64% of children and youth in the US have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives. The absence of a formal mental health diagnosis does not mean that they move on from these experiences unscathed. Even one traumatic experience in childhood can have negative effects on brain development that persist well beyond childhood, and sometimes have negative ramifications for academic success. Experts on complex trauma and trauma-sensitive education share their perspectives on supporting students with trauma histories.
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Anna Paravono-Frise, MS
A veteran designer with over 30 years of experience, Anna is currently teaching Interior Design at Antelope Valley College. She holds a Masters in Family & Environmental Sciences with an emphasis on spirituality/space and human response to environments. At the age of 45, Anna switched her life focus when she became a mom through adoption to a child with Complex Trauma. She is trained as a therapeutic parent in attachment, regulation therapy and Community Resilience Model (CRM) through the Trauma Resource Institute. Anna served as the Education Director for the Attachment & Trauma Network for several years. She educates, develops curriculum, writes, coaches and consults with caregivers and organizations on attachment and trauma-related topics and issues.
Towana Cately, MSW
Working in higher education for over five years supporting some of the most vulnerable students at Antelope Valley College (AVC), and having managed a group home for foster youth has afforded Towana valuable experience with supporting those with complex trauma. She earned her BA from UCLA in 2006, and her MSW in 2016 from California State University Northridge, and is a Counselor/Professor for the Umoja and Academic Probation programs at AVC. When she is not empowering students to achieve their academic goals, she is practicing Krav Maga kickboxing, salsa dancing, and spending time with her two pups, Sakura, and Mirai.