A BKF Fellow reflective of the Tasmanian Devil? In the very best way!
That's how Valentina Helo-Villegas, one of this year's BKF Fellows, was introduced by Jonathan Fong, BKF Fellowship Community Weaver.
Originally from Colombia, Valentina is a trained psychotherapist, specializing in severe trauma, and is currently working as Director of Parent Program at The Primary School. She has helped to launch a new initiative that merges education, healthcare, and parent support. The Parent Program focuses on the relationship between parent well-being and whole-child. Wellness coaches accompany parents in their journey to self-actualization through deepening relationships with themselves, their families, and the community while building Protective Factors to mitigate the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences.
Valentina roots herself in integrity – expressing her emotions as they arise – and flourishes in paradoxes, of which there have been many in recent months. As she works with over 350 students and their families at The Primary School, she strives to bring love, justice and this integrity in a holistic, multi-generational approach.
Valentina has seen that by starting early, integrating services and partnering with parents, they are able to create protective factors for resiliency and healing, like: stable homes, social/emotional competence, self-efficacy; and supportive community.
Coronavirus tested the strength of the personal relationships she had been developing over the year.
Within two days, Valentina had to shift all of her work from in-person to online. When they started the program, only 4% of families didn't have any income; now, due to the virus, 56% don't have any income and the rest have decreased income. Also, food security was a serious issue, especially for families who are not registered in government programs.
- Shilpa Jain, BKF Board Treasurer
Reflecting on Valentina's 7/9/20 presentation
Valentina on her BKF Fellowship:
“When I started the Fellowship, after that first retreat, I thought, I really value the connections that were created here, so I will be better about connecting virtually. I had never used Zoom before this fellowship. And, then, the synchronicity, this team of angels that have my back that are helping me navigate things that I didn't even know were going to be a challenge. I cannot express enough gratitude that I feel for this fellowship.”
Within one month, Valentina and her team made 458 referrals – for housing, food security, and legal aid. They focused on stress management to prevent child abuse and domestic violence, addressing crises, and helping children access educational opportunities.
Check out Valentina's video presentation above!
Valentina's reflection continued:
“This has built my capacity on many many levels, and I feel how BKF is about coming up with good things, and helping people bring their ideas to fruition in a generative way.”
We have no doubt that her authentic commitment and generative passion will enable all the growth that is essential for the next phase. And, the BKF community is here to support her.
To read Shilpa's full reflection of BKF Fellow Valentina, click here