I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Shannon LaRance and I joined Rebound, Alternatives for Youth in August as the Director of Operations. I am from Arizona and am Native American – Navajo (Dine Nation), Hopi, and Assiniboine Sioux. I moved to the Raleigh-Durham area seven months ago and took some time off to enjoy this beautiful area.
I graduated with my Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) and Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Arizona State University. I am licensed with the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Services.
My most recent work was as a Director of Contact Center Operations at Crisis Response Network, a 24/7 Behavioral Health Contact center in Arizona. The contact center provides crisis phone triage and assist people who are dealing with psychiatric symptoms, suicidal or self-harming thoughts, substance abuse symptoms, and many other crisis situations. I have also been a Quality Assurance Program Monitor, case manager for children, a hospice social worker, and a consultant to small businesses on systems implementation through my consultation company, Individual Empowerment.
When it was time to look for my next adventure, I was drawn to Rebound’s mission and working with high school students. It was imperative that the agency I work for be strengths-based, as that is a core element of being a social worker. I was drawn to the ability to utilize my profession as a Social Worker, my clinical skill set, and my operations management skills in one position. The mission of Rebound focuses on a student’s strength and resiliency while they gain the skills for future success.
It has been a busy September here at Rebound – since opening on September 12, we have already served 33 students on short term suspension. My colleagues (Program Specialist Cimarron Reed, DPS Teacher Shelia Washington, MSW Interns Andrea Liles, Elissa Rumer, and Terrell Poe) and I have a passion for working with students in achieving their short and long term goals. We are excited to come into the program and assist students in completing homework, talking with students about making better choices, and providing opportunities for growth. The students have been willing to be a part of the program. After a 10 day suspension, one student indicated, “Rebound showed me that I have possibilities for a successful future, even if I have made a mistake.” Hearing statements like that validated my choice to join Rebound.
As I move forward to my first year at Rebound, I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the past and current supporters of Rebound, its mission, and our Durham high school students. I have been very impressed at the closeness of the residents of Durham and your investment in community organizations. Your continued commitment to our program and community is highly appreciated. We look forward to another successful year.
I have already begun to meet Rebound’s partners and colleagues around Durham, and I look forward to developing those relationships as Rebound grows. Please feel free to reach out if we have not yet met in person.
If you have any questions or would like to visit our program – please free to contact me at your convenience.
Director of Operations
Rebound, Alternatives for Youth
Direct: (984) 377-7239
Referrals: (919) 408-2517
Rebound had many successes in the 2015-16 year, including serving students on 265 individual suspensions, hosting successful conflict mediations for 42 students, and matching 17 students with community mentors. Read more about our 2015-16 results in our Annual Report Snapshot:Rebound 2015-16 Snapshot
Dear Friends of Rebound,
The Board and Staff of Rebound would like to express its sincerest thanks to Pam Gray for the work that she has put in over the last four years building Rebound. Pam transitioned out of her position at Rebound this summer. During her years of leadership, Pam worked to build Rebound from a small program into a robust independent nonprofit with partners across the Durham community.
Pam’s passion for helping young people identify their strengths, and her expert skill as a social worker, have established Rebound as a safe landing space for high school students on short term suspension. Students and parents consistently appreciate the welcoming and caring atmosphere of the program, which is borne out by its growth from a pilot program that served students on 23 suspensions in the spring of 2014 to a comprehensive program that served young people on 265 suspensions in the 201516 school year. As Rebound continues to grow, its success will always be rooted in the work that Pam has contributed in these early years.
Pam also provided a rich learning experience for many Masters of Social Work Interns from NC Central.
Pam’s parting message is:
“It has been both extremely rewarding and challenging to start Rebound and I am proud of the good work that we have accomplished. It has been my pleasure to serve youth and families who need our services in Durham. Thank you for working with us to offer positive alternatives to suspension and thinking differently about these youth. I want to especially thank the Rebound youth and their families for giving me the privilege to learn and serve them.”
We appreciate the work that Pam has done to bring this needed service to Durham, and we are proud to be part of a community that invests so much in its young people.
