Surviving and Thriving in COVID-19
  • Recorded on Tuesday, October 19, 2021
  • 1.5 hour event
  • 96% approval rating
  • FREE for YIPA members and non-YIPA members
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Participants' Own Words

"The wisdom, knowledge, and diverse perspectives was incredible."

"I really enjoyed the panelists and their input, great ideas and takeaways."

"It's so important to feel part of a community, shares resources and more."

Your Event Description

What we are all experiencing because of COVID-19 is extraordinary. We’re all searching for ways to process our losses and daily life disruptions. We’re looking for opportunities to heal and move forward. The impact of so much change and uncertainty is showing up as stress, anxiety, and mental health challenges. And our young people need greater support and guidance now more than ever before. We all have a role to play as we navigate the twists, turns, and transitions of the COVID-19 pandemic together, as a community.

As a youth work professional, a trusted and caring adult, it’s important that you maintain and strengthen your well-being first and foremost. Young people are likely looking to you for answers and tools to move through pandemic-related challenges. You will need to inspire new self-care strategies both you and they can easily use. And you can help them find ways to leverage hidden opportunities within the new challenges they face. It’s just as important for you to have a supportive community as it is for the young people you serve. You are not in this alone!

Our 2021 Virtual Community Forum provides an opportunity for you to listen to a panel discussion about COVID-19 and how it’s affecting your youth work, your self-care, and the needs of the young people you serve. It’s a chance to collectively process what you’ve experienced and what you’re feeling while learning how to heal. The idea of connecting here is to gain strength and replenish your reserves to help yourself and others through these challenges.

Listen in as our panel of community leaders and youth workers talk about:

  • How youth workers and young people have survived and thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How you can help yourself and young people in your program heal from the emotional trauma of the pandemic
  • How to maintain your mental health, well-being, and how to use self-care strategies for you and the young people you serve
Your Moderator
Brandon Jones is the Executive Director of Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health and consultant. He specializes in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Historical and Intergenerational Trauma, Social/Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Leadership, and Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Brandon holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, a Masters in Community Psychology from Metropolitan State University, and a Masters in Psychotherapy (MFT) from Adler Graduate School. Brandon is also a 2013 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow. He lives by the motto of “Live Life with Purpose, on Purpose”.
Your Panelists

Kathy Flaminio, LGSW, MSW, E-RYT-200, is the founder of MoveMindfully®, a training and consulting company that brings the science of mindfulness, movement, and social-emotional learning into educational, therapeutic, and home environments. She is the creator of MoveMindfully training, workshops, products, and curriculum that teach trauma-responsive practices for self-regulation, focus, and overall well-being. With a master’s degree in social work, Kathy holds more than 20 years of experience in regular and special education and is adjunct faculty for Saint Mary’s University. Kathy has trained over 50,000 professionals in mindfulness, movement, and social-emotional skills strategies and has partnered with the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and United Hospital to provide trauma-responsive practices to the child/adolescent and adult mental health units. She is co-author of Moving Mountains: An Integrative Manual to Help Youth with Intensity, Reactivity and Anxiety and of the Teen Resiliency Program with Dr. Henry Emmons, Dr. Timothy Culbert, and associates. Kathy has been a keynote speaker and/or presenter for more than 100 organizations and national conferences.


Noah “NuhuBabuKubwa” Isaiah Sims, known as Nuhu, is a facilitator of knowledge and a PhD student in Culture & Teaching at the University of Minnesota. Nuhu's research is focused on naming and interrupting racially oppressive colonial structures in public education, examining how classrooms can be spaces of healing from racial oppression, racial identity development, reflexivity, and complicity in white supremacy. Noah is a maroon of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and employs an ancestral based Afro-Diasporic epistemology.

He is passionate about helping people build community and coalition based on the strength of their differences. This is not an easy task, but it is the necessary one. His belief in being critically human drives him to build a better world and he never loses sight of that. Nuhu’s primary influences are the Black, Queer, feminists who demanded that all people, regardless of their identity intersections, have a seat at the table. We all deserve to feel like we belong. His life’s work is to create a space where that happens.


Dr. Jennifer Clifden is the creator of Present Teacher TrainingTM and founder of Present Well-Being LLC. She received her BA in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan and her MA in Socio-Cultural Foundations and Educational Thought from Western Michigan University. Jennifer also holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development with a focus on elementary education, curriculum and instruction, and teacher development.

She currently teaches at the University of Minnesota in the College of Education and Human Development and researches stress-resilience and the process for human service professionals to “burn in” to heart-centered healing professions.

Jennifer’s 23 years of collective experience as a public-school teacher, university educator, well-being researcher, mindfulness and yoga teacher, and mother of a 7th grader and twin 6th graders serve to help human service professionals stoke their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.


Cristina Archila was raised in Las Vegas, NV. She joined AmeriCorps in 2011 and moved to Minnesota, tutoring youth in pre-kindergarten through the Minnesota Reading Corps. After her two years of service, she was offered a position at the school she served with. She worked as a Kindergarten ParaEducator in Saint Paul Public Schools for nearly eight years thereafter. During her time with SPPS, her focus changed solely from early childhood education to racial equity and restorative justice within the education system itself, working to create fair, just, and equitable spaces. In her spare time, she enjoys what she likes to call the “urban outdoors.” Kayaking, biking, and hiking through the city are a few of her favorite pastimes. As the Program Event Coordinator with Bolder Options, Cristina creates engaging, inclusive, and educational activities and events for youth and alumni.