Bringing national issues facing our children to the local level

From Project Hope Alliance, University of California, IrvineSecond Harvest, and THINK Together, the "Our Kids" vodcast series features the issues impacting our kids and thwarting their ability to end the cycle of hunger, homelessness, and under-education. Through dialogue and study we can both educate and invigorate our community to see and meet the needs of our children. 

Join the conversation with national experts Jennifer Friend, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Project Hope Alliance; Nicole Suydam, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Second Harvest Food Bank; and Tracy Carmichael, Ph.D., Chief Engagement Officer of THINK Together, on the second week of every month.


March is National Nutrition Month. In its honor, this engaging episode features special guest Tracy Bryars, Manager of the Healthy Communities Initiative at St. Jude Medical Center. In this episode, she talks about her position and her history of fighting childhood obesity.

EPISODE 4 / OUR KIDS: Dr. Elizabeth Cauffman

Joining your hosts for this episode of "Our Kids” is Dr. Elizabeth Cauffman, a Professor of Psychology and Law, who provides a glimpse into the sobering reality of our juvenile justice system. For the past three years, Dr. Cauffman has led the UC Irvine Crossroads Study, hoping to examine the long-term ramifications of punitive measures on juvenile development, whether academically, behaviorally, or economically. With over 1,000 participants ranging from 13-17 years of age in three different cities—including Orange County—preliminary findings have strongly supported the growing movement against harsher sanctions. A disregard for developmentally appropriate punishment tends to exacerbate underlying issues, rather than correcting the problematic behavior as originally intended, propagating a cycle of poverty, encouraging repeat offenses, and ultimately failing generations of our kids.


This segment of "Our Kids" discusses "Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students in America's Public Schools," a must-read national report examining the issues facing the 1.3 million students who are homelessness in America. Joined by Erin Ingram, one of the report's authors from Civic Enterprises, the hosts discuss how and why homeless youth attending our public schools remain invisible and what we as a community can do to meet their needs.

EPISODE 2 / OUR KIDS: Lights On AfterSchool

This segment of "Our Kids" discusses the importance of afterschool time in the emotional development of kids, and especially those who come from low-income families. October 20th is the 17th Annual “Lights On Afterschool.” Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their role in keeping kids safe, inspiring them to learn, and helping working families. The effort has become a staple of the afterschool movement and annually sees more than 1 million Americans celebrate at more than 8,000 events nationwide. Let’s rally behind our kids, and keep those lights on after school!

    Episode 1 / Our Kids: Hunger Awareness

    This segment of "Our Kids" focuses on the surprising facts about child hunger in America and the devastating effects that hunger can have on a child’s developmental and physical well-being. Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President of Government Relations at Feeding America, serves as our guest to educate us on important legislation and innovative community-based solutions that can significantly reduce the number of children going hungry in America.