Dec. 9, 2022

Lorenzo McFadden - Where Kids Thrive: Innovative Mental Health for the Whole Family

Lorenzo McFadden - Where Kids Thrive: Innovative Mental Health for the Whole Family

Lorenzo McFadden is a 20-year veteran community leader and human services advocate who co-founded two New Jersey-based services organizations. An alumnus of Morehouse College with Fortune 100 experience, McFadden’s impactful programming has played an integral role in helping local school systems provide subsidized and grant-sponsored mental health services.

In addition to serving as Director of Operations at The Thrive Network, McFadden has also led American Training Center to the only federally approved apprenticeship program for certified medical assistants in South Jersey. American Training Center has also been awarded PACE, GAINS, and Upskills grants from the NJ Department of Labor. In partnership with The Thrive Network, they have trained and certified over 1000 workers in NJ in Mental Health First Aid.

Lorenzo McFadden is also a member of the Human Services Advisory Council for Cape May county and a Board of Trustee member of the Community Planning and Advocacy Council.

Learn more and connect with Lorenzo McFadden:

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Voiceover   00:00:00    Welcome to GAIN THE PASSION with hosts, Todd Foster, Alyssa Stanley and Kelley Skar.  

Alyssa    00:00:11    Lorenzo, let's take a minute and tell us a little bit about what you do there in New Jersey. 
Lorenzo    00:00:17    Currently, I am the, uh, director of Operations for Thrive Network, which is a mental health service provider. Um, we focus on delivering services, starting with traumatized children and their families. And then we've expanded those services now to really working with the whole gamut. We branched out into divisions, so now we have where Kids Thrive, which is our in-home therapeutic service, providing side where families thrive, which deals with outpatient focused on trying to bring those services to under-resourced communities. We have Thrive Anywhere, which is our tele service. So now we're doing a lot of those services through tele online. We have Thrive Institute, which is our collaboration where we do training and development. We've done a lot around mental health First aid training, and that kind of segues into the other organization I work with, which is American Training Center, which is actually a private vocational school. And that school focused is on creating opportunities and training for frontline healthcare workers. 
Todd    00:01:20    Well, it sounds like you're a busy guy. I don't know how you do it all. 
Lorenzo    00:01:24    When you see everybody else moving, it's like you, you're just motivated to kind of keep going as well, and really as a leader, set the standard.  

Todd    00:01:33    So this was originally founded in Camden, is that correct?  

Lorenzo   00:01:37    Yes. We have the two different companies. So I'll start with, uh, American Training Center on that front, because that did start in Camden, New Jersey, one of the most under-resourced community in the country. Poverty level is extremely high violent primes is fairly high as well when you start to compare it per capita. So being able to go in and, you know, provide other options in a community where often people just didn't have access to either good education or even good healthcare and, and how those things kind of extrapolate out and impact the other things like, yeah, if you don't have good healthcare, then yeah, you're probably missing school. You're probably missing your job. Like all these things kind of go together. Those individuals would need other resources. It wouldn't just be us training them for the job and getting them to the next step. We needed to be aware that that person coming in might need to be directed to a place where they could get childcare or directed to a source of transportation or, you know, anything.  

Lorenzo    00:02:34    And just knowing how to do that in an effective way. So we actually ended up sort of, um, case working a little bit or providing a certain level of social work on top of it. And by doing it though, it worked out to our, in our benefit, because we were already doing some of what is supposed to be a part of an apprenticeship, because we were already following our people after they graduated. We were already checking to see how they were doing, doing on the job. We were already inviting them back if there were any issues, so they could come and get additional training, which is really a lot of the, um, the crux of an apprenticeship.  

