Hosting or attending an ACE event is the first step to making a difference
See what other community members are saying about our events
“It was encouraging that the past does not define your future.”
“I really liked the opportunity to take our own ACE scores and reflect on why we are who we are.”
“This gives great insight to why our participants, and maybe even ourselves, operate the way we do and the decisions or reactions to life we have.”
“It was amazing. So informative, shocking, interesting, and motivating.”
“Made me think about my parenting and making sure my children will NOT have my ACE score.”
"Very informative-gives me hope for the future of our kids."
"ACEs is a beginning of looking at our community in a different light. We are survivors."
“Good information and discussion stimulated thoughts toward strengthening our community.”
“I enjoyed talking about how we can work together to get this information out to the community.”
“I really enjoyed learning about ACEs because I can share this information with my family, friends, and neighbors to bring awareness.”
“It was motivating and encouraging. It brought hope because it feels like we are making progress as a community.”
“This presentation shows that people are making efforts to improve our community, growing children, and our future.”
“I feel EVERYONE needs to hear this.”
“The stories and explanations were eye opening and informative.”
“This is the best training/workshop I have ever been to. I have been working in this field for 24 years.”
“There is so much to know and understand about ACEs. I can’t possibly hear it too much.”
“Being a teacher, it gave me a better understanding of the lasting effects of ACEs. Having a better knowledge of the resources available can help me help my parents and students.”
“This is a fantastic presentation as it is very informative as well as eye-opening.”
“Wonderful presentation with engaging presenters! You can tell they are really connected to the topic.”
“The trainers were knowledgeable and passionate about the content and interacted well with the group.”
“It was really nice having the trainers provide their individual experiences and knowledge!”
Who We’re Reaching
“We believe that healthy, thriving businesses are foundational to a vibrant community. Creating local economic opportunity can present a way forward for those who have experienced adversity in their lives. We all play a role in improving the vitality of our community. The work done by those who equip people with the tools to be more resilient help to prevent ACEs from perpetuating into future generations, and that strengthens us all.”
Jake Mangas · Redding Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO
“Students with ACEs often find learning and classroom appropriate behavior difficult. In Shasta County we use trauma-informed practices and brain science to teach students how to regulate their stress response systems. Once they understand how it works, everything changes in their favor. We also mitigate challenges by placing a strong emphasis on relationships between caring adults and young people. Healthy relationships are one of the most powerful ways to buffer toxic stress and childhood trauma.”
Kelly Rizzi · Shasta County Office of Education, Director of School and District Support
“Families in Child Welfare and/or in need of Mental Health services often have extremely high ACE scores and a multigenerational history of abuse and trauma. The Children’s Services Branch provides preventive services and trauma informed treatment to decrease the likelihood of families continuing to have high ACEs for future generations. Early intervention breaks the cycle of trauma in families and identifies family needs, increasing healthier families in our community.”
Miguel Rodriguez · Health and Human Services Agency, Children’s Services Branch Director
“Faith communities can provide a safe place of support for people with high ACE scores. Faith creates an opportunity for people to believe in a power greater than themselves, which is associated with preventing ACEs.
Faith communities encourage healthy relationships needed to keep ACE from defining lives, and healthy relationships nurture healthy families by providing parental support and connecting children with mentoring relationships.”
Stephen Campbell · Center, Founder and Director
“The medical field is where research into ACEs first got traction. In the 1990s, doctors and scientists came to the realization that toxic stress caused by ACEs can lead to chronic medical conditions, mental health disorders, and substance abuse disorders.
It’s important for medical professionals to screen for ACEs, teach our families about the effects of toxic stress, and provide referrals to community resources that can build resilience within the family.”
Dr. Sean Dugan · Shasta Community Health Center
“Families without stable housing have greater difficulty with the basic resources that others may take for granted. Things like accessing healthcare, transportation, obtaining proper identification for school enrollment, food programs, family support programs, and even efficient communication can become a challenge. When parents are focused on survival, nurturing children and resiliency can suffer. Providing affordable housing to families can create a sense of safety, build community relationships, and strengthen families.”
Cathy Wyatt · Northern Valley Catholic Social Service, Executive Director
“Most juveniles and adults within the justice system have unaddressed ACEs. Our use of evidence-based tools and practices help probation staff address the underlying needs. Probation’s goal is to connect juveniles and adults with the appropriate services needed to meet treatment goals, reduce further trauma, and build resilience.”
Tracie Neal · Shasta County Probation, Chief Probation Officer
Others Who Are Making A Difference
Meet Our ACE Presenters
Get to know your local ACE Presenters and request who you would like to present at your event
Alex Biegel was the previous Coordinator for the Strengthening Families Collaborative and the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) program since 2017 and became certified as an ACE Presenter in 2019. Alex was born and raised in Redding before earning a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, Health, and Nutrition and an associate degree in Health Science from Pacific Union College, and a master’s degree in Public Health, Health Education and Promotion from Loma Linda University. Alex volunteers as the Worship Coordinator for her church and as a Jr. High girls’ basketball coach. She has a passion for people, service, and her community, and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and extended family.
