Who Cracked My Egg? LLC Rise Above the Violence Start Summer Program to Work with Flagler County Youth

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Carmen Gray’s foundation, LLC Rise Above the Violence, was founded shortly after the loss of her son to gun violence right here in Palm Coast just a few short years ago in 2019. After the loss of her son, Carmen started her foundation to help ensure that this tragedy never happened to another family again.

His death triggered a lot of emotional trauma that, honestly, Flagler County really just didn’t have the tool to deal with, especially with the kids, and I felt it was my responsibility in some way to not leave him without a safety net. So I became very active, very adamant; started advocating with all of the powers that be, if you will, at that time,” Carmen explained. She continued on, speaking about the emotional roller coaster for not only herself but for all of the kids who knew Curtis.  

Carmen told us, “It was just, like, adrenaline it was anger. I had just lost my son. And in my mind it was preventative, like it never had to happen. And I thought to myself, I’m going to develop a program where another parent would have to stand here and feel like this.” It was this pivotal moment that propelled Carmen to start brainstorming the idea behind Who Cracked My Egg.  

My background is culinary, and I felt the best way to get a profound message to the kids was to do it through a mindfulness event and that mindfulness event would include cooking, because cooking is cognitive therapy. This is, in my mind, my non certified. Let me say that non certified mind. In my mind, it made sense. So I started talking to people in the mental health industry to see with this fly, and it was one of my mental health therapists that I was actually seeing myself. He said to me that the biggest barrier between the end user and the clinical team is the language and he looked at me and he said. Ms Carmen, everyone understands an egg,” Carmen explained. 

This was the beginning of Carmen’s process to getting the Who Cracked My Egg program off the ground. She went ahead with testing the program out to ensure that the course was understandable and usable for the kids who would ultimately be taking it. This process took some time. Carmen explained that her goal long term is to see one thousand kids go through this program. The program is a complete mental health course that uses cooking to teach emotional resilience and other skills that kids need in order to handle the obstacles that life has or will throw at them.

Carmen will be officially kicking off her the program at the Carver Center this June 5th.

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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