Risk to Resilience

The Risk to Resiliency coalition is a community initiative through the United Way of Central Washington, seeking to work with all members of the community to reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences and foster resiliency within Yakima and Kittitas Counties. We seek to inspire inter-agency collaboration in order to empower people to create a trauma-informed Yakima and Kittitas Valley where resiliency is both accessible and equitable for all. 

R2R holds a monthly meeting for community partners to join in and learn about services and trainings available in the Valley that help build resiliency in our community. Monthly meetings are held on the last Friday of each month. 


To invite all members of the community to be involved including, schools, families, law enforcement, first responders, government officials, state agencies, businesses, hospitals, physicians, and childcare agencies.


To have every member of the community share an understanding of brain development and the impact that Adverse Childhood Experiences can have, not only on the individual, but also the inter-generational impact. To help individuals and families develop resiliency in order to mitigate the effects of ACEs. We accomplish this goal using community outreach, educational programs and educational training throughout Yakima and Kittitas counties.


To inspire the community to develop resilient practices that will foster growth and help the community thrive.

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs, refers to the research on how traumatic or stressful events in a child's life (abuse, neglect, household dysfunction) can impact their future health and well being.

Between 1995 and 1997, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente conducted a study using over 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization members from Southern California. The patients receiving physical exams completed confidential surveys regarding their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors. The study looked at 10 different types of trauma including:

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Credit: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The study concluded that ACEs are common and are linked to a number of life long health problems including:


Credit: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Credit: ACEstoohigh.com

Why are ACEs Important?

Since the original study in 1995, many other researchers have continued to study ACEs and the impact and prevalence they have in our society

  • ACEs are common...nearly two thirds (64%) of adults have at least one.

  • They may cause adult onset of chronic disease such as cancer, stroke, diabetes and mental illness.

  • ACEs tend to co-occur...if you have one ACE there's an 87% chance that you have two or more.

  • The more ACEs you have, the higher your risk of developing chronic disease, mental illness, violence, or being a victim of violence later in life.

What is Resilience?

The ability to adapt or overcome significant hardships such as trauma, tragedy, threats and significant stress. 

Resilience is not something you either "have" or "don't have." Resilience is something that can be learned and developed.​

According to the Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University, we should try to understand why some children do well despite adverse childhood experience while others do not. By understanding "why" it can inform more effective policies and programs that help more children reach their full potential. They go on to list factors that have been known to develop resiliency in children.

The single most important factor for children who develop resilience is at least 1 stable relationship with a supportive adult. This can be a parent, family member, caregiver or teacher. This one person can help the child "buffer" significant stress and help teach the child how to regulate their behavior and adapt to adversity.