Professional Endorsements

  • I am sending this to you all because I know a lot of your emails involve problems to solve, but this is not one of them. We have been doing weekly Mindfulness lessons in Maria Zorn's 1st grade classroom at Raupp Elementary School in Lincoln Park, Michigan. This was 4th week. We work on breathing each week and add on something. 

    The first week we related the amygdala, pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus to animals and discussed function. The second week we reviewed and added where things were in brain etc. Today, only the 4th week – almost all of her wonderful students not only identified where these structures were in their brains but knew the proper words. They knew their breathing, they could give examples and explain mindfulness and we did a "happy/love" thought meditation. 

    They did so well because Maria carries out lessons multiple times day and week. Seriously, it was amazing and Maria and I both got happy tears! These students could teach staff. I wanted you to know that the TLC Program is making a difference and how wonderful Maria is. Her students are so lucky – I hope it makes you smile! It is truly a great day to be in Lincoln Park!

    Kim Bonham-Jenkins, OTRL, Raupp Elementary School, Lincoln Park, Michigan

  • Most of my students do not get support from home. They come with a lot of social and emotional problems. I know I can't change their home life or their economic situation. I do believe that I can make a difference. My primary goal is to teach them life skills and communication skills. I love my kids and I want them to become independent and learn how to be a community. I appreciate your [Focus] writings because it helps me relax and be grounded. Everything I've read has helped me do better by my kids. I sometimes become too concerned about the achievement gaps and what they have to learn and what I "should" be teaching them. When I read your  [Focus] articles I remember they're young and they have to realize how great they are. Thank you.

    Rebecca Salazar

  • It is with great appreciation that I share with you a conversation that Margot and I had with Hartgrove Hospital in Chicago.  We had a new 3rd grade student who just started at LPE a month ago.  Last week he was experiencing severe auditory hallucinations.  We called SASS and they sent a representative who completed and crisis evaluation. The SASS representative and parents were so appreciative of our trauma informed approach and the environment we have provided him that the mother and grandmother shed tears and expressed deep gratitude.  The counselor and her supervisor determined that Hartgrove Hospital which has a child trauma unit would be the best fit.

    Today, a therapist called us with an update on our student and shared that one of the most positive coping strategies the student identified at school was the comfort corner in his classroom.  The therapist was so impressed that we have areas like this in every classroom.  She wished that every school had employees who are trauma informed and provided such areas for students.  This student's formal diagnosis is major depressive disorder with severe psychosis.  This student has a history of trauma and we were able to educate the mother and grandparent on childhood trauma and how his behavior may be directly related to the severe abuse and trauma he experienced before being in the mothers care.  We were also able to offer her hope with the key being positive adult relationships which she is currently providing.  He has been in his mothers care for 6 weeks.  We explained that he needs to feel safe, reassured and given unconditional love.

    The training we attended with STARR.org (TLC) was transformative personally, professionally and is having a positive impact in our district. I really appreciate all that you do at TLC!  We are implementing so much of the information we gained from the training this summer.  We have comfort corners in every classroom and it's made such a huge difference in the lives of our students!

    Lisa L. Clark, Principal, Loves Park Elementary School 

  • It was a privilege to attend two of Dr. Soma's trainings recently in Midland, Michigan. May God continue to bless the living changing work done at Starr Commonwealth and through the many education and outreach programs. I ordered  Dr. Soma's new book "10 Steps to Create a Trauma Informed School" book for the principal of the new elementary school my granddaughter will be attending.  I was delighted to see the principal at both trainings Dr. Soma presented. I am hopeful that the staff at the new elementary school will be aware of the unique needs of traumatized children and provide a nurturing setting.

  • Thank you for making the "Brave Bart and the Bully" storybook available! I had been searching for a tool to use with my 7-year-old granddaughter after she told me about being bullied. Your book and our 'chats' will help Chloe understand the difference between bully power and Positive Power, learn clear steps to take when confronted by a bully and be able to recognize and apologize for her part of the situation– essential skills for every child!

  • I just wanted to let you know some of the feedback I heard about yesterday's training. Our teachers said they are so excited each time that you are scheduled to present. They feel hope through the training and are getting more confident in their work. I'm so glad they are building their mastery because I really feel that their mastery need is not being met right now. This is causing the tremendous burnout and leading to teachers feeling like they "don't know what they're doing." Many, as you know, feel like giving up. You are giving them the tools they need to feel competent again. Thank you so much!

  • I loved this training! I learned some valuable information that I will be able to use daily. I also am better equipped to inform and educate teachers that I work with on trauma v. grief. Dr. Soma did an excellent job during the presentations.

  • If my experience with this course was a color it would be bright yellow because it was so clear and bright and full of hope. If my experience was a shape it would be a giant smile because I am very excited to put it into practice with my clients and because I have finally found exactly the courses that I believe in and can actually use!  Dr. Soma has such an incredible open way of teaching and showing/explaining the process of addressing trauma.  I have enjoyed this learning experience because of her ability to be direct, clear, practical and informative.

  • I'm a teacher, and this was an eye opening experience for me, as I have several children in my class with trauma indicators. I was looking at it as behavior problems, but more likely it is a trauma response. I will be working more closely with my school counselor to dig deeper. Thank you.

  •  I felt that Mr. Allen was an excellent speaker with a full understanding of the material that he presented to us to learn. I enjoyed this training. Thank You!

  • I loved every minute of this class. I have started school groups in our community and its been such a success. This class gave me lots of tools to add to our campus! Thank you!

  • Love this training - It fits for my current work in a local high school. I am able to utilize the TLC assessment form and work with the kids directly.

  • This was an outstanding training. The material that was covered was very informative to all levels. It was extremely helpful all of the activities that were given. The training seemed well thought out and interesting!

  • I found this training to be one of the best I have ever taken regarding children. I am one to "follow their lead", so to speak, but this course gave me many ideas that I had never thought of as far as intervention. Thank you!

  • This was an excellent training. The knowledge I obtained is invaluable. I look forward to using these strategies as I continue to serve. I also look forward to becoming a Certified Trauma Specialist and more. Thank you.

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