Todd    00:03:09    That's awesome. Yeah. So did you grow up in Camden or where did, did you grow up? 
Lorenzo    00:03:13    Yes, actually I did. I went to school in Camden until about sixth grade. I then, um, you know, played my instrument in the summer band and <laugh>, uh, had my first job in the community. My brother and I helped to actually, um, build a church in the community. Um, and so it's something that is, was very significant to me or remained significant to me as far as being able to go back and provide some services. When I actually left corporate, initially, my first transition was to become a teacher at the school that I attended. You know, it gave me an opportunity to, um, look at the issues from a different perspective, you know, as a student looking, you know, it was different <laugh>, you know, very different to look back as an adult and say, wow, you know, some of the things I experienced weren't really things I think that children maybe should experience on the day-to-day or just going to school and, you know, just figuring out how to, um, impact some of the home lives as well, because often yet, people who really wanted to be good parents, but they didn't have good parents.  

Lorenzo   00:04:15    So, you know, there no one's, there's no place for it to be taught or where it can be learned. So figuring out how to, you know, so we ended up offering, um, parenting courses through our, the, um, thrive Network. Um, often parents that are in, um, dealing with children through foster care or things like that, you know, they're, they're, you have children coming in with a lot of challenges. Those parents need a support, they need to get training, they need, you know, different resources available. So, um, we tried to kind of start doing more of that as well, so that it's not just the clinicians that are going into the homes helping them, we're actually getting to the parents and making sure they get what they need also. 
Kelley   00:04:56    So is that where the Thrive Network started? Yes. Right. With you kind of coming back and, and wanting to, to, you know, get into, you know, into teaching in the school that you went to, and like this whole idea of what you saw now through an adult's lens versus through a child's lens, you're seeing it from a completely different perspective and now you maybe have the resources and the wherewithal and the drive to actually help your community. Kind of maybe take us through what, what, uh, what prompted you to, you know, begin with the, start with the Thrive Network? 
Lorenzo    00:05:23    Kelley First, I mean, the way that you summarize that is better than I ever could, so thank you, <laugh>, I'm gonna have to use that. <laugh>, 
Lorenzo    00:05:31    The Thrive Network really, um, was, it was a culmination of looking at a problem and hearing a, so a quasi solution and then jumping on it, basically. So what happened was, I was, I had kind of transitioned in my role to being more of a, um, I guess kind of a climate control person, really. You're kind of like, I don't wanna say the disciplinarian, but you know, you're the one that's dealing with the lunch duty <laugh>. You're, you know, anybody's a problem. You're kind of taking 'em, having a conversation with them. And you know, what I saw in that was that, you know, even though I was spending time with the children during the day, they'd leave, then they come back the next day and it'd almost be like the reset button was hit. So I'd be like, all right, <laugh>, let's maybe look at this problem a little differently.  

Lorenzo    00:06:19    And I actually ended up starting an afterschool program after that, and that ended up spanning several counties, um, quite a few schools over 15 schools. And even though we saw results, you know, we had the data, I still didn't see the impact from a behavior standpoint that I was looking for. And I ended up having a chance interaction with someone at a conference. And this person explained to me what in-home therapeutic services was. I had no idea. I had never heard of it, you know, and concept wise, it was really, it was a, a little tricky for me to even buy into initially fully, I'll say, because of how I grew up and my understanding of even the therapeutic process. Um, you know, it was not something that was even culturally really part of your thought process. You know, it, you know, and some of that is barriers as well from a resource standpoint, because if you've never had access to that type of service, then why would you look at that type of service as something you need going forward?  

