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Every day connections are more important than we ever believed. Science tells us that relationships have the power to shape our brains. Relationships help us learn better, work better, parent better. When we experience tough times, they help us heal. With each connection, we develop a healthier, stronger community. This presentation will include the summary of the day-long training curriculum (linking early brain development, trauma, resilience and community, connections and resources).

Trainer: Taylor McDonald serves as a Partnership Engagement Manager for Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina. While focusing on connecting with stakeholders and surrounding communities, Taylor collaborates with counties in North Carolina to provide evidence-based knowledge and trainings on protective factors, ACES awareness, and the implementation of Community Prevention Action Plans. Taylor enjoys working with diverse groups throughout the state to assist in executing important stepping stones needed to gain awareness about child abuse prevention. Outside of her career, Taylor engages in philanthropic work that focuses on the inclusivity of children and families in low SES communities. Taylor has worked part time on her PhD in Human Developmental Sciences and plans to get back into the academic world soon. The work Taylor does around Protective Factors, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Resilience has helped fuel her passion for working in diverse communities and the academic sector.

Presentation: View Presentation Here*

Resources: The Truth about ACEs | Protective Factors | Factores de Protección


  • Begley, S. (2007). Train your mind, change your brain: How a new science reveals our extraordinary potential to transform ourselves. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
  • Kluger, J. (2009). Your brain: A user’s guide. New York, NY: Time Books.
  • NCSCHS. (2015, November 10). 2014 BRFSS Topics for North Carolina – By Risks, Conditions, and Quality of Life Measures. Retrieved August 18, 2020, from
  • Restak, R. M. (2001). The secret life of the brain. DC: Joseph Henry Press.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). (2018, October 31). Retrieved August 19, 2020, from
  • Sprenger, M. (2008). The developing brain: Birth to age eight. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

UNC Chapel Hill – Family Focus and Disability Lecture Series Programs 

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