Peoplesmith / Revolutionist / Poverty Survivalist / Solution-Driven / Igniting / Heart Shifter / Game Changing
Ending pOVERty through public education, community, socio-economic friendtors and multi-generational wins!
I fight pOVERty. I have walked with dozens of families as they made it completely out of pOVERty. I see pOVERty as the main driver for most social problems. So let’s get people out of pOVERty! I work with kids, parents, educators and communities to do just that! Trauma-informed and restorative justice principles are the tool belt. Changed mindsets become the toolbox and relationships are the playground for taking this age old dilemma and turning it into a winnable game.
At age 37, I was living in a trailer house with my three little boys that should have been condemned. Everyday was beyond a struggle. My life had taught me two things. Hard work. Survival. I grew up poor, dropped out of high school on my sixteenth birthday and was doing a fantastic job of repeating the cycle. I was exhausted, frustrated and bankrupt as a mother. Then by accident I bumped up against a non-profit that helped people get out of pOVERty. They wrapped support around me, fed me powerful doses of hope and taught me a better way. Later I ended up running that non-profit and building it into the largest and most successful Circles site in the country. I watched family after family repeat my journey completely out of generational pOVERty.
Educators became interested in my work. ESSDACK found me. I have been working with districts and communities ever since. I currently also Direct ten high school completion programs in the State of Kansas. I work with some tough kids. “Those kids” are “my kids”. My work to resolve pOVERty within education and communities is robust. The trauma-informed movement, with community collaboration and restorative justice principles puts us ALL in a winnable game. We can resolve pOVERty and make sure that is is no longer our students OR their families destination. I am passionate about helping ALL people find the tools necessary to turn kids from at-risk to at-promise!
Speaker Menu Items
- Building Kids, Strengthening Families, Changing Communities
- Let’s Declare pOVERty OVER
- Creating a Winnable Game for “Those Kids”
- The Most Important Partnership is with Parents
- The Trauma-Informed Journey. From At-Risk to At-Promise
- Shifting School Culture from Punitive to Restorative
What Others Are Saying
“The first time I heard Rebecca’s story at an inservice I was moved to tears. It was probably the most impactful inservice I have ever sat through, and after being in education approximately 20 years, that’s saying a lot. I came away with a better understanding of those in poverty and my role in their lives as an educator. In further workshops with Rebecca I learned the more practical aspects of how I could get involved at a more personal level in learning from and assisting those in poverty. I got involved in the Circles program and have witnessed the change in people’s lives when they are offered tools, resources, friendships, and hope. Rebecca is a dynamic speaker who has been through poverty and has come out on the other side. I’ve never talked to anyone who hasn’t been impressed by her work.”
Stacey Lott – Educator, Smokey Valley School District, Kansas
“I just wanted to send a quick note to thank you for what a great inservice day you planned yesterday! It was very insightful and I believe that it will help me better empathize and relate to some of my students. The content of this was incredible, and one of the most beneficial and enjoyable training days I have ever attended. I will be getting involved with her program. I plan to take her poverty course to better help me understand how people from poverty think differently than those who grew up middle class— until yesterday, I never really realized how big the divide is.”
Thanks for making us better teachers,
Ryan L. Swayne – Art Instructor, Augusta High School