Bridgett Hitchings, LMSW, M.Ed.

Unpacking Poverty: The Intersection of Financial Insecurity, Race and Mental Health in Youth

Thursday, March 31, 2022, 2:30 to 4 pm

Bridgett HutchingsSummary: When children live in poverty, it impacts every area of their lives. Insufficient financial resources mean limited access to basic needs, which leads to an increased likelihood of developmental issues, struggles in school, and decreased overall wellbeing. When youth are also racial and/or ethnic minorities, the impact is intensified. There are significant implications for the schools, organizations, and businesses that serve these young people. During this session, we’ll discuss the multidimensional impacts of poverty on youth mental health and the implications and opportunities for the communities that nurture them.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

-Understand the direct and indirect impacts of poverty on youth and their families.

-Review their agency’s policies and practices through the lens of mitigating or intensifying the impacts of poverty on their clients.

-Discuss ways to alleviate the mental health impact of poverty through advocacy, direct care, and community partnerships.

About Bridgett Hitchings

Maggie’s Village LLC partners with youth, families and youth-serving organizations to help build capacity for transformative collective impact. By forming strategic partnerships, leveraging assets, and addressing needs, we provide a multipronged approach to programming and services that lead to community advancement. Our three focus areas are Education, Wellness, and Economic Empowerment. Their current consulting services for schools and youth-serving organizations include Executive Coaching & Leadership Development, Customized Training & Facilitation for Teams, and Strategic Planning & Implementation. This summer, they will also be launching their pilot cohort for the Black Education Leaders for Liberation Institute (BEL4L Institute). Applications will be available on April 1 at

You can also find them on LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube at MaggiesVillageLLC.

Resources provided by the speaker with a video of the presentation below:

Pennsylvania Demographics of Low-Income Children, National Center for Children in Poverty

Five Ways Poverty Harms Children, Murphey, D. & Redd, Z. (2014). Child Trends, Poverty And Inequality

Basic Facts About Children in Poverty, Haider, Areeba

Data - Global Poverty Rates, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Video – Effect on Children Growing Up in Poverty, The Children’s Society

Six Facts About Economic Inequality in the U.S., Schaeffer, K. (2020). Pew Research Center

Video – Toxic Stress Derails Healthy Development, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

Racism and Poverty are Barriers to the Treatment of Youth Mental Health Concerns, Ramires, Al-Suwaidi, Garcia, et. al. (2021). Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology

Video – Racism in America, Facing the Divide, American Psychological Association

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Bridgett Hitchings is an educator, social worker, and advocate with nearly 20 years of experience empowering youth and the leaders who nurture them. She believes in the power of the village, and when all the children are well, the village thrives. Gandhi’s quote - whatever you do for me, but without me, you do against me - has served as a guiding principle in her work as a people-first, results-oriented leader with diverse experiences supporting youth at the individual, family, and community levels.

As the Founder and CEO of Maggie’s Village LLC, she partners with youth, families, and youth-serving organizations to create liberated communities where Black youth are thriving. By forming strategic partnerships, leveraging assets, and addressing needs, she helps to build capacity for transformative collective impact.