No More Stolen Childhoods Secretary Brooks Paternotte is a man of nature. Whether it’s reading books where man finds himself in the depths of the wilderness or watching children find their own connection with the natural world, Brooks daily life is rooted in individuals’ right to wonder, explore, and be challenged by the world in which they live.
Brooks lives in Owings Mills, MD with his wife and two kids (ages 8 and 10) and has spent the last five years working as the Executive Director of the Irvine Nature Center after a lengthy twenty-year career as a teacher and administrator at the Boys Latin High School. Instead of English, Latin, and Greek, Brooks main focus is now on educating today’s youth about the environment and help them cultivate a love for nature.
Brooks first became involved with No More Stolen Childhoods as a client of Wayne’s insurance company, Coffey & Co. He was drawn by how the company approaches its clients, as well as the value it places on character. As the two began to get to know each other better, Wayne eventually shared his story with Brooks and asked him to join NMSC’s cause. As someone whose family has been impacted by childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in past generations and having attended a high school that was involved in scandals surrounding the issue, it was practically a no brainer for Brooks to become a part of the team.
It is his hope that No More Stolen Childhoods becomes a household name and is recognized as a leader in CSA prevention. As much as this work helps individuals’ overall wellbeing, Brooks also hopes that the organization is able to make the case that prevention makes sense economically, whether that is in terms of healthcare costs or workplace productivity.
As someone who has spent a majority of his career in education, Brooks has bore witness to the progress that’s been made when its comes to having conversations about relationships and boundaries in the classroom. Educators have since come to realize the importance of a holistic education, and simply being able to explicitly talk about these subjects and “call it what it is” is a huge step in the right direction.
Preserving the innocence of today’s youth is one of the main parts of what Brooks does on a daily basis. Whether it’s with his own children or those who visit the Nature Center, he is assigned the sometimes daunting task of helping them find the courage and the curiosity to explore all the world has to offer, all without compromising their safety.