Children’s Legacy Center
Dr. Alyson Reynolds Kohl is a licensed Family Therapist and the Clinical Director at the Children’s Legacy Center, a children’s advocacy center. Alyson’s passion for ACEs was sparked when she realized the most vulnerable populations often have the highest ACE scores. She believes ACE education is the first step to stop the cycle of abuse and prevent future generations from adverse experiences. Alyson works to influence the community to support families and at-risk populations, and to encourage collaborative efforts to build healthy families. She believes that having trauma-informed organizations will improve compassion among employees and towards clients. ACE information is not only for those who work with children and families, it can help anyone. Alyson is a grandma, has a dog, two cats, two chickens, and loves the outdoors.
Northern Valley Catholic Social Service (NVCSS)
Amy Diamantine is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and is the Regional Director of Program Development for Shasta, Siskiyou, and Trinity counties with Northern Valley Catholic Social Service. She has been with NVCSS since 2015, beginning as a clinician in the counseling department. Amy is passionate about supporting the community in reducing ACE scores. She has a strong connection to the communities within the North State while recognizing the need to address ACEs in rural areas to improve the lives of our individuals and families. In her personal time, she loves enjoying the beautiful outdoors of the North State and spending time with her husband and two daughters.
District Attorney’s Office
As the Program Manager at the Crime Victims Assistance Center with the District Attorney, Angie serves victims of crime through very difficult processes. Her role includes coordinating outreach activities, victims’ rights, and participating on the statewide crime assistance board. With her unique perspective on ACEs, Angie is invested in the development of resilience. She believes that by educating people on ACEs, we start the wheels turning and hopefully prevent future ACEs by creating awareness. She would like to build a stronger community for our children by establishing stronger crime prevention education programs as well as providing restorative resources for families.
American Red Cross
Caedy Minoletti joined the Red Cross as Executive Director of the California Gold Country Region’s Northern California Chapter in January 2023. She came to the organization after two years as Executive Director of One SAFE Place, a multi-services agency which provides legal services, safety, and emotional support to intimate partners, children, and seniors affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. Caedy is an avid campter and hiker, is involved in a local search and rescue team and is a meditation instructor at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, an organization that came to Northern California after the Carr Fire to help families and communities heal.
Shasta Head Start
Diane Hacker is a Family Services Manager with Shasta Head Start and a lifelong resident of Shasta County who is passionate about seeing all members of our community thrive. She works to make families self-sufficient, connects them to resources, and advocates for their children. Diane is interested in changing the mindset of those with ACEs from thinking that something is wrong with them to thinking that something happened to them. She believes this shift will help people understand there is always hope and that they can make positive life changes.
HOPE City Redding
Jackie Durant works as the Executive Director of HOPE City, which specializes in restorative justice. She has a passion for restorative justice because it mitigates the harmful effects of trauma and injustice. Her vision is to see communities healed and reconciled where restorative justice is the natural response to crime or wrongdoing. She believes that working to reduce ACEs in the community will reduce incarceration, addiction, and the number of youth who struggle because of their childhood trauma. Jackie wants to use her experience to help community members better understand the ripple effect ACEs have in our community.
First 5 Shasta
Jackie Scott is the Grant Coordinator for First 5 Shasta, which funds projects, services, and activities that benefit pregnant women and parents with children ages 0-5. She provides technical assistance to grantees applying for these funds, and manages an external grant focusing on identifying and treating trauma in the community. Jackie wants to find support for early childhood educators and families who are interested in helping children express themselves in a healthy way. She believes that building resiliency helps support parents in our community and helps children develop healthier behaviors.
Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Public Health Branch
As a Shasta County HHSA Community Development Coordinator, Jonathon Freeman is an advocate for a multigenerational approach to building people, connection, and culture. As a Native American community member and avid runner, he has seen healing from trauma with his running buddies through connection and community building and looks forward to educating local Native Communities. Jonathan is well versed in the science of ACEs and is eager to educate the community on the impact toxic stress has on the body and mind to bring restoration to the community.
Shasta County Probation, Juvenile Probation
Kellie Thon has worked for the Shasta County Probation department since 1994. Her career began as a Juvenile Hall counselor before being promoted to a Deputy Probation Officer. Kellie works to bring wholeness to victims and assist offenders with changing their lives by showing them no matter what they’ve been through and the poor choices they have made, they can change their path and lead a prosperous life. By addressing their ACEs and needs through evidence-based programs, they can reduce trauma in their children’s lives and become healthier people. In her free time, Kellie loves to exercise, garden, sing, and spend time with her family.
