Monroe, Louisiana, is far from the coast. But it’s no stranger to flooding. Three years ago, thousands of area homes flooded after heavy rain – displacing entire families.
The upheaval was distressing for many young people. And some even showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Walton: “And it was linked not with them going to war, but linked to the byproducts of climate change.”
Connie Walton of Grambling State University says many kids had to move to new school districts.
Walton: “… which created a whole set of problems. And there was really not an outlet for them to express their feelings.”
So to help, Grambling State launched an empowerment program. Elise Reed of the School of Social Work says university students meet with the youth twice a week.
Reed: “We address issues such as bullying, conflict resolution, anger … a normal, healthy emotion, but how can you express that in a way that is constructive.”
The meetings provide a safe place for them to share.
Reed: “They’re able to empower each other to say, ‘you know, there’s another choice.’”
So the program helps young people overcome their trauma and become more resilient.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.