Lorenzo    00:07:26    So, you know, it was, I had to kind of start my own journey in that respect. But, but before I got there, I understood that this clinician has a master's degree. The household they're going into may not have a high school diploma. Just the fact that I can get that person in that household is gonna make a difference. That was where I started <laugh>. So, but it was great because, you know, once I understood more about what our staff was doing, how they were using therapy, you know, we're, we're, we're a little unique is that we get into play therapy, creative arts therapy, we have music therapy, drama, arts therapy, and, you know, and we're really, we, we take that extra step of communicating with the child in their language and where they're comfortable, and then allowing them to kind of give us that story. And so Thrive really was almost like that missing piece. 
Lorenzo   00:08:18    It was the piece that allowed me to get into the home and actually start working with the parent. So in some cases, we're going in where the child is the entry point, but the parent really ends up being the focal point because they're the leader of the household. So, you know, it's kind of like, you can't just go in and say, well, we hear it sometimes, but fix my kid. It's not fix my kid. It's, let's look at how we can work together. And you as a parent, really can lead your child to a more comfortable, uh, existence. For the both of you.
Kelley    00:08:50    Do you find that as a tough sell? I mean, you, you talked briefly about not having the resources to have this type of therapy or conversation, and, and therefore, I guess at some level, it doesn't even exist, right? If you don't have the resources to pay for whatever it is, like you're not even gonna think about it as an option or as an opportunity to get better. And, and you probably don't even realize that anything is wrong. So I'm curious then, if you see the child as the entry point to get into the home, to have this conversation with the parents. I mean, what kind of resistance are you, are you coming up against, or are a lot of these people actually really receptive to, like, they see what's the changes in the child, they see what's going on, and therefore maybe there's something that, that takes place, this transference comes into the, into the home, and the parents actually see the results that could potentially happen. Is does that, is that kind of what's happening? Is there, it's almost like by osmosis. 
Lorenzo    00:09:41    I think our ability to really explain what we do well is helpful in that most parents want to be good parents in our, and from, from our standpoint. So, you know, even if somebody's having a difficult time, we, we believe in their heart that they really want to do the best they could, and they just don't have the tools. So we start trying to connect them and walk them down that road of getting those tools. And at times, that is a little challenging because, you know, you're, you're asking for a mind shift and, and sometimes you're needing that parent to deal with their own mess before you can even get to the child. And that can be tough, you know, because sometimes immediately, wait, I brought you in here to deal with my child. Why are you talking to me <laugh>? And so, you know, we're having to kind of help really explain that.  

Lorenzo    00:10:35    And, you know, we have staff that really does a lot of training around how to communicate those ideas so that the parent can buy in, be more comfortable. And I, it's funny, we do trainings around just different examples that people can use to, to make it live for people or make it more, um, palatable so that they can start to process it, process it themselves. Um, you know, and the other thing is I think for us to be very, um, sympathetic or empathetic coming in and understanding that parent's probably really going through a lot, you know, they're <laugh>, they're not happy that their child's having challenges, you know, and just kind of really acknowledging that, you know, that they're trying hard, that they're not, you know, you don't just go in saying, Hey, you're just messing up. No. Acknowledging that, yeah, I see you're really putting in effort here.
Lorenzo    00:11:25    I see having, you know, three children running around while you're dealing with one must, must be a lot. And, you know, we wanna help you really figure out some different strategies to make that a little easier for you to manage. How's that sound and <laugh>? Yes. And then immediately we, you know, you welcome down that road. So it's, when people understand it, you're just here to help. I think where it gets tricky is sometimes people confuse us with the type of agency that comes in and maybe has a different purpose for what we're trying to do. And sometimes people feel like it's threatening, maybe removing their child from their household or that, you know, and granted, if we Right, and granted if we see certain things we are, we have to report, you know, that's our responsibility. But we'll tell the parent and say, listen, this is what we're seeing.  

Lorenzo    00:12:20    This is our role. We'll make the call with you, <laugh>. You can hear exactly what we say, but our responsibility is that, yeah, if you just said, you just hit your child and now your child has a mark on their face. And now that we have to have that conversation. And I, being open and, and and transparent is key, you know, because we are dealing with people who have been through a lot, so they're reading you everything you do. And so if they sense any, in any way that you're not being genuine, then they're just gonna shut down. And that's counterproductive to why we're there.  

Todd   00:12:55    I'd like to know how you were able to escape what you knew? 

