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February 26, 2019Youth in Action » Ladies of Today Summit

Strong and highly inspiring young women came together to participate in the 5th annual “Ladies of Today” Big sister/ little sister my pain is your pain all girls retreat February 19,2019 at the Sanctuary Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio.  The young women and guests who took part in this event got to know each other on a deeper level, sharing each other’s heart wrenching stories. We all know that trauma clutches the heart of every person old and young at some point in their lives. Our time was spent sharing and listening to each girl on the panel and volunteers who choose to share their experience of some form of trauma in their lives. Many of the girls talked about trauma that affected them directly and how they come to overcome and look past it or how they are still dealing with it.  A range of questions were asked after the girls talked and shared their stories. There were many powerful and inspiring individuals, including Yvonne Pointer, the councilman Kevin Bishop Sister Sandra Bishop, Ladawn yang, among others, who came out to show support to our young women who face trauma.  Adults lent a listening ear and a helping hand.

 

Trauma shakes the foundation of so many families especial in the low income communities of Cleveland, Ohio. We sometimes allow it to go unseen, allowing it to consume the lives of so many. We see all types of trauma and how it affects the people around us and how it holds a tight grip on them.  The things we see in our communities and things that our youth are getting involved with on an everyday basis, we see it as normal. However, they are looking for an outlet to get rid of the pain that they are so deeply consumed in. Our children are drowned in the pits of despair and doing whatever they can to dig themselves out this everlasting sinking hole, suffering from depression, stress, and sadness. The women that participated in this event shone a new light on everyday trauma. The all girls retreat was a truly touching and inspiring event, that allowed our young women who are in the jaws of trauma to express themselves and get it off of their chest.

 

This was a long overdue event that the girls who participated in it will forever be in gratitude to Mrs. Hood, adult leader of Ladies of Today, who created the event. Mrs. Hood got to gather a group of beautiful and strong women who experienced trauma and could give a word of advice TO lift each other up. As Mrs. Hood so proudly says, “L.L.T, I GOT YOUR BACK.”  This event displayed something that we as women young and old must do to lift and build each other up while our traumatic experiences are trying to bring us down. There was crying, laughter, pain and happiness but one thing that was experienced throughout the event was a sense of hope that everything will get better. Hope rung through the church and we all went home knowing that pain lies deep within the surface. We may look okay or happiness may be plaster on our face, but deep down we are all hurting. We have our own traumatic experiences to blame for that and the coping mechanisms may not all be the best, but we all have a friend that we can look toward. To share our pain with and make life a little less hurtful and a little more enjoyable. We must turn to the next person and ask to refill our cups because we are so desperately thirsty. So look beyond the surface because pain is living deep within us and when you ask “are you okay?” really mean is are you okay. We all need to know that there is somebody out there to care for us and This event showed that there are plenty, This event would not have been made possible if it wasn’t for the partnerships of MetroHealth, the City of Cleveland, MyCom, Cleveland, Metropolitan school district, and the so many other sponsorships. We thank you.

Written by Angel King, senior at John Adams High School

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