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Dennis Kennedy, Board Member

My first experience of TCC was the evening after the shooting at Columbine High School. As Executive Director of Project PAVE, a collaborator now with TCC, PAVE had sent all our youth violence counselors to Clement Park near the campus to talk to students, parents and family members, to help them process the experience and deal with the fears and anxieties that shaped the next days and weeks. It was the first mass school shooting, and it was here in Colorado. The next night Liz Loescher and I were on a two-hour call in show broadcast with a live audience from the local ABC affiliate; as I remember it, it was Liz, me and their 2 news anchors. People present and those who called in were shocked, traumatized, horrified at what had happened. Liz spoke practically of how to talk to ALL Denver area children–not just those at Columbine, but she knew this violence reverberated throughout the whole state and nation. She laid out how to have a clear, calm conversation with your child or children, hearing their worries, not judging their fears, teaching them practical ways to deal with strong feelings and conflicts. Parents and children were asked to be brave, not foolhardy, but to still be able to act and show concern even when we were angry or afraid. After 2 draining hours–no commercials that I remember–it felt like we there were all able to take a big breath, and start to deal with the trauma and new reality with a few more personal skills and insights. That’s what TCC continues to do–offer practical, creative, empowering skills with which to face real or potential conflicts in our lives. TCC is a great blessing to schools, families and communities, and its valuable to find this kind of straight talk and talent.

Dennis Kennedy

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