Carla Truttman is the mental health and wellness program director with California’s Siskiyou County Office of Education, and her words are powerful:

What speaks to me most about Kidpower is the focus on empowerment, not on victimization.

In our communities – where families, schools, and educators have experienced such traumatic events as entire towns burning year after year, the death of a beloved teacher because of a wildfire, the loss of homes, severe poverty, high drug use, high alcoholism – our students and our educators often feel everything but empowered.

They feel like everything is happening TO them, and that they are being tossed around by whatever next comes their way.

The Kidpower tools and resources really do empower people to take control of their lives again – and that may not sound like a big thing, but that is a HUGE deal for people who feel like they don’t have any power in any other aspect of their lives.

The kind of empowerment that Kidpower brings is that one step in the right direction that will ultimately lead them to success and the achievement of their dreams – and I don’t know a greater gift we can give to kids than that.

We’re grateful that donor support makes it possible for us to serve communities like Carla’s – communities desperately wanting and needing Kidpower services but lacking the resources to cover the costs.

Donate today and our Leadership Circle will match your gift!


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Published: December 29, 2023   |   Last Updated: December 29, 2023

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.