Lorenzo    00:12:59    And I wanna be very clear in my background, because, you know, I had two educated parents. Both were in education, mother was a principal. Father was a principal. 
Todd   00:13:08    Wow. You went to the principal's office every day. 
Lorenzo    00:13:10    Yeah, yeah. It was, it was, it was, it was a lot of fun when the grades weren't where they needed to be. <laugh> 
Lorenzo    00:13:17    Yeah. But it wasn't <laugh>, having that sort of structure behind me was able to, um, you know, it, it just kept me on the right path. At a certain point, my parents actually took me out of school in that community. And even though I have friends who stayed in that community and still have been very successful, but I also noticed that they had parents and other people around them that were guiding them and encouraging them in the right way, so that even though you were dealing with a lot of different challenges, you still had the, the right support to push you in the right direction and keep you on track. So, you know, yeah, there are a lot of things that are happening in this city or happening to children day to day that, um, you know, make it a lot more difficult for them to even be focused at school. 
Lorenzo   00:14:03    So, you know, I have to acknowledge having that support system really, um, you know, just made sure I was on track. And then from there, I, I actually left the cabinet and really excelled in a school that was, uh, you know, a really a, a very good school, you know, where the, the, I mean, we were taking, like, I remember John Hopkins had us taking the s a t in seventh grade, and I was like, wow, what is this, you know, <laugh> as a kid, but it let me know that was very different from the school or what I was experiencing in Camden, where, you know, it just, we were, we were driven, we were tracked differently if we performed well, but it just wasn't like a whole school sort of functioning that way. So, um, you know, having those experiences, mainly having the parents and support system around me that just, um, set the good example. I, I never, I, I always knew I was going to college. I always knew, you know, there were certain things that were just driven home. So having that, um, experience just helped.  

Alyssa    00:15:06    I wanna go back to 2013 for a moment. You came back and you worked in the education field. I feel like the Thrive Network is a really deeply heartfelt impact focused business, and it's all encompassing. You know, you started out wanting to help children and now you've moved into helping families and healthcare workers. I mean, you are, you've expanded this to reach depths that maybe in the beginning you didn't even see, and something like that. So full of impact, I feel like, has to start with some sort of flagship story. So is there, what, is there a certain kid that you looked at one day, or did you experience something with a student that made you go, okay, I know this is needed. I know this is a huge undertaking, now I'm gonna do it like I am all in 
Lorenzo    00:16:00    There were experiences that definitely were impactful mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, where I had to look back and say, wow, I wish I could have done more. Um, or I, I, I hope I, if I'm putting myself back at that time, you know, it's like, I want to do more and figure out how to do more and what's going to be really impactful and make a difference. And it just came down to really getting in those homes. I mean, I had a student who I'd actually gotten fairly close to that ended up being killed in a gang situation. This was a sixth grader, you know, 12 years old. So, you know, those types of things, um, you know, they, they, they stay with you and they resonate, and you're to if it drove me to say, I'm not going to sort of stand by and know that that's happening and not try to have an impact if I can.  

Lorenzo    00:16:53    And I saw that mental health piece as being a critical part of it. But I also saw the training piece as well, even with the school, because in many cases, you know, not not being employed <laugh> or not having opportunities led to different things around, um, you know, drug abuse or alcohol abuse or just, you know, bad habits in the households and, and the children just not having a positive example. So, you know, it, it really, um, well, part of that agreement when I met with my partner was I agreed that the part of their agreement was that we would go into Camden and deliver services. That was part of what I structured with her, and it was because I saw that people were staying away from Camden, and I felt like if we're gonna create or build the best services we can, it only makes sense that we take the best services to the community that needs it the most. 
Lorenzo    00:17:53    Unfortunately, it doesn't always play out that way because those communities don't often have the resources to afford them. So that's why we ended up getting, um, Medicaid approval, because then that allowed us to really open up that door and say, now you can come to us and we can work with you. Um, so yeah, there was a, um, definitely a connection of going back to that school and really seeing it through the adult lens. You know, it was also looking back and having had some of my own traumatic experiences and knowing that, um, you know, uh, it would've been helpful maybe having, even with all the great family support I had, you know, a lot of things they didn't know I was dealing with, you know, and so, you know, I, I'm able to look back and say, wow, it, it would've been nice to have had some support or around processing some of those really difficult thoughts so that I could make better decisions. And, um, yeah, it really wasn't impactful to just have the exposure to the community go back and have some possible solutions that we're seeing work, at least with some families that we're experiencing. 
Voiceover    00:19:02    If you are enjoying this episode, please leave a five star view at your favorite podcast provider.  

