Are Our Children Prepared? Surviving Through Tragedies

IMG_0779By  Sonsie Zamora


I was amazed when I read the story about Sailor Gutzler, the 7 year-old that was the sole survivor of the fatal plane crash that killed her parents, sister and cousin. She crawled from the burning wreckage, barefoot and with broken bones, using the fire to light a stick to guide her way a mile into the woods to find help by knocking on a stranger’s door. Sailor’s instincts and will to survive through such tragedy is awe-inspiring, for any adult, much less a young child. Was Sailor’s reaction one of pure adrenaline or survival skill training her dad taught her? That brings us back to the age old nature vs. nurture question. Can survival skills be taught or is it instinct? There are arguments either way


I immediately thought about my 6 year-old daughter and wondered if she would know what to do in such a scenario. We teach our kids a lot of skills; getting dressed, making a simple meal, doing homework, reading and writing, being polite, etc. What about survival skills? There are many ways to present these skills to a young audience. For example, some parents play the ‘What would you do?’ game with their children by asking questions based on hypothetical scenarios. Another example is an app called Let’s Get Ready, which is a Sesame Street app that presents safety ideas and checklists in an easy to understand format. While some other parents, and classrooms too, might run fire and earthquake safety drills. Yet others, in what most would call more extreme cases, might prepare their families by mocking apocalyptic-type lifestyles such as in the TV shows Off The Grid and Doomsday Preppers, among others.


But really, can any amount of ‘preparation’ teach us to be ready for such tragedy and danger? Let’s hypothetically imagine for a moment that we’re in the midst of an armed bank robbery. Some people’s instinct might be to be the hero in the situation, jumping to the rescue of everyone. Others might choose to freeze up, stay quiet and/or be emotional. While still others might begin to devise an escape route. People can react in any number of ways to this situation. However we have no clue as to what each person’s background is and what amount of survival skill training each person has in this hypothetical scenario. Is the person that jumped into the hero role a retired police officer? Is the person that froze up a parent and therefore was thinking of their family first? Or is it the other way around?


I think there is no way to tell how a person will react to catastrophe, no matter the amount of training they receive, until they are faced with such an event. There are still those that receive a lot of training, such as EMTs or soldiers, just as an example, that still freeze up. That being said however, I think there is no harm in considering preparing your children for such events by asking hypothetical questions, playing the ‘What would you do’ game, teaching them how to dial 9-1-1 and explaining what constitutes as an emergency. This can only empower them in the instance such as Sailor Gutzler’s, where she did react and take charge of her situation, whether it was instinct or taught skills or a combination of both. She is a survivor both ways and the motivation to teach our children some survival skills can stem from her tragic story.





Go Get It! Live Your Best Life

Life Coach, CIara Elle
Life Coach, CIara Elle

Picture yourself living the life you were meant to live. You have the career of your dreams. You drive the car you have always wanted. Your relationships with your friends, family and significant other are healthy, loving and drama free. You are at peace and you are happy…. Impossible, right?

Ciara Elle and the Go Get It Life Development Agency, A boutique coaching firm whose mission is to help you make your next move your best move. Straightforward, outspoken, yet disarmingly likeable, the chic entrepreneur has created several nonprofit organizations and youth development programs and has successfully served hundreds of children and families since entering the mental health profession six years ago.

Young Urban Voices, sits down to chat with the Life Coach herself, for an all exclusive interview on how to live your best life and how Ms. Ciara got started in her profession.

Young Urban Voices:  How did you become a Life Coach?

Ciara Elle: My career is counseling. I decided to become a life (coach) for 2 reasons. (1.) I realized some of the clients that came into my office for counseling didn’t need it, they needed guidance. (2). Reality television is what made me take the coaching courses sooner.

Young Urban Voices: How did you create “GO Get It.”? Your brand of motivating people to their highest potential.

Ciara Elle: Hmmmmm it’s kinda of a long story but in short, “Go Get It” is the title of a book I penned. As I wrote the book I realized I had so many different gifts but I hadn’t recognized It until I read my book. I realized that I offered alot of different things in which people could benefit from.

I knew I wanted to create an agency but I was torn on what to call it; my book was sitting on my sofa (for some odd reason) I remember picking it up looking at it and saying to myself “dang that’s it(the business name) “Go Get it”. I second guessed it because I thought it would sound a little ghetto but I couldn’t get my mind off that name so I ran with it.

Young Urban Voices:What advice would you give to people who say they are stuck in life and can’t achieve their goals?

Ciara Elle: I always tell people “Life is what you make it, if you want it, take it”. You just have to have a one on one with yourself , a reality check so to speak. Once you do that things will become clearer.

Young Urban Voices: As your time as a Behavior Intervention Specialist have you seen any situations that have shocked you?

Ciara Elle: LOL…… Absolutely.


Young Urban Voices:  What was the story behind your book, “Drowing In A Mother’s Womb?”

Ciara Elle: Wow! Drowning in a Mothers Womb was the first book I penned. Drowning in a mothers womb is the reason I continues to write books. Drowning in a mothers womb is my story, uncut. I had youth clients that had challenges as well and they didn’t think they would ever overcome them so I decided to share my story. That book was solely for my clients but it obviously surpassed them. I went through hell growing up ultimately it made me who I am Today and I want my clients to know they could do it too!

Young Urban Voices: What prompted you to write your other two books, “B.A.I.T.” and “Go Get It.?”Ciara Elle: Books… books were written inspiringly through my clients and what I see on reality television. My books sends messages to do better to want more and how to be a woman.

Young Urban Voices:  I read that you were a music manager, how did you get involved with that?

Ciara Elle: LOL…… I’m still trying to figure that out as well. Initially, I was helping a friend of the family out with some paperwork, one thing lead to the next and well here I am managing artists. This is something that definitely just fell on my lap. Nonetheless I actually like the music industry.

Young Urban Voices:  What inspired you to creat the adoloscent program Build Me, Make Me, Mold Me?

Ciara Elle: My upbringing was the motivation but my clients were my inspiration.

Young Urban Voices: What has been the highlight of your career?

Ciara Elle: I don’t think I’ve crossed that bridge just yet.

Young Urban Voices:  Is there anything else you would like to add?

Ciara Elle: I think we covered a lot, you had really good questions. Thanks!!!

Ciara Elle
Ciara Elle
All books and coaching services are available through her website.
You can connect with Ciara Elle, at