On January, 27 th, Student/Partner Alliance (S/PA) held the 3rd Annual Mentoring Networking Event at Christ Church in Summit from 7 – 8:30pm. Justin Kiczek, Executive Vice President of the F. M. Kirby Foundation and current mentor for S/PA spoke about the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences(ACEs) on students’ lives.

Prior to joining the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Justin worked as a Program Officer at the Turrell Fund, where he worked on the report,  Adverse Childhood Experiences: Opportunities to Prevent, Protect Against, and Heal from the Effects of ACEs in New Jersey. The Burke Foundation, The Nicholson Foundation and the Turrell Fund, in collaboration with FSG, released the report in 2019, detailing the challenges New Jersey faces in addressing (ACEs) and calling for a coordinated statewide response to mitigate their lasting effects on children’s health and well-being. ACEs include maternal depression, emotional and sexual abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence, physical and emotional neglect, divorce, mental illness, incarceration, and homelessness. As a child experiences more incidents of ACEs, the likelihood increases that he or she will have physical, cognitive, and neurological deficits into adulthood.

Justin explained some of the results of the report and helped our mentors to better understand the long-term effects of ACEs and create a more realistic idea of what some of our students could be experiencing. He drew in his experiences working on the report as well as his 14 years of experience as a teacher.

After his presentation, there was ample time for new and prospective mentors to speak with some of our experienced mentors about the program.

Please click the links below for additional resources:

Video by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris: 

NJTV series on ACEs: 

Report from NJ Funders ACEs Collaborative: