounded, present

5

Changing the Odds 2017

7

and loving in uncertain times.

50th Anniversary: AT&T Byron Nelson


Having holiday joy while helping OTHERS Momentous in

Jessica Gomez, Psy.D., Director of Clinical Innovation

The holiday season is often a time to reflect on the experiences and

These are teachable moments that your child is sure to remember

lessons of the past year and the hopes we have going forward. It

throughout his or her life as quality time. It is one thing to be told to be

seems especially important this year to reflect on all the good we may

generous but another to experience it.

MEMPHIS

have encountered, while also considering the challenges many of our communities faced throughout the year. As we try to make meaning of

Another activity to help build empathy is to encourage children to

these challenging experiences, we may find ourselves called to

read biographies. Reading about historical leaders, like Martin Luther

consider how this holiday season can be “others” focused by

King Jr., Helen Keller and Mother Teresa, can help children consider

spreading hope, unity, and a sense of community.

the perspectives of others who have devoted their lives to their communities. This allows children to imagine the other person’s

The holidays provide for a perfect opportunity to model the behaviors

experience, ultimately leaving them with an important message about

we hope to see in our children. While it is generous to donate funds

one person’s power to create change and spread hope.

or needed items to organizations this season, it can also be a valuable opportunity for our children to learn about empathy. Often

(continued from cover story) The Memphis collaboration extends to over 35 teachers and 300 students. Perea is a tight-knit community of committed families, most of whom are African American and managing the many stressors that come with poverty. The project brings Momentous School’s Settle Your Glitter curriculum to a whole new PreK audience and – with that – conversations about the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. The idea is not just to build student and teacher knowledge and understanding, but to translate that awareness into new classroom practices. Educators, mental health professionals and researchers from Momentous Institute visit Memphis regularly, and connect often via video conferencing and phone consultations. Alicia Norman, Principal at Perea, says the collaboration, which began formally in August, is already showing results.

times, experiencing something, such as the act of helping others, is the best way to learn. Engaging children in the experience of shopping for

“We hear children using language about their brains, which creates a stream of hope that you need to say, ‘This is working and this is needed.”

needed items and discussing what items a child or family might need - and then donating the items together at a drop off center is a

With 86 percent of Perea students living at or below the poverty line, Norman said her students face many challenges within their homes and communities. She said the program is helping teachers better relate to their students.

very rewarding experience.

“It’s a way of being and a curriculum that’s explicitly taught every day in our classrooms,” Norman said. “We know that we’re going to make a difference. We know that at the end of the year we will have impacted children socially and emotionally.”

Training + Practice

“The training opportunities offered to practicum students helped me to enhance my skill set to the point where I felt confident to take these skills to other organizations I am now a part of,” Wierzchowski said. “This speaks to Momentous’ commitment to reach children they will never meet.” Other programs provided by Momentous Institute include a postgraduate training program, a family therapy training program for psychiatry fellows at

A shortage of mental health professionals in Texas is a “chronic reality.”

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical psychology.

This is the sobering conclusion reached by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin. A 2015 study by the foundation

Our Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology, which has been accredited by

found 206 out of 254 Texas counties suffered from workplace shortages in the

the American Psychological Association for 17 years, is the most intensive clinical

field of mental health. Of those counties, 149 were without a single licensed

training opportunity provided by Momentous Institute. This very competitive

psychologist, while 40 counties did not have a licensed social worker.

training program is a year-long, fulltime training experience which provides in-depth supervised experience in four areas: Clinical practice, psychological

As we look to help change this reality, Momentous Institute continues to provide

assessment, professional identify and diversity and contextual factors.

several clinical training opportunities for students and early career professionals who are pursuing their degrees and career paths in mental health.

Julie Hsu, who took part in the internship while earning her doctorate at UT Austin, said the emphasis on self-reflection made her a stronger and

Students currently enrolled in counseling, social work, marriage and family

more insightful clinician.

therapy, or psychology graduate programs are eligible to take part in a practicum training program. Students taking part in the program gain clinical experience working with clients while being supervised by a licensed professional.

