Educational Forums

ACES: Brain Development, the Biology of Stress, & the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study

ACES Attendees have been sharing some great “ripple effects” in our local & neighboring counties – communicating how they will use & improve community services & practices. Attendees included:

  • TreeHouse & other at-risk youth – programs
  • Public Health
  • Social Services
  • Mental Health Services
  • School Nurses
  • School Student Support Educators
  • School Counselors
  • Waconia City Council
  • Faith Communities
  • Alternative Ed.
  • Community Ed After-school Programs
  • Corrections
  • Violence Against Women’s Agency
  • Court Services – Guardians
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Community Service Agencies
  • & more

ACES Conference Reviews

I attended the training last Friday, which was amazing by the way. … Thank you for putting this on! I look forward to applying this information in my work. ~Early Head Start Family Educator

I really enjoyed today’s conference. Please send me the materials that accompany this conference. It will help me in my work as an instructor at the Stearns County Jail. Most of my inmates would have high ACE scores and now I will have some tools to use when talking to them about forming future goals. Thanks again for providing a wonderful day filled with useful information, thoughts and strategies!  Sincerely, B. L.

It was Fantastic! I am presenting to our board on it this afternoon. S. S. ~Community Engagement Coordinator, Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women

Thank-you again for the invitation! It is so helpful..looking forward to reviewing info when not rushed and wanna get the full benefit! So much wonderful info. Thank you!!  A.H, BSN-RN

New lens to understand trauma, behavior & how to support youth, children & adults.  ~Waconia Faith Community

Thinking about the environment vs. just the kid/adult was a great lightbulb moment. ~Waconia School Dis. 110

Good explanations as to why the teens I work with can struggle with the behaviors they do… planning to share with headquarter offices for staff development.  ~Youth Services non-profit director

Practical techniques & deeper understanding of how the brain works/develops. ~School counselor

The paradigm shift needed for ‘at risk’ individuals.  ~Educator

The entire training was relevant, which is rare… ~Dis. 110 educator

Love the science. I think it makes this information relatable to all.  ~Public health

Loved everything …especially relevant the brain as it relates to trauma. ~Mental Health

Very useful information linking ACES/stress reaction with brain development. Can’t wait to share it with my team.  ~Educator

Most useful – everything! Thought provoking learning the effects of trauma on children.  A great balance of lecture and group activities. Thanks!! ~Early Childhood Education


ACES Course Description

The course was designed and developed for professional caregivers, healthcare workers, teachers, coaches, social workers and parents to become more competent, informed, caring adults. You will walk away with a short list of building resilience factors for children and youth.

Human beings have multiple regions of our brain which contribute to our thoughts and behavior. This course will focus on the brain’s survival mechanism, limbic mechanism, and frontal and pre-frontal cortex.

You will learn about cognitive shut-down… The more prepared you become for danger, the less your body perceives you need relational skills. The more upset we become, the less sophisticated our thinking becomes…

ACES, Event Speaker—Karina Forrest Perkins

Karina serves as the CEO for Wayside Recovery Center, a gender-specific addiction and mental health treatment organization in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.

Wayside has over sixty years of experience helping women overcome the challenges of addiction, trauma, and mental illness. Wayside is one of only six providers in Minnesota who allow children to stay with their Mother while she receives intensive treatment and care. 

Karina’s primary career focus: the improvement of multi-generational life-course outcomes for populations in high-stress circumstances.

A Special Thanks to

Waconia School District #110
Carver County Public Health
SVABW Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women


2016 Town Hall Forum: EMPOWER U Just say no? It’s not that easy...

Addiction expert, and drug and alcohol counselor Brenda Greig, presented preventive practices for empowering youth, parents and community. A Q&A session included a moderated panel of experts and community advocates. The free event was for anyone interested in learning more about prevention, related tools and how substance use affects a community.