Growing Up Knowing’s Facilitators are Its Mission-in-Action
The real-life heroes of Growing Up Knowing are the facilitators who implement our three signature programs after school, often during the evening and/or weekends. They are experts in their own fields of education, psychology, social work, mental health, and medicine. They take difficult and often uncomfortable topics and make them fun and accessible. They impart factual, evidence-based information in a way that youth and their parents and caregivers can relate to and understand. They vary in age, from graduate students to retired professionals. And, they all share a common goal – empowering Mississippi youth to have complete autonomy over their own bodies, strengthening families, and creating a culture of consent which begins at home.
Considering the bias and stigma revolving around discussing private body parts, abuse, bullying, and all topics within comprehensive sex education (particularly in the Deep South), our facilitators often face years of family patterns of behavior that have never been discussed openly. Through an intentional and mindful approach to the curriculum, they break down barriers of silence and normalize the information so parents and caregivers can be confident discussing the most personal topics with their children. As a result, communities are changed, one family at a time. Unhealthy cycles are being broken, families are being strengthened, and youth are being given the tools needed to stay safe and grow up healthy. To learn more, visit their website and social pages on Facebook and Instagram.
The Alliance enters this season of reflection and gratitude, deeply appreciative of the support from our many members, supporters, and friends.
The Phil Hardin Foundation in Meridian was chartered in 1964 with the charge to “improve the education of Mississippians.” For nearly six decades, we have strived to be a catalyst for educational opportunity and community improvement in Mississippi through innovative leadership and productive partnerships.
This summer, I joined thought leaders from Mississippi and across the country in the FutureGood Studio’s futurism training program. It was transformational. This experience redefined my outlook, both professionally as a nonprofit leader and on a personal level. It fundamentally altered the way I approach work and staff engagement and envision the future for both myself and the clients we serve.