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Amy Johnson has been involved with SCAN for several years, but took on a new role as the Trauma Informed Education Specialist at Glen Lea Elementary School in February 2019. This pilot project was launched in collaboration with SCAN, Henrico Education Foundation, and Henrico County Public Schools. SCAN is fortunate to have Amy’s experience, passion, organization skills, and trauma-informed approach in leading this exciting new project.
How did you first get involved with SCAN?
When I was in school for counselor education (with a goal of becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor), a SCAN staff member came and spoke to my class. SCAN’s work and mission is personal to me and resonated so I connected and it became a long term goal to get more involved with SCAN.
Around 5 years ago I started working in the Family Support Program as a Parent Group Facilitator and then became a Children’s Group Facilitator. I also participated in a pilot project specialty group called Family Art Dinner Night. SCAN collaborated with other organizations to work with parents and children together and everyone had dinner as a group and family.
What has your life/work experience been that brought you to SCAN?
My life experience has really made SCAN’s mission personal for me. I am a survivor of abuse, trauma, intimate partner violence, and witness to domestic violence. This inspired me to want to give back and enables me to put myself in the shoes of the students and families we serve at SCAN.
My role now is as the Trauma Informed Education Specialist for SCAN at Glen Lea Elementary School in Henrico County. This role has been a perfect match of my experience working within school systems and my clinical knowledge. Children are in school so many hours a day, so what better place to make an impact and provide a safe and welcoming environment than school. This pilot project involves working with school staff, teachers, caregivers, and community partners to help Glen Lea becoming trauma-informed. This includes thinking about IEPs, working on how we interact with students, providing one on one student support as needed, supporting teachers and engaging families.
What inspires you to stay involved with your work at SCAN?
Working alongside people that are such huge child advocates is inspiring. SCAN has a broad focus as well on how we take care of our children and families and make our community a better place.
Is there anything you wish other people knew about SCAN?
That the work is never done, but the people involved have so much drive and are dedicated to ensuring all children feel safe, are protected, and that their voices are heard.
What has been the best experience with SCAN so far?
Having the privilege to help take on this pilot project at Glen Lea has been an honor. It’s incredible to be able to pave the way in this important work.
Do you have any goals or hopes for the next year with SCAN?
I would love to continue to grow the work at Glen Lea Elementary and grow it beyond this school to help other students. SCAN staff members are also doing some great work in RPS. Personally, I’d also like to get more involved in and grow my knowledge of SCAN’s macro work such as community Resilience screenings and trainings.
Are you involved with any other community organizations, hobbies, or activities?
I love camping and traveling, especially since these involve spending time with my family (including my 4 children).