October 18, 2023

Friends – Chicago Executive Director Pens Op-Ed for Chicago Sun Times

In a recent Chicago Sun Times op-ed, the executive director of Friends of the Children – Chicago speaks to how Friends of the Children can play a part in helping youth heal from the trauma of gun violence. In Chicago’s most widely read newspaper, Taal Hasak-Lowy writes: "through positive relationships and sustained intervention, victims of trauma can grow, learn and heal. But it takes a tangible commitment and intensive support."

Friends – Chicago is focused on supporting youth and families living on both the West and South Side communities of Chicago. Speaking to the work it takes to heal from trauma, Taal goes on to share: “While no human being ever ‘gets used to’ the trauma of gun violence, experiencing shootings, directly or indirectly, is especially harrowing for children. Survivors of trauma can heal, but it takes intensive support over the long term. We know that early, sustained, and individualized intervention works. Thirty years of data across the Friends of the Children network demonstrate measurable, improved outcomes for children who have faced seemingly overwhelming obstacles.”

We are grateful to Taal and her team for their leadership at Friends of the Children – Chicago, and we are inspired by the impact the chapter, the Friends, and the staff are making in the lives of youth every day.

The full opinion piece was published in the September 14 edition of the paper, and it can be found here: