Administration and counseling have identified several high school students who would benefit from a positive relationship outside of a graded class and started a group that meets in my room during a study block. They've experienced trauma, don't think they have many options in life, and often go home to traumatic situations. But, they are good kids who need inspiration. They listen and they also want to be heard. They are being mentored by community grassroots and faith-based partners on how to reverse a negative school climate. Many deal with poverty, homelessness, abuse, depression and anxiety, and we want to show support and build unity by providing a group hoodie. Our school is trauma aware and works to understand student needs. The hoodies would create conversations about the positive interactions going on at our school. Students want these hoodies. They've chosen a design and want others to know about this new group so that others can join and benefit from being heard and positively lifted up, too. Let's show them support, please.
Student Impact began as a group of students identified by the administration who could use additional support because of trauma in their life. Now, those students are being empowered to use their experiences and voice to make our school a better place by telling their stories to listening adults and changing the narrative of fear and distrust. Students see options they did not see before from monthly and often weekly interactions with local leaders and they share their enthusiasm with other students. I volunteer to talk with students about what they are going through as do many other community leaders and school personnel beyond class time, during free time and study halls. Students appreciate the extra time and the caring approach. They feel safe and heard. Having these hoodies would create a sense of pride for all they have gone through and continue to deal with, but would identify them as students inspired by positive interaction who want the same approach for all students. This group is not therapy, nor a medical group, but we share hope for making our school a positive place.
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