Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience hosts first GRIT conference

On March 11, The Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience hosted its first conference on the Greater Resilience Information Toolkit, a program launched to encourage social resilience in response to trauma within the Colorado Springs community.

This event was meant to empower attendees through team building, encouraging personal growth and building stronger social connections. The free conference was open to the Colorado Springs community, as many participants came from organizations outside of UCCS.

Executive Director of The Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience Charles Benight can see Colorado Springs becoming the first “GRIT city,” calling upon the ever-growing number of GRIT coaches in the city to support vulnerable populations through times of crisis.

Participants in the event were encouraged to participate in the free online training course for GRIT coaches if they had not completed it prior to the event so they could help build the resilience of the entire Colorado Springs community.

Three keynote speakers shared their own stories of resilience with the ENT Center audience of more than one hundred participants.

These speeches were meant to exemplify how resilience can help someone overcome hardship.

Hunter Kemper kicked the day off by sharing his experience as an Olympic triathlete and the times he overcame impossible odds to make his career possible.

Kemper is an ambassador of the Becoming Your Personal Best program, created by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum. The program focuses on self-identity, mindset, problem-solving, perseverance, relationships and confidence, specifically with kids ages 8 to 18.

Kemper believes the program’s effectiveness is partially owed to kids viewing athletes as role models.

The next speaker was Mark Yarbrough, author of Suffer from Burnout? “Give’em the F.I.N.G.E.R.,” who talked about his experience with burnout from a high-performing job.

After serving as the District Attorney of Lamb County, Texas for twenty years, Yarbrough felt extremely burnt out in retirement, leading him to delve into research on how to prevent and beat burnout.

He emphasized the importance of faith, family and friends, saying those three things should always come before work.

The final speaker, Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, six-time Olympian gold medalist, shared her inspiring story of how she went from the worst on her swim team to qualifying for the Olympics.

Van Dyken-Rouen had severe asthma, was shamed by her peers, was doubted by coaches and faced injuries before competitions. However, refusing to give up led to her to become the first female American athlete to receive four gold medals in one Olympic season.

Her speech had a common theme of telling those who doubted her, “Who are you to tell me what I can’t do?”

The Lyda Hill Institute is hosting several long-term events in the future, including a workshop for Nonlinear Dynamical Systems on July 15 and two eight-week trauma training courses beginning on Aug. 26 and Oct. 28.

Graphic via Mountain Lion Connect.