"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Network members' voices bring good news and share highlights from around our community
Community Advocacy for Racial Trauma Training
Terry Alves-Hunter is a Cape Cod local, mother to one, and dedicated community advocate for racial trauma training in the Falmouth Public School system. 

After adopting her son from foster care, Terry enrolled him in the Massachusetts public schools. Within this school system, her son was racially attacked, harassed, and marginalized. Years later, in the Falmouth Public Schools, the racial discrimination continued. She took it upon herself to meet with the administration, and explain that bullying and racial discrimination are separate issues, and this presence of racial prejudice needed to be addressed. She saw the problem of racial trauma in the school system, and got to work to make a difference. 
Terry has made a wonderful contribution to the Falmouth school system and the community through her advocacy for racial justice. If you are interested in contacting Terry Alves-Hunter, you can email her at talveshunter@gmail.com.
Connect with Vital Village Networks at these upcoming events
May Network Connection Meeting
#CompassionateConnections: Mental Health Awareness & Mental Wellbeing
Thursday, May 11th 2023 I 6:00-7:30 PM EST
It's Mental Health Awareness Month this May.

Join us for our Network Connection Meeting, co-hosted by the Vital Village Mental Health Committee, we will have peer-led discussions of community mental health resources and strategies to address teen experiences of trauma, support perinatal mental health, and amplify positive childhood experiences.
My 'Self' In The World:
In-Person Storytimes
May Community Data Workgroup Meeting
Zoom Event
The 2023 workgroup will meet monthly from April - August
The 2023 Community Data Workgroup is a peer-led space where Boston residents and community organizations can address challenges by sharing knowledge, data, and wisdom, and designing solutions together. Previous workgroups have addressed food justice, transportation equity, and housing, creating the Boston Abundance Food Justice mobile appCommunity Housing Data Tool, and Experiences on the MBTA interactive storymap.
Vital Village Data Storytelling Summer Series
Vital Village Data Storytelling Workshop: Sharing your Story
Info Session: May 10, 2023, 5:30 - 6:30 PM
Session #1: May 22, 2023, 5:30-7:00 PM
Virtual Event over Zoom

Join Vital Village for the Summer kickoff of our free, virtual Data Storytelling workshop series and build your capacity to create and share stories that support social change using data tools. This learning opportunity is open to all Vital Village and NOW Network resident champions and organizational partners.
May 2023 Scholars' Support Night
With Dr. Barbara L. Philips
Join us for May Scholars Support Night where our guest speaker, Dr. Barbara L. Philipp, a Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, will be joining to speak on the Lactation College and its course offerings. We hope to see you there!
Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing (NOW) Webinar Series
Healing through Community Building and Birth Equity Advocacy
Thursday, May 11th, 2023 | 1:00-2:00 PM EST
Join us this Thursday, May 11th, for the second webinar of our 2023 Webinar Series, Healing through Community Building and Birth Equity Advocacy, featuring Omari Maynard, Andre Nelson, and Tiffany Vassell.
Vital Village OPEN HOUSE - Connect and Plan Together
Belong, Learn, Engage, Transform
Monday, May 22nd | 3:30-5:30 PM EST
We are opening our doors to welcome the community into a space to belong, learn, engage and transform together. Join us to share your ideas about strategic planning for Vital Village Networks. There will be music, connections, wonderful food.

Check out available resources relevant to children and families
In celebration of Mother's Day, DommiesBlessed chose 32 titles she hopes will make you laugh or feel warm and fuzzy inside. It includes a mom who invented a machine that can turn anything into spaghetti; a daughter who discovers her mom is an alien; and a son who's pretty sure his mom has x-ray vision.
The Boston Public Library
Topic Guide: Mental Health
Books about mental health for all ages.

For more books aimed at young children, check out our SAPL Kids - Feelings and Emotions list https://bit.ly/3D2AiCc

For more self help book recommendations, check out our SAPL Adults - Self Help list https://bit.ly/3m0hzQo
Learn more about events and resources by our partners and community organizations
Coffee Networking with Boston Entrepreneurs
In Person Event: District Hall Boston 75 Northern Avenue Boston, MA 02210
Thursday, May 11th, 2023 I 10:00AM - 12:00 PM
This is your chance to catch up and share resources, thoughts, ideas, and ask questions! Hear from Potencia Co-Founder Amanda Wang + Jun Yoon.