Alyssa    00:19:09    I, I have an, a background in education, so everything in my heart right now is just exploding with what you are doing, because I, my heart is in special education, and as educators, we can only do so much in the six hours that we have with all of these precious children. And then when they go home, I, I don't think any parent wakes up and says, I'm gonna ruin this kid's day. I'm gonna be the worst parent in the world. Yet if they, they only can be as great as the resources that they have, and if they don't have any extra resources to help them be a better parent and create a more, um, impactful environment and positive environment, nothing will change. So the fact that you are going beyond these kids and helping them at home and helping parents be better, um, just makes my heart explode. Do you, one, do you offer these services online? And two, how can someone who is interested, maybe in your area, in these services or not in your area, get ahold of you guys to learn more? Because this is, this is an incredible service. 
Lorenzo    00:20:15    Well, thank you. Uh, we appreciate it. And we're, we're proud of our staff and our team, you know, they're the ones that do the hard work. I'm, well, I'm not a clinician. I'm, I have a business background. So, you know, for me, I, I have to give all the credit to the team and what they do. Um, you know, we do offer our services, um, remotely. So we do offer teleservices, uh, generally we try to do that with chil if, if children are valved, we'd like to have them be a little bit older, you know, in a sense, just because the younger children can struggle a little bit bit in that environment. But for the most part, we are able to deliver cell services tele, um, and that's through our Thrive Anywhere sort of arm, but they really would just call in to our office.
Lorenzo    00:20:58    And, um, also we're available online at our, um, website, And we real, that's where actually people can see our clinicians as well see some of their backgrounds. They can really get a, a good description of play and how that works. And just to even just give you a quick example, you know, there's a, um, a apparatus they use called Sand Tray, and it's literally a tray that has sand in it, but you know, there's a lot of different miniatures that the children are able to use, and they just start, you know, really playing in the sand and forming a story with those miniatures. And our people are really trained to help them understand or really understand what's happening in that story and what's being told. And often that story is something that mirrors, um, something really happening in their life. So, you know, having someone that can kind of translate that and, and kind of take that to that next level helps the parent understand really what's going on with their child and, and really where some of their challenges are coming from.  