In my work now, I still carry the lessons I learned during my time as an intern at Momentous,” Hsu said. “I remind myself about the importance of self-reflection, prioritizing the relationship, and

Andrea Wierzchowski participated in Momentous Institute’s practicum training program while a student at Texas Woman’s University. She believes the program helped her identify who she wanted to be as a psychologist.

focusing on the strengths of the client and the family.

Donor SPOTLIGHT: Dana Juett Momentous Institute’s work in the field of social emotional health is made possible thanks to organizations and individuals who graciously share their time and resources in a desire to help change the lives of children. No one personified this spirit of generosity and dedication quite like Dana Juett, who sadly passed away in March. Dana was a lover of foreign cultures and travel, visiting 70 different countries during his life. On his travels, philanthropy was always at the forefront of Dana’s activities. Mission trips to Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Dominican Republic, as well as efforts in the local community, showcased Dana’s desire to simply help those in need. For the past five years, Dana served as the executive director of the Sapphire Foundation in Dallas. Improving education is one key goal for the Sapphire Foundation, which they demonstrated by their annual support of the Changing the Odds conference from 2013 through 2017. In addition to supporting Momentous Institute financially, Dana was an enthusiastic conference attendee each year, sitting front and center taking detailed notes. In his honor, we have named a new conference sponsorship category, “The Dana Juett Speaker Sponsorship.” Dana will be deeply missed, but we hope to honor his legacy of service and giving by continuing the work he so steadfastly supported throughout his life.


More than 1,500 educators, mental health professionals, parents and decision makers – from 82 cities, 16 states, and 8 countries – gathered September 28-29 for the 6th annual Changing the Odds conference, Hope: The Ultimate Four-Letter Word.

We can’t wait to see you at the 7th annual Changing the Odds conference, September 27-28, 2018!

VALERIE MAHOLMES Hope is the catalyst for recovery.

BRYAN STEVENSON

DAVID LEONHARDT

Your hope is your superpower. Hope is what gets you to stand up when other people say, ‘Sit down’.

Education remains the single most powerful force for our society.

TOMAS ALVAREZ

KEVIN ROBERTS

We often underestimate the power of the arts to facilitate mental health healing.

When we put in the effort to form safe relationships, we are giving children hope.

MICHELLE GIELAN

TAYLOR FREEMAN

We have the opportunity, in every moment, to share successes to broadcast happiness.

Small gestures make sure children know that they are seen.

MAGGIE KLINE Working with children impacted by trauma isn’t easy and it takes skills and heart.

CHANGING THE ODDS DINNER Lou Grabowsky, Ruben Esquivel, Della Best, Bob Best, Michael Haefner, Kelly Compton, Liz Beauchamp, Greg Beauchamp

CHRISTINE CARTER We can’t give what we don’t have. We can’t take care of others if we aren’t first taking care of ourselves.

This year marked the 6th Annual Changing the Odds Dinner. The event was held at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas and featured Dr. Richard J. Davidson, renowned neuroscientist, author, and one of TIME magazine’s “100 most Influential People in the World.” This incredible evening celebrated the amazing donors and partners who have faithfully supported the community and the work of Momentous Institute and Salesmanship Club of Dallas. The room was alive with excitement and energy, and it’s safe to say guests left filled with hope, inspired to make Dallas as good a place for children as it is for business.


A Letter from the Executive Director Momentous Institute has been focused on HOPE this year – even more than usual – with our therapy families, school families, training and research partners and with our stakeholders. Hope was the theme of our 6th Annual Changing the Odds conference this October, and we enjoyed learning and thinking with over 1,500 educators, therapists and decision makers representing 82 cities, 16 states and 8 countries. Author Paul Rogat Loeb reminds us that hope is not about certainty or prognostication – it’s about an orientation of the spirit and heart. He says, “Hope is believing in spite of the evidence, and then watching the evidence change.” For the time being, the evidence does not always reflect our collective investment in, and commitment to, Dallas children, especially to children of color. The statistics show Dallas continues to be one of the most segregated cities in the country. When considering cost of living, four out of every 10 children – and six out of every 10 children of color – are impacted by poverty. And an alarming number of children in our city are impacted by adverse childhood experiences and trauma. The research is clear that trauma and toxic stress literally rewire children’s brains and put them at an enormous life-long disadvantage. The research is equally clear that the type of intervention Momentous Institute offers also changes children’s brains, which puts them on a positive trajectory so they can be the future change makers and leaders our city needs. For our generation to turn the tide related to the care of our youngest citizens, we have radical and bold work to do. Momentous Institute is proud to be part of the many groups in Dallas choosing hope and backing it up with action. It’s exactly this that will fuel our collective capacity to make Dallas as good a place for children as it is for business. To borrow words from Billie Holiday, “The difficult we will do right now, the impossible will take a little while.”