Teka Dempson, Board President
Your help is urgently needed to keep Rebound’s doors open to students seeking support. Please donate now, and help Rebound meet our goal of raising $15,000 from caring people who are committed to the belief that kids at risk need a supportive space to reflect, rebound, and grow.
You can also support Rebound in the following ways:
- Like ReboundNC on Facebook and help share our updates
- Forward this update to a friend or colleague using the link below.
- Help us make a connection with your faith community or community organization (contact us)
- Refer suspended students to Rebound
- Thank DPS and Durham City and County Officials for their support of Rebound
- Volunteer professional services or expertise to the Rebound Board of Directors (contact us)
- Donate using the link here. All donations are tax-deductible.
Rebound’s attendance and services have grown exponentially since we began serving short-term suspended students just three years ago, and our board needs to grow, too.
- Are passionate about reducing school suspension in Durham;
- Enjoy collaborating with like-minded people, and;
- Want to help strengthen this vital, exciting, growing program, then
JOIN REBOUND’S BOARD!
For an application, contact us.
Contact individual board members if you have questions about serving on Rebound’s Board of Directors:
- Erwin Byrd, President Attorney
- Amy Rublein, Vice President Board Certified High School Teacher
- Lloyd Patillo, Treasurer Chief Financial Officer at Oxford University Press
- Megan Gray, Secretary Program Coordinator, Durham’s Partnership for Children
- Teka Dempson President, National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
- Julie Wells Executive Director, Partners for Youth Opportunity in Durham, NC
- Lizzie Ellis-Furlong Executive Director, Durham Literacy Council; Rebound Co-Founder
- Jennifer Hardison Walters Research Analyst, Research Triangle Institute
- Shirley Thoms (ex officio) Masters Candidate, North Carolina Central University
- Pam Gray (ex officio) Executive Director, Rebound, Alternatives for Youth
Rebound was in the news this semester, as Durham Public Schools revised its discipline policies to include more alternatives to out-of-school suspension. Written over the course of a year by a 47-member task force of diverse stakeholders (including Rebound Board of Directors member Teka Dempson), the new policies contain major changes that favor positive behavioral supports over suspensions. The changes set a new course entirely: one that guides schools to work with parents and students to teach appropriate behavior, with the help of positive interventions. The policies encourage schools to use many of the interventions — peer mediation, conflict resolution, counseling, and conference — that Rebound has found so successful. Policy 4300 (at pages 106-111 of linked pdf), “School Discipline: Climate and Prevention,” and Policy 4301 (at pages 40-100 of the linked pdf) “Code of Student Conduct,” were approved by the DPS Board of Education in February 2016 and will go into effect next school year.
Rebound exists to teach, instead of punish, so we welcome these positive changes to the DPS discipline policies with thanks and hope. We look forward to working with DPS and the Durham community on truly creating a new climate in our schools.
When two students fight at school and are short-term suspended, both students are often sent to Rebound. There, the students — who would otherwise be stewing at home — sit down together with a trained mediator and create an agreement that enables them to resolve the fight before going back to school. Although most mediations involve two parties, groups of as many as 5 students have created agreements together at Rebound.
With invaluable support from the Elna B. Spaulding Conflict Resolution Center (CRC), 28 students have successfully completed mediation at Rebound this year. Though the standard suspension for fighting at many Durham Public Schools is 10 days, some principals have cut suspension lengths in half — to 5 days — for students who attend Rebound and complete mediation.
According to Pam Gray, Rebound’s Executive Director: “All of the mediations completed at Rebound this year (by CRC or Rebound staff) have been successful in that each mediation has resulted in an agreement created by the students themselves to end the conflict between them. After completing mediation, students who have been put out of school for fighting have moved on to work together at Rebound, eaten lunch side by side, and participated in group activities. Some of the students have become friends, while others have merely tolerated each other. The important thing is that the students have had the experience of settling a conflict without violence.”
The CRC sends trained mediators to Rebound and coaches and supports Rebound staff mediators. Rebound staff have also adopted the CRC’s conflict debriefing model, which is a structured interview process designed to help students reflect on the incident that led to their suspension. During incident debriefing with Rebound staff, students explore their thoughts and feelings surrounding the incident, discuss the impact it had on them and others, brainstorm alternatives, and discuss ways of moving forward in a positive way and “making things right”.