September 07, 2011
The Morgan Forum in September featured a daytime learning event and an evening gathering for youth. State leaders, local mental health providers, family members and individuals got a complete look at how protective factors are integral to resiliency and how providers and agencies can be more responsive to the needs of young people as they navigate through the complicated process of transitioning to adulthood. Mark Katz, PhD, author of the book, On Playing a Poor Hand Well, explored lessons learned from those who overcame adverse childhood experiences.

Marvin Alexander, MSW, LCSW, a dedicated youth advocate shared vivid details about his lived experience in two children’s residential centers, juvenile detention, inpatient hospitals. The day wrapped up with a panel of youth sharing their stories and explaining how the adults in their lives impacted their resilience. Terre Garner, Ohio Federation for Children’s Mental Health moderated the panel while Marjorie Cook, a parent, and Dr. Georgette Constantinou, Director of the Division of Pediatric Psychiatry at Akron Children’s Hospital responded to the youth’s comments.

More than twenty youth participated in an energizing dialogue with Marvin Alexander, Youth MOVE National, Inc., Jonesboro, AR. Many of the youth are active in Youth M.O.V.E., whose Ohio chapters put on various events to educate, motivate, and inspire other youth to get involved in their local community. The young people toured NEOMED campus and learned how to acknowledge internal gifts and external factors that bring hope and motivation into their lives.