Interviews with Education Leaders: Cour Experience
Hello everyone! My name is Dr. Sonia Toledo and I'm the Founder & CEO of Dignity of Children®.
We are excited to partner with Cour Experience, whose mission is to create an environment for our young people that enables them to regulate their anxiety, frustration, and stress. They are not only looking to support parents, and educators but also giving tools to everyone so we could all begin living healthier lives I sat with co-founders of Cour Experience, Debbie DiManno and Marci Mitchell to ask them about their vision and motivation on this journey of creating their amazing organization. Join me as I explore the amazing work these powerful women are doing!
Sonia: What inspired you to create Cour Experience?
Debbie DiManno: We came together, a powerful group of women, around a Brene Brown book called "Rising Strong". In that book, we learnt about our own stories, how to embrace our own stories, how to own our stories and then ultimately how to rewrite our story in a way that we could become braver and that we could transform our own lives and transform the lives of those around us to live better, to parent better and to become better leaders. So, we decided to get out of the cheap seats, as Brene says, and jump into the arena and become braver. And as a result, we came up with Cour Experience. So Cour in French stands for heart, and then the Experience piece is because we wanted to include experiential training, that's how we were inspired, and here we are telling you about it.
Marci Mitchell: In the beginning, when we were just meeting and talking, trying to decide what we wanted to do in the world, the thing that just kept coming up for us was this focus on anxiety and depression among our youth. We were hearing in our local schools about suicide attempts, just kids really struggling. These young people themselves know it, they're talking about it, they have this awareness around it. They are so self-aware and they're just built different. So, the idea of giving them these elemental skills, to calm, to center, to look at their lives in a new way and to be empowered, that's what really inspired us to empower these kids. And it's been an amazing ride. We're very excited to be doing what we're doing.
Sonia: That's amazing. These times have really been extremely complicated in a political world as well as there is such a hatred for difference. How are your thoughts in response to what's happening in today's world?
Marci: These are extraordinary times. I don't think anybody cannot see that for sure. My heart goes out to our youth going through this because I know that in my 50s, I've developed a lot of tools and a lot more perspective and yet I do see them. They're so in tune, they're so empathetic and they're wise. And I feel like they're way more informed than I was at that age, which is that's a double edged sword, because on one hand, they're seeing things and they have no patience for it. They're not interested. They are real, they're authentic. And the other half is they're feeling this stuff and it is challenging. It's really challenging. And so that's why it's so important to give them these tools. They're coming of age during this awakening over racial issues, this antisemitism, this division in our country. And it's not just our country. We know it's around the world. We see it in nation after nation. So, they need to be strong and they need to have these skills. It is a frightening time. It's a challenging time, but I believe it's a time of awakening and it's a time for great change. So, it's just calling us to be our highest and best selves. And that's what we want to help the kids do as well as ourselves. Get grounded, get ready and walk the walk for what's right and what's good in a world that works for everyone.
Debbie: The things that really drive me are around trauma specifically and I come from a very traumatic situation. I believe that our youth is very sensitive to everything around them. I think for Marcy and I, we feel like it's our job to make sure that we can escort these kids to a place of healing. They have knowledge. Our job is to make sure that we're empowering them in their knowing and not leaving them behind or trying to put our thoughts and our ideas into their minds. My place for them comes from a place of trauma. I appreciate this conversation for myself. I know that the reason why I do the work I do is because of my own traumas as a child. The exciting things for me is that we all have our own traumas but knowing how to be present with who we are and who we want to become from our trauma so our trauma has become our strength as well as it pushes us, but it also pulls us to continue to make a difference to other people. So, I'm so excited that we are talking about youth, but it's so critical for our doubts that are associated with youth who understand they need to focus on their own stuff in order for us to even be present to what youth are going through. So I think the strength that we're seeing with our young people today is that they know that they have to overcome some of this stuff right away. They're dealing with their traumas, and they're overcoming it and starting to be in action about it very young in their age because they're taking care of some of the adults around them.
To learn more about how Cour Experience is helping everyone deal with trauma, stress, anxiety and other challenging issues, watch the full interview below: