The Completely KIDS CEO, Carla Rizzo, and clinical director, Lulu Rangel, spoke Jan. 11 at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s latest installment of its CODE education series, “New American Integration: Retention and Community & Family Support.”
The four-part series is part of the CODE initiative, created in 2016 to help the community achieve sustainable growth in the areas of diversity, inclusivity, equity and opportunity.
Rizzo first offered attendees an overview of the Completely KIDS mission to educate and empower children and families to create a safe, healthy, successful and connected community.
Rangel went on to talk specifically about the mental health challenges faced by the community’s immigrant and refugee populations, not only from the culture shock of moving to a new home but the resulting trauma and overall stigma surrounding mental health issues.
She addressed the many services that Completely KIDS provides to support those mental health needs and the importance of working with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) therapists.
“As one of the only agencies doing so in the Omaha community, it’s important to share our knowledge in the field,” Rangel said after the event. “It was great to be among professionals who are invested in supporting the immigrant and refugee employees at their organizations. They all showed genuine interest in learning ways to incorporate culturally relevant items to help everyone feel welcome.”
Completely KIDS educates and empowers KIDS and families to create a safe, healthy, successful and connected community.
Completely KIDS serves 2,000 children ages 4-17, (and by extension, their families) with a depth of critical services after school and all summer long. The organization partners with Omaha Public Schools, Archdiocese of Omaha Catholic Schools and several community-based organizations, including homeless shelters to provide a variety of needed programs. The KIDS in Completely KIDS programs enjoy a wide range of experiences including Service Learning and Field Trips, Swimming Lessons, Sporting Events, Ballet, Martial Arts, Robotics, Outdoor Learning in our Nature Explore Classroom and Gardening Club, plus Civic Engagement Opportunities and more. To learn more and get involved, see completelykids.org.