Potencia is a nonprofit that trains civic-minded college students as volunteer English tutors for adults with limited English language skills. All are welcome; Mentors, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners, and Aspiring Entrepreneurs.
27th Annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace (MDW4P)
In Person Event: Town Field Park, 1520 Dorchester Ave. Dorchester, MA 02122
The Mother's Day Walk for Peace is a beloved 27-year-long Boston tradition and celebration of our potential to create more peaceful communities. It is the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s largest fundraising event to grow and sustain our services, advocacy and training. The goal is to empower survivors, Generation Peace and communities impacted by murder, trauma, grief and loss to cultivate cycles of peace and healing.
NAMIWalks Massachusetts
Artesani Park - 1255 Soldiers Field Road, Boston
NAMIWalks Massachusetts brings together people of all ages to combat stigma, raise funds, and promote awareness of mental health conditions. This yearly event is our largest event and biggest fund

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in NAMIWalks Massachusetts 2022. Because of your help, we raised a total of $588,099. We could not have done this without you.
We are excited to announce that the date of NAMIWalks Massachusetts 2023 has been set! We hope many of you can participate again.
May Mental Health Awareness Month Resources
Right Direction, an initiative to spread awareness of depression and how it manifests in the workplace. Right Direction offers resources on their website such as a self care toolkit, lived experiences, and tips for combatting stress in the workplace.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers information on different major mental health disorders and how to seek treatment. Start by understanding the facts, then learn more about how to get help.
The state of Massachusetts website offers a guide and resource list of City and state mental health resources.
Kite & Bike Festival
It’s opening day in Franklin Park! Don’t miss out on this 50-year tradition in our park. Started in 1969, the Kite & Bike Festival is a Boston tradition that gathers more than 1,000 people at Franklin Park each May to enjoy picnicking, kite flying, bicycles & music.
  • Food Trucks
  • Bicycle repair station by REI
  • Free Helmets
Explore data from across the United States
Common Wealth
Making Wealth Possible for All
Commonwealth, a non-profit research organization, is recruiting participants to be part of their research on new stock market investors. Participants who sign up for a free investing account will receive $150 in that account to get started investing. That money is yours to keep.

As a participant in this research, you’ll consent to Commonwealth temporarily collecting data from the platforms on your investing activities to better understand the behavior of new investors.
Requirements for Participation:
  • You have a checking account with your bank
  • Your annual household income is between $30,000 and $80,000
  • You have access to a smartphone or tablet and an internet connection
  • You are interested in investing in the stock market
Interested in participating? Fill out this short survey, and Commonwealth will follow up with you through the email address you provide in the survey.
SuccessLink Youth Jobs
Employing Boston's youth for future success 
Application are open for 2023 Summer youth jobs
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Community and Social Assistance
  • Education and Child Care
  • Environment
  • Healthcare
  • Government and Advocacy
  • Public Administration
  • STEM
  • Sports and Recreation
To be eligible, must be
  • between 14-18 during period of employment 
  • a full time resident of the city of Boston
  • legally permitted to work in the US
Tuition-Free Community College (TFCC) Plan
City of Boston
College is too important to be limited to those who can afford it. The Tuition-Free Community College (TFCC) Plan pays for up to three years of tuition and fees for all Boston residents pursuing an associate degree or certificate program at a partner college.

Beginning Fall 2023, the City of Boston is expanding eligibility for the Tuition Free Community College (TFCC) Plan to include all Boston residents regardless of age, income, or immigration status.
Explore data from across the United States
Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) and their benefits
on mental health  
Extensive public health literature has highlighted the negative effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on adult physical and mental health. However, limited research has been conducted on understanding the protective impacts of positive childhood experiences (PCEs), which often concur with ACEs and may influence mental health across the lifespan.
Researchers analyzed survey data from the 2015 Wisconsin Behavioral Risk Factor Survey to better understand the relationships between PCEs, ACEs, and mental health outcomes. Respondents who reported more positive childhood experiences, such as being able to talk with family members about feelings and participating in community traditions, were less likely to experience depression and more likely to feel socially and emotionally supported as adults. Furthermore, the benefits of positive childhood experiences on mental health later in life remained significant even when accounting for respondents’ adverse childhood experiences, suggesting that PCEs may be protective factors that buffer the negative impacts of ACEs.

The results indicate that strengthening environments that foster positive childhood experiences, rather than solely focusing on reducing adverse childhood experiences, may be critical to improving mental health outcomes. 

To learn more or to get involved in a movement to expand positive childhood experiences, we invite you to join the Vital Village Mental Health Committee. You can contact us at: vitalvillage@bmc.org
  • The CAHMI Data Query tool allows you to explore local, state, and regional data on the impact of protective family factors and positive experiences on children’s social and emotional development. In Massachusetts, for example, 73.5% of children whose families addressed challenges with resilient behaviors (i.e. working together, drawing on each other's strengths, talking about barriers, and staying hopeful) also scored highly on the Child Flourishing Index. 
  1. Bethell C, Jones J, Gombojav N, Linkenbach J, Sege R. Positive Childhood Experiences and Adult Mental and Relational Health in a Statewide Sample: Associations Across Adverse Childhood Experiences Levels. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(11):e193007. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.3007
  2. Bethell, Christina D., et al. "Social and relational health risks and common mental health problems among US children: The mitigating role of family resilience and connection to promote positive socioemotional and school-related outcomes." Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics 31.1 (2022): 45-70. Available online here
Have an event, job opportunity, or resource to share with the network?
Vital Village Networks is a network of residents and agencies committed to maximizing child, family, and community well-being.