Enhancing the Natural Resilience of Survival-Oriented Youth

  • On-Demand Webinar
  • Recorded on Wednesday, March 24, 2021
  • 2 hour training
  • FREE for YIPA members
  • 98% approval rating
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Learners' Own Words

"We're planning to use this with our full program staff!"

"I appreciated the concrete action steps and the variety of experiences that Dave brought to this training."

"This was such a helpful training! What a beautiful lens to view resilience behaviors among youth."

Your Training Description

Young people experiencing ongoing life challenges that result in unmet needs, homelessness, violence and other traumas often develop a survival orientation. Many adults, especially those in positions of authority, inappropriately judge their behaviors as resistance, misbehavior, and unwillingness to engage. You are in a position to teach young people new skills to enhance their natural resilience. You’ll gain practical methods for helping survival-oriented young people learn to adapt their resiliency skills for better results in school, work, and social settings.

Your Learning Objectives

  • Learn how survival skills are natural and adaptive responses to challenge, trauma, and unmet needs
  • Explore how a young person’s survival orientation can undermine skills and beliefs that promote long-term resilience
  • Consider how you can foster relationships, teach new skills and role model alternative belief systems that will enhance resilience
  • Recognize how adults may misinterpret youth survival thinking and behavior as resistance, misbehavior, pathology, and/or unwillingness to engage
  • Gain practical methods for helping survival-oriented young people learn to adapt their resiliency skills for better results in school, work, and social settings without compromising their identity

Your Trainer

Image of David Wilmes

David Wilmes has over 30 years of experience in the field of early intervention with youth whose behavior puts them at risk for being criminalized, pathologized, or ostracized from the critical community-based resources that promote healthy youth development.  Over that time period, he has authored numerous books, papers, curricula, and evaluation tools used by a wide range of professionals, parents, and other adults to help them increase their capacity to engage young people with challenging behaviors.

While Mr. Wilmes consults with and has worked with many treatment and correctional facilities, his most fundamental belief is that real growth and resilience primarily happens in the community and usually within the context of family, neighborhood, and school. Therefore, for the past decade he spends most of his professional energy working with schools, libraries, recreation centers, police departments, community activists/volunteers, tutoring and mentoring groups, and other community groups.

Mr. Wilmes received his undergraduate degree from Metro State University, and received his Master of Arts degree in Human Development from St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN.

Your Competency Focus Area


Each of YIPA’s trainings are designed around a broad framework of eight youth work competencies. The competency focus of this training is: BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION.

Adopt a mindset and perspective to understand the connection between emotions and behaviors, effectively model managing your own emotions as you teach youth to manage theirs, and diffuse dysregulated behavior and help youth re-regulate.

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This training will count as 2 CE hours for most boards. Please contact your board directly with questions on submitting. You are encouraged to print or save this training information as a PDF for your records.