Posts Tagged Brentwood


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Brentwood: One big, happy…group? MS & HS!

Brentwood: One big, happy…group? MS & HS!

Brentwood High School is no stranger to the Stand Together program and we were thrilled to hear that they would be teaming up with their middle school students this year to create one large Stand Together team!

 

IMG_8250Since we had middle and high school working together, we did three days of training. The first day was only middle schoolers, who had never been in Stand Together before. I cannot even begin to tell you how impressed I was with these students! Not only were they extremely knowledgeable, they were also emotionally mature. They all asked questions that were thoughtful and weren’t afraid to voice their opinions, even if they differed from others. It was such a pleasure getting to know each student and seeing how excited they were for the upcoming year (especially working with the high schoolers).

 

The second day of training was just with the high school students. Many of them had been in Stand Together previously, so it was nice to see returning students. Much of the discussion was IMG_8291very personal and heartfelt, which showed me how much the students trusted each other. By the end of the day, I felt like I had learned so much from this group.

 

The third day of training was a combined project planning with the middle and high school students. This was my first time doing a combined training, so I was a bit nervous as I did not know what to expect. We began to brainstorm ideas that were applicable to both middle and high schoolers. The students decided on doing a 1-in-4 toolkit and a Lemonade for Change toolkit. Once they had their main ideas and goals laid out, we broke the entire group (middle and high school), into two groups. Those two groups then worked on their specific toolkit. At the end of the day, we all came back together and shared our ideas to receive feedback. Each group had such different projects that all related to the Stand Together goals!

 

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I want to thank you, Brentwood, for allowing me to come in and work with both the middle and high school students. You were all so passionate and really cared about this project. I can’t wait to see your creative ideas put into action!

 

Written by Lacey, Project Trainer

 

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Helping Students Realize their Potential: National School Counselor's Week

Helping Students Realize their Potential: National School Counselor's Week

School counselors not only prepare students for life beyond the confines of the middle/high school, but also provide support and encouragement. More and more, school counselors are the adult a student turns to when they find they need help. The American School Counselor Association states that “school counselors help students focus on academic, career, and social/emotional development so students can achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society” (ASCA). Some of the other things counselors are…2-8-17 NSCW poster
Caring
Organized
Understanding
Nurturing
Supportive
Empowering
Leaders
Optimistic
Reliable

Today, school counselors are some of the most important and prominent members of a school’s faculty. They’re caring, compassionate, and genuinely concerned with the well being of the children they deal with. Social, behavioral, mental, and emotional problems are also often addressed by school counselors as well. For instance, school counselors will often help students who are struggling academically; being bullied by peers; abuse drugs or alcohol; or experiencing abuse or other problems at home. School counselors might also help students who are dealing with issues such as low self-esteem and time management.

Some of our Stand Together advisors are school counselors or are employed in that capacity in our schools.

2-8-17 Ms. Cap-Linda Capozzoli, Brentwood High School: Brentwood has participated in Stand Together for 3 years now. The director of Special Education for the district had requested the school get involved in the project and they have had great success. For several years the group has also worked together with the video production team to create informative PSA’s for suicide prevention and Stand Together itself.

-Bryan McCarthy, Arsenal Middle School: Arsenal has also been involved with Stand Together for 3 years. Initially the program was under the direction of the school social worker, Monica Tillman, but has since been facilitated by Mr. McCarthy. Mr. McCarthy actually works for Communities in Schools. A CIS Site Coordinator works inside schools to assess needs and deliver necessary resources. These Coordinators are consistent, caring adults whose job is to support students to succeed, whether it be in the classroom or dealing with something outside of their control or in their environments.2-8-17 Ms. Dojo

-Stacie Dojonovic, Ph.D., Fox Chapel Area High School: This is Fox Chapel’s first year with Stand Together. Ms. Dojonovic is the Transition Facilitator at the school, but is also a LPC, a licensed professional counselor. She also advises the school’s Best Buddies program, an inclusion initiative with special emphasis on students with disabilities. Having both programs in their school affords Fox Chapel an unique opportunity to combat stigma from multiple perspectives as well as partner to increase their impact on the student body.

Thank you, School Counselors (and like professionals!) for all you do for our students, schools and communities. Stand Together appreciates your committment to meeting each individual where they are and helping them to be the best they can be!

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Brentwood HS: Come Together, Stand Together

Brentwood HS: Come Together, Stand Together

Students from Brentwood HS were the perfect combination! We ask our advisors to choose a ‘grab bag’ of representative students: leaders, people with first person experience, and compassionate teens. Separately, you would find them as different as night and day, but together, they became a ‘force to be reckoned with!’

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Activities like Ships & Sailors really help to break down barriers as students explore isolation, abandonment, and exclusion as well as the difficulty of navigating symptoms of MI/SUD and trying to continue living before getting help…and there’s always plenty of ‘selfies’ involved as students chronicle their journeys through the workshop and project.

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We’ve also found that having a ‘person with lived experience’ or someone in recovery or affected by a mental illness really helps the teens understand the struggles of someone with a mental illness. All of our trainers are people living with mental illness and the students learn that we can be just as successful and live happy, healthy, fulfilled lives just like our ‘typical’ peers.

Project planning is the hard part. There’s so many things to remember…
-it’s not always quantity, but quality!
-what will be the most meaningful for my peers?
-it’s not always easy, it’s not always fun, but it’s always important!

But by the end of the day, the students came together as a unified force to stop stigma and we had a ton of fun along the way!

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