Shasta County Office of Education (SCOE)
Kelly Rizzi has been an educator since 1994 and has taught everything from preschool through eighth grade. She has served as the Director of School and District Support for SCOE since 2013 where she coaches classroom teachers in Social Emotional Learning. Kelly was trained through Dr. Bruce Perry’s Trauma Academy in the Neuro-sequential Model of Education, is an ACE Interface Trainer, and is a Trainer of Trainers for Restorative Practices and Mental Health First Aid. Since 2015 she has shared this science and these practices with more than 4,000 educators throughout Northern California. Kelly believes when like-minded, pure-hearted individuals move forward with the intent to mitigate and heal the effects of childhood trauma, the results are synergistic and incredible miracles are experienced across the community. This is already in motion in Shasta County, and she hopes it will continue to grow as we come together to dream the future of our community.
Kiera Chambers is a pastor for Branches Faith in Shasta Lake City, works in public schools, and is a mom of two. She centers her life around authentic relationships and works to help people understand the impact of ACEs to give people the power to build resiliency. Kiera applies her knowledge of ACEs to raising her children and educating her local faith community on the importance of healing from your past trauma.
Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Children’s Services Branch
As the Deputy Branch Director for Children’s and Adult Mental Health of Shasta County HHSA and a previous social worker who served foster youth, Laura has seen first-hand how trauma changes brain wiring and is passionate about finding ways that we can repair the trauma. She believes families and children need to be given the tools to skillfully navigate difficult emotions and heal negative wiring. Parents and community members often believe behavior is an adaptation of what they are living in and don’t know what they can do differently to improve opportunities for their children. Laura would like to see a parent engagement program to support them in understanding ACEs and develop healthy coping mechanisms using evidence-based tools.
Laura has lived in Shasta County most of her life. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for thirty plus years and is the mother of two grown boys, Brenden and Darren. Family is an important value her parents instilled in her by the caring and family gatherings they frequently shared and hosted. When Laura is not working, she enjoys traveling to see her children, roaming the trails of Shasta County and spending time with long-time friends.
As a native of Shasta County, Nick grew up attending Shasta County public schools. He has worked with and advocated for students in a variety of programs such as substance abuse prevention, financial aid, student housing, and college access for low-income first-generation students. Nick runs an early college high school completion program on the Shasta College campus for students who are behind on credits and not on track to graduate. Students are concurrently enrolled in high school and college classes to accelerate toward their high school diploma while getting an introduction to college. Nick’s consistent passion has been connecting young people to opportunities for success. He believes education serves a central role in that. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering in the community and exploring the world on bikes with his wife and twin sons.
Youth Options Shasta
Susan Wilson is the Executive Director of Youth Options Shasta (previously known as Youth Violence Prevention Council). She is a founding member of the Strengthening Families Collaborative. Locally she works to build strong families by providing training in a variety of curricula, including Strengthening Families: The Five Protective Factors, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, the 40 Developmental Assets, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Resilience. Susan believes strong families raise children with survival skills for today’s world, and resilience is key. For fun, she is a master gardener and coordinates Regrow Shasta, a local project that provides free plants to people landscaping their yards after the Carr Fire destroyed them.
First 5 Shasta
Wendy Dickens, Executive Director of First 5 Shasta, advocates for young children and their families of Shasta County by utilizing State funding and educating decision-makers around the needs of young children. Wendy also has direct experience working with ACEs and generational issues in her 16 years of work at Children’s Services. She is passionate about stopping the generational cycle of ACEs by building supportive communities. Wendy would like to see workshops that create a safe space for people to learn about ACEs and share their experiences so we can begin sowing seeds of change. Wendy enjoys spending time with her children and is a volunteer firefighter and avid bowler.
Host an Event
Request a private event for your organization or group.
Intro to ACEs: The Basics
Inspirational message to encourage learning more about ACEs.
Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
ACE 101: Why ACEs Matter
Foundational knowledge to inspire people to make a difference in their
Time: 1.5 to 2 hours
ACE 102: What to Do About ACEs
Individualized workshop intended to help organizations create action plans
towards accomplishing their goals.
Time: 2 to 4+ hours
**ACE 101 is a prerequisite to ACE 102
Film Screening: Resilience
The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope
“The child may not remember, but the body remembers.” Resilience reveals how
childhood abuse and neglect can cause toxic stress, negatively affecting their
brains and bodies, and inspires those in pediatrics, education, and public
service to join the movement towards healing.
Time: 1 hour movie and 30 minute discussion
Film Screening: Paper Tigers
One High School's Unlikely Success Story
Paper Tigers shows a year in the life of six high school students with
behavioral and substance abuse problems. The movie shows how changing
the schools’ approach to discipline helped the students find healing, support,
Time: 1 hour 42 minute movie and 30 minute discussion
Film Screening: Broken Places
Many are Stronger at the Broken Places.
Broken Places explores why some children are permanently damaged by
adversity while others thrive. It profiles abused and neglected children to show
how trauma shaped their lives as adults.
Time: 1 hour 16 minute movie and 30 minute discussion
Brain Architecture Game
The Science of Early Childhood
A facilitated tabletop game to understand the powerful role of early
experiences on brain development.
Time: 1.5+ hours