Kelley    00:21:59    Can you kind of maybe take us through the journey that the Thrive Network has gone through and then, you know, kind of branch us, uh, you know, connect us over to, um, to the training company that you've got, which is, uh, American Training Center. Kind of give us some, a bit of a background or, or you know, at least our listeners and ideas to how you've been able to build up both of these networks without a lot of outside investment, where, like we talked about, you know, passion can only take you so far before you, you know, you can get to a point where you can either, you know, hit burnout. Maybe take us through how you've been able to, to kind of manage some of that as well.
Lorenzo    00:22:32    The journey truly started because I was coming from education, even though Thrive's been in existence longer, the education side was really my home base in a sense. So I always knew that that company was going to happen. I always knew we were gonna do the training, the community, helping people get, you know, basically from being on assistance to working, helping those family units out. But getting there, it unfortunately, you know, it required resources, required higher training, hiring a trainer, having a location, um, establishing relationships with employers, um, having a staff to deal with admissions and things like that. So through that, I realized my partner and I realized that for us to make it work, really there wasn't gonna be enough for both of us to get paid from it <laugh>, at least in the beginning. So, you know, she really, and that's, I mentioned, um, Kimberly Ramen earlier, she kind of state was able to be that sort of central point because she has a workforce development background, and so she was able to really kind of sit in and then I was able to support that in addition to starting to build Thrive and establishing that.
Lorenzo    00:23:43    And that's in turn really where I ended up earning my pay initially, you know, because it had started sooner. So even though I knew I was gonna go back and start the school, thrive was already up and running. So for me, it just made sense, okay, I'll get my income from there, then the school would provide for my partner, we get that established, and then once it was established, then I could start to maybe distribute my time a little more evenly between the two. Um, I think the other key elements though were just, I, I touched on this earlier. Um, I'm a partner at Thrive is, um, Michelle Cottington. And, you know, I just have really great people that I work with. Um, you know, they're, they're not only passionate, but highly skilled. Um, you know, Michelle, for example, trains as trained, uh, all over the world, but, you know, does a lot of training locally as well. 
Lorenzo    00:24:40    Um, and so when you have people that are just that good at what they do, if you're out, it took me kind of just building the structure around them somewhat. Um, honestly, you have to be a Swiss Army knife, <laugh>, you have to be able to do a lot of different things. You know, you're, you're every department that every major company has on a smaller scale until you're able to build out each one of those areas. And you know, as you start growing, you really under really understand the value of even why they have each of those departments. You know, I mean, I know the one that kind of, I'll say probably kicked my behind first was HR <laugh>. Yeah. Just thinking, oh, you know, hr, hey, hiring people, whatever, you know. But then when I started really having to get into payroll, benefits, tracking things, having challenges, you know, and needing to maybe move away from people doing that properly, it just, you start to just see all these areas differently and understand how much you don't know about them. 
Lorenzo    00:25:38    So in the meantime, you're kind of buying time, you're learning as much as you can, but then I know we just hit a s a point where we decided, okay, now we need specialists in these areas. We can't just have people who are bright and can do other things kind of hopping around. We need people that really understand it at the highest levels. So because now we're dealing with compliance issues, now we're dealing with a staff of 50 people who are relying on us to keep this up and running. So it's, we, we can't be focused on that piece while we're trying to grow the business, which is primarily my responsibility.  

Todd    00:26:15    I have two questions. So the first one is, does someone eventually graduate from the program, or is there a never-ending supply of things to do?  

Lorenzo    00:26:23    Now the school that there's training programs and they're set for a certain amount of time, and then the students are able to graduate, get a certification and start working from there. Now the CMA program currently on site is running for about eight weeks, which is extremely aggressive. We did that with the mindset that we knew we were working with people who really needed to get to work and couldn't be in an extended program, basically not generating any revenue. So we were able to really figure out that that was about the shortest we could make it while still ensuring students got what they needed and were able to pass their exam. And then from there, they're transitioning directly out and going right into the workforce. If there are an apprentice, then that person is being tracked a little bit differently for the next year. But even if they're not, there's still a connection and a relationship between the school and, you know, we still work with them and help them get ahead. 
Todd    00:27:19    And the second question is, what's your vision for the company? Are you looking to go worldwide with this? Are you looking to become government funded? What is your vision for this?

