Nikki Daniels – New HOPE Facilitator

Fostering Positive Childhood Experiences

Nikki Daniels, HOPE Facilitator

Congratulations are in order for our Associate Director, Nikki Daniels! Thanks to funding from TD Bank, Nikki recently completed training to become a HOPE Facilitator. HOPE stands for Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences. HOPE represents a paradigm shift in how we see and talk about the positive experiences that support children’s growth and development into healthy, resilient adults. As a HOPE Facilitator, Nikki is trained to deliver the Introduction to HOPE workshop where she will teach how Positive Childhood Experiences drive healthy development and can mitigate the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences. 

Nikki has worked for many years addressing ACEs. Prior to becoming Champions’ Associate Director, Nikki owned a private practice as a licensed clinical social worker providing mental health counseling with a specialty in trauma in adolescents and adults. She also has over 20 years of experience working in nonprofit agencies, 15 of those in an executive leadership role. 

“ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) research focuses on the negative outcomes for adults who have had averse childhood experiences. These could include being a victim of abuse, family dysfunction like domestic violence and mental illness of a parent. The more adverse childhood experiences a child has, the more negative outcomes are likely as an adult. Those outcomes can include increased suicide attempts, more depression and increased health risks. So, looking at ACES sort of makes it feel like people are doomed if they have had a lot of negative experiences,” Nikki said.

Research shows that Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) help mitigate Adverse Childhood Experiences. PCE’s include things like having a caring adult in the child’s life, feeling involved in one’s community and ability to talk with family about feelings. These experiences are associated with good emotional and mental health in adults and can mediate the negative impacts of ACES.

“The Science of HOPE incorporates PCE’s (Positive Childhood Experiences) and provides the building blocks of hope. It also promotes understanding of the negative outcomes associated with ACES with the mediating impacts of PCE’s while looking at the building blocks of HOPE. Those building blocks are relationships, environment, engagement and opportunities. These building blocks are the foundation for healthy communities and families and promote those PCE’s,” Nikki said.

The Hope Framework can make a difference in our community to help create more positive childhood experiences.

“The Science of HOPE gives people action items, a way to make a difference. Once parents and other community members understand what a child needs to grow up happy and healthy they can create an environment that fosters that growth,” Nikki said.

To learn more about The Science of HOPE, visit