MDR Student Edwin Weaver Recognized for Work with Foster Youth in Santa Barbara County
Edwin Weaver, who is pursuing a Master in Dispute Resolution (MDR) degree at the Straus Institute, was recognized for his groundbreaking work uplifting foster youth in Santa Barbara County by ACEsConnection, an online social platform for practitioners implementing trauma-informed and resilience-building practices for youth.
While pursuing his Master in Dispute Resolution degree at the Straus Institute, Weaver also serves as Executive Director of Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley, an organization that provides social services and community building programs in Santa Barbara County, one of the lowest income counties in the state. Weaver is particularly dedicated to ensuring that all foster youth in Santa Maria high school have the opportunity to graduate, and his non-profit focuses on keeping youth away from drugs and alcohol, cannabis and tobacco. It also aims to prevent truancy and help reduce violence in communities.
From the article:
ACEs is a term that comes from a landmark study showing how adversity in childhood leads to adult onset of chronic disease, mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence...For the past three years, Weaver has trained teachers to teach ACEs and the resiliency model in the county's high schools. Last year, Weaver was also hired to teach these skills to all juvenile probation officers. Even during COVID19, these classes continue in large, well-ventilated physical spaces that follow social distancing and masking protocols.
One example Weaver cites epitomizes the difference that understanding ACEs science and the resiliency model can make. "We had a foster student who kept running away from school whenever there was a math test. We taught the school counselor the Community Resiliency Model, and she taught them to this student, who started using them. Not only did this student help her own anxiety, she taught another student who had anxiety about taking tests how to control her anxiety as well," he said.
The complete article may be found here.