Warmly,

Michelle Kinder Executive Director

Let’s talk about RACE Maureen Fernandez, Content Manager

A new series on the Momentous Institute blog is focused on topics related to race, culture and identity. Without question, race is at the forefront of many of today’s conversations. As we know, silence can often be the loudest voice. When we don’t talk about subjects that matter, we’re making a choice to be silent. With that in mind, we’re diving head-first into the topic to provide parents and professionals the tools they need to support diverse populations. One recent post by Dr. Garica Sanford, Psy.D., Training Director for Momentous Institute, addressed how and why to talk to kids about race. Here’s an excerpt:

When we don’t talk to children about race, we miss opportunities to help them understand the unique ethnic and cultural differences that exist and enrich our world. The reality is kids notice race much earlier than most people realize. In fact, research has suggested children as young as six months old begin to notice differences in people’s skin tones, and gaze longer at unfamiliar faces of those of a different race than those who look racially similar. Additionally, it is believed that children begin to develop biases connected to race as early as three years old. Given that observable differences, such as skin complexion, are the first way kids will begin to notice racial and ethnic differences, I think the best time to begin to have discussions is at the same time parents begin to teach their children about different colors. For most parents, this is early on and occurs even before kids fully develop language or start school. The integration of racial differences can be an extension of how you normally teach kids about colors when reading books or visiting at the park (red, like the flowers at the park; blue, like the sky; navy blue, like our car; brown, like your skin; peach, like your friend Lily’s skin; black, like Isaac’s hair; green, like the grass).

New BEGINNINGS, same ideals for AT&T Byron Nelson Jon Drago, Tournament Director

As we are now less than 200 days away from the 50th Anniversary of the AT&T Byron Nelson, we couldn’t be more excited about what lies ahead. We look forward to welcoming the PGA TOUR players, fans, media and volunteers to our new home at Trinity Forest Golf Club in southern Dallas. Ben Crenshaw, 1983 AT&T Byron Nelson Champion, along with Bill Coore, has built a beautiful and challenging course on just over 150 acres in the largest urban forest in the United States. While the tournament will have a new home, the overall mission of the AT&T Byron Nelson will remain the same. Yes, a champion will be crowned, but as Salesmanship Club members put on their red pants and play host to thousands of spectators, a bigger goal is on their minds. Thanks to all of our supporters, we’ll raise valuable funds that help children and families in our community year-round through the tournament’s beneficiary, Momentous Institute. That is what the AT&T Byron Nelson is all about. Forty-four different people have won the AT&T Byron Nelson in its first 50 years, but even more important is that more than 100,000 lives have been transformed through Momentous Institute’s therapy and education programs. So, as the tournament transitions to its new home, we make you this one promise: we will work every day so that the 2018 Bryon Nelson is the best yet. At the heart of our commitment is Momentous Institute and ensuring children and families in our community achieve their full potential.

50 LIVES TRANSFORMED

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the AT&T Byron Nelson we have produced 50 Lives Transformed – a video series highlighting the impact of our tournament through the years.

For more on this post and to see the others in the series, visit www.momentousinstitute.org/blog.

Grandparent and Therapy Client

School Principal

Social Emotional Health Teacher

Salesmanship Club of Dallas Members

Former Therapy Intern

Current Student

“They simply say, ‘How can I help you?’ and we do our part.”

“It goes back to why I do what I do, why I push through, to have somebody come in and say, ‘We believe in you’.”

“You and your trainings have made a whole lot of change, and I owe it to Momentous.”

“We take the time to take care of young people and see them through school.”