Lorenzo    00:27:28    It's unique with Thrive because every state manages mental health a little differently, so we'd have to kind of understand that dynamic. Whereas on the training side for the school, that'll probably be a little more, little easier to do because it'll probably look a little more similar going from state to state. But, um, what I've really focused on is ensuring that it has impact. When I think about Thrive, it, it's about helping children and understanding that everyone should be able to appreciate that there isn't anyone who should have a problem with a child being able to have a happy existence or being able to feel loved. And so if we're able to kind of get people there and then get them to look at in different communities, it may be a little harder to get there. Let's look at those challenges and figure out how to get back to that core idea.
Kelley    00:28:24    Is Thrive fairly unique? Like, are, are there any other agencies out there like Thrive, uh, you know, in your state or even across the US that you know of? 
Lorenzo    00:28:34    Thrive is extremely unique in what we do in that well play therapy is something that is already unique in itself, you know, as far as organizations that are able to offer that. I mean, it is a certification process. We have two supervisors that are certified to train specifically in that. So yes, that definitely is unique in that respect. But then I think we even doubled down on it because then we branched out into the creative arts therapy methods as well. So we had the music, the, um, drama art, and when, when you start integrating those things in, it then allows children to really come in and regardless of their mode of communication, it gives them an avenue that's comfortable and that allows them to really express it in a way that they can, um, manage it. So there is, it's, we are extremely unique in that respect. 
Lorenzo   00:29:30    I believe we have probably the highest population of creative arts therapy therapists in New Jersey currently. Um, we've done some specific training, I'll say within our state. You know, it's, um, we actually did some training that's around, it's called Art Grow, but it was around really the parent being the focal point instead of the child when you go into the home. And we had the largest cohort of people trained in that. So there are certain areas that we, we definitely have specialized in. We, you know, as far as even traumatized children and their families, that was where we started. That's where we became known for. And I can remember when I would used to, um, not elevator pitch wood, but talk with the people sometimes I'd say, you know, yeah, we, you know, if you, if it's in the paper, we're the ones getting the call. Because people know like that when it's serious, they wanna, they want the best in there. And so we've, what's interesting, both organizations sort of started with that boutique feel of like, let's start with like the highest level we can offer and then figure out how to create volume from that. And I think the premise of that was going back to really taking those higher level services and bringing them to the communities that really didn't have access to them.  

Todd    00:30:44    I really truly believe that what you're doing is going to bring people together. And where people may have never had the opportunity to do things, are being able to do it now because of what you've offered them. We need so much of this in this role right now.  

Lorenzo    00:30:57    Well, thank you so much, Todd. I mean, you, and you hit right on. For me personally, what I'm trying to accomplish somewhat, which is a mi change, a a change in a mindset in how we look at our world and what's important and what's gonna drive our decisions going forward. And from my perspective, I had to really strip it down to our children, you know, and, uh, and just saying, all right, you know, everyone should be able to understand that children should be able to feel safe, they should be able to feel love, you know, and, and to be comfortable setting that as a standard for us, you know, cuz to me that's not political, you know, that's, that's basic, you know, I mean, and even if you don't have children, you see children and you, you, you feel like, wow, that is a, a being that cannot protect or take care of themselves. 
Lorenzo    00:31:49    So isn't it our responsibility to provide that until they are able to, you know, that's, that's kind of us being accountable is just human beings. And so I think being able to get everyone to focus on that and, and have that be the driver of their decision making, I think then gets us to a place where we all start looking at each other differently. Because those children then grow up and they're friends, you know, and they're interacting and they're seeing the world differently, and they're understanding and almost looking at us foolishly like, wow, how did you see that this wasn't right? Or that we should have looked at it differently? So it's just giving them, um, not just the ability to have the exposure, but also empowering them to have the type of mindset to say, we're gonna make change, and now we've had the support to get there by getting access to resources to give us the education or give us the mental health support, or give us the healthcare support and so on.  

Kelley    00:32:46    Yeah. And you guys are, you're just breaking the cycle, right? That's, that's exactly what's happening here. And it's, it, it, you know, breaking the cycle and, and, um, giving kids the tools to be able to deal with whatever they've, they've, uh, had to go through in their short lives, but at the same time, giving their parents the same tools to be able to parent their children in a way that doesn't perpetuate the cycle that they grew up under. And so I commend you. This is a phenomenal, phenomenal project.  

Lorenzo    00:33:13    It was, it was just great, great talking with you all. I mean, I love the, the energy and, and excitement. I mean, just hearing, hearing. So you guys really brought out a lot of what I could say. 
Kelley    00:33:24    I echo exactly what Todd had said. So we need more, more thrive. 
Voiceover    00:33:30    Thanks for listening to GAIN THE PASSION. Please rate, review and share the podcast. And don't forget to hit the follow or subscribe button.