WAXAHACHIE, Texas – Monday, February 3, 2020
Area non-profit, MENTORS CARE hosted its largest and, according to Executive Director Dena Petty, most important (to date) Annual Community Connection workshop. Every year, the area nonprofit, which offers free mentoring for at-risk high school students hosts a workshop for its volunteer mentors that is also open to the public for a specialized training led by an expert in the specialty up for introduction to the public and for equipping the volunteer mentors who have made the program highly successful.
This year’s workshop proved to result in a higher turnout with Leslie Deen, LMSW (Licensed Master Social Worker) who is also executive director for the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center in Waxahachie shedding light on the effects of trauma on children and ways to help them overcome the resulting social and emotional barriers by teaching them resilience.
“We were so excited about our Mentor Community Connection this year called ‘Resilience, Supportive Relationships Help Kids Bounce Back,’” Petty said. “The Mentor-Community Connection is time for our mentors to feel encouraged and even more equipped to help their students so many of whom are suffering the results of trauma day to day.”
Deen is a native of Ellis County and grew up in Waxahachie where she was a 1992 graduate of Waxahachie High School. She began her career helping child abuse victims recover from trauma in 1997 at New Horizons Residential Treatment Center in Goldthwaite, Texas. Deen held several positions in her 11 years with New Horizons to include Group Leader, Case Manager, Child and Family Advocate, and Universal Child Abuse Prevention Specialist. Dean and her family moved back to Waxahachie in 2008 where she served as the Foster Home Developer and Regional Director for A World For Children, a non-profit child-placing agency, for 10 years. She is a Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator and worked to recruit, train, support and monitor foster parents as well as oversee the health and safety of over 200 children in the foster care system.
Deen is also trained in trust-based relational Intervention (TBRI) by Dr. Karyn Purvis at the Texas Christian University (TCU) Center for Child Development. She received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Social Work from Howard Payne University and holds a Master’s in Business Administration (B.A.). Deen has been married to her husband, Brad, for 22 years and has two children, Kaitlyn and William. She is active in community organizations such as Leadership Waxahachie, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Child Welfare Board (where she serves as an advisory member) and is the President of the Waxahachie High School Drama Department’s Booster Club.