“It makes me feels inspired and purposeful that change can happen in our communities.”

“What I love about Momentous is that it helps us learn and be smart.”

Please visit www.attbyronnelson.org/50-lives-transformed/


NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE

PAID

106 E. TENTH STREET DALLAS, TEXAS 75203 214.915.4700 momentousinstitute.org

DALLAS, TX PERMIT NO. 8

WINTER 2017

SAVE THE DATE

Momentous in

MAY 14 - 20

MEMPHIS It’s

Wednesday

morning

at

Making peace with UNCERTAINTY

Perea

Anxious? Overwhelmed? Depressed by the

Preschool in Memphis, Tennessee, and

news headlines? With so much unfolding on

parents and students have gathered for

the world stage, the capacity to deal with

an arts and crafts project. The task for the

uncertainty is a critical skill for all of us.

jar: a simple tool to help children learn

Identifying ways to not be bullied by fear is

how to manage stress.

important because when the fear center of our brain is activated, it suppresses the part

Your support transforms lives.

Perea Preschool, along with Porter Leath

of our brain most able to fully attend to what

Early

is in front of us and to connect with others.

Academy,

recently

Here

coaching and the sharing of innovative,

deal with uncertainty:

research-based strategies to strengthen

We cannot thank you enough for your continued support of our 2017 annual campaign. The focus of this year’s annual campaign is community engagement towards making Dallas a great place for ALL children and families by strengthening social emotional health. Your generosity has helped us secure $375,000 toward our $500,000 goal. These contributions allow 6,000 children and family members to receive high-quality, innovative services in education and mental health so that they can reach their full potential. Momentous Institute also relies on support of our work in research and training to advance our social emotional health model through partnership with thousands of professionals each year. If you have not already done so, please join our efforts and consider a year-end contribution.

To make a gift or for more information, please contact Jessica Trudeau, Director of Development & Strategic Partnerships, at 214.944.5713 or jtrudeau@momentousinstitute.org.

are

three

practices

to

help

us

1. Nurture relationships.

goal is to demonstrate the many positive

We need relationships because our

brains are social organs and

for children when schools make a true

without

commitment to social emotional health.

brains literally shrink.

relationships,

our

Differences of opinion can push us away from our

and Evaluation, beams when she talks

loved ones unless we are intentional about not

about the collaboration. “It is such a

letting that happen.

to understand how poverty and trauma

One of the best ways to get through difficulties is to

impact students – and how to mitigate it.

nurture a few key relationships in our lives that allow

We’ll be incorporating a variety of

us to speak truth, express confusion, laugh and

observational,

exhale — relationships that remind us who we are

student

assessment measures to help capture the

and what ultimately matters.

3

Donor Spotlight: Dana Juett

focuses on courage and the strength of the human fuels my ability to take the next steps and participate in a solution.

The children’s book Zoom , by Istvan Banyai, begins with a splotch of color. Turning the page, the picture zooms out, and you see that splotch is actually the comb of a rooster. On the next page, picture of children gazing out a cottage window, and so on.

seeing until you turn the page and gain an entirely new understanding. In this whimsical way, the book shows the importance of widening our lens when we feel stuck or overwhelmed. Nurturing relationships, minding our narrative and

impact of the work.”

(continued on page 3)

debilitating and overwhelming. But if my narrative

On every page, you think you know what you’re

privilege to work with teachers who want

and

focuses on fear, I will experience the situation as

you see that the rooster is only a small detail in a

Karen Thierry, Ph.D., Director of Research

survey,

For example, if my narrative about natural disasters

3. Zoom out.

student social emotional health. The academic and social changes that result

circumstances can be much more important than

spirit, I’ll be lit up with passion and hope, which

teamed up with Momentous Institute for a four-year project that includes teacher

The narrative or story we develop about our the circumstances themselves.

day? Make your own Settle Your Glitter

Childhood

2. Mind the narrative.

zooming out will help us stay grounded, present

5

Changing the Odds 2017

7

and loving in uncertain times.

50th Anniversary: AT&T Byron Nelson

Momentous Institute Winter 2017 Newsletter  
Momentous Institute Winter 2017 Newsletter  
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