Statement from JBBBSLA CEO Cari Uslan In Response to Uvalde Tragedy

JBBBSLA CEO Cari Uslan issued the following statement on May 27, 2022.

We all heard the tragic news out of Uvalde, Texas earlier this week, where 21 lives tragically ended. I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge this horrible tragedy, the deadliest elementary school shooting since Sandy Hook. No words can make sense of this attack and no prayers can bring back those who were lost. JBBBSLA mourns the 19 children and two teachers, and we stand with the families, the teachers, and the community of Uvalde in their collective mourning and trauma.

For over a century, the staff, and volunteers at JBBBSLA have worked to help children reach their full potential because we believe children are the future. This attack reminds us of the fragility of life and the vulnerability children face today. It is a terrifying reality and the JBBBSLA community stands shaken by another attack, a week after the shootings in Buffalo and Laguna Woods.

To the program participants struggling and feeling crushed, JBBBSLA is standing with you. To all the parents and volunteers in our programs, I know the burden you carry and struggle you face as you try to keep a smile on your face and tell your children it’s all going to be ok. You continue to juggle unimaginable challenges, and we are struggling alongside you.

During times like these, I look for hope – because it’s hope that will see us through. The work we do at JBBBSLA brings hope to youth throughout Los Angeles and beyond. Focusing on that hope and that impact can lift us up. Yesterday I met with a former Little from our program who told me that getting a Big when he was six years old kept him out of jail because that’s where he was headed. Our work is powerful and inspiring. So even as we grieve the loss that seems to surround us right now, we also look for the hope and joy around us.

May the memories of those lost be a blessing to all who knew and loved them. We mourn as a community and stand not alone but together in our collective grief, and in our collective hope we will continue making a difference for as many children as we can, and they may live long and safe lives.

Please visit the below for resources of support:

Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event (Child Mind Institute)

Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting (American Psychological Association)

Helping School-age Children With Traumatic Grief: Tips For Caregivers (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, available in English, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian)

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