Current Leader

Siomara Wedderburn

Siomara Wedderburn
Location: Glassboro, New Jersey Cohort Start Year: 2020 Project Topics: Behavioral and Mental Health, Education, Faith/Religion, Social Sector/Non-Profit, Violence and Trauma Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), African-American/Black, At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children (6-11 years), Children and Families, Faith-Based Groups, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Low-Income Communities, Urban Communities
Director, Wellness
Urban Promise

FOCUS
Siomara Wedderburn defines a Culture of Health as a community where children and families can thrive, rather than simply survive. It is holistic, trauma-informed, and accessible. Sio utilizes her experience as a social worker to support a model of youth development that is relational and focused on the whole person-mind, body, and spirit. As an alumna of Urban Promise (UP), she understands the importance of having a safe haven in the community. At 14, the opportunity to work as a camp counselor was transformational. She learned the value of leadership, found her voice, and began to understand the power of community. UP was an incubator of Sio’s faith and love for people. Sio spent decades advocating for children and families in Camden County, N.J. During her career with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, she specialized in adoptions and finding forever homes for children who had become wards of the state. Sio leads with passion, empathy, and a unique ability to connect with people from all walks of life. As a native of Camden, she utilizes her expertise in trauma, mental health, youth development, and child welfare to offer a unique perspective on the needs of her community. While UP has been providing safe spaces for children for many years, Sio has highlighted the need to go deeper in this commitment by addressing the impact of trauma and toxic stress. She leads the organization’s commitment to being trauma-informed and providing an environment where children can thrive. This involves safety that extends beyond physical spaces and supports development through experiential learning. Through participation in the CoHL program, Sio seeks to expand her organization’s knowledge of trauma-informed practices, learn from colleagues across the nation doing similar work in urban settings, and develop an educational model that is trauma responsive.

 

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