Students are more aware of their mental health than ever – with social media, awareness campaigns, and celebrities publicly speaking out about their challenges, young people are seeking support and treatment at a record-breaking rate. We need to incorporate mental health support and awareness into the curriculum at our schools, discuss it on a regular basis, and make sure everyone is aware of the resources at their disposal. Furthermore, every campus must have at least one counselor on staff to help students through difficult times and support them in achieving an education.
Recently, administrators from a local school announced with great excitement that they had fully implemented a mental health program on their campus. However, when LaShé looked deeper, she found that they hadn’t even hired a full-time counselor yet. She intends to learn about what the student experience is truly like – by attending school events, talking to students, and having a real presence on campus.
With this presence comes a great deal of oversight. LaShé is prepared to continue her research and expose inaction on the part of the school board. As a career policy wonk and expert in oversight, LaShé knows that it’s easy to look good on paper while neglecting what’s truly important.
Unfortunately, there are many un-prepared and under-prepared high school students who are urged into a four year institution without insight on other pathways to success. Many of these students would flourish in a technical program, at community college, or even entering a trade. As a child, LaShe recalls her parents describing the advantages of woodshop, auto shop, and metal shop. Most of these options are not readily available to today’s students. Once we restore these hands-on technical courses, more students will find a career path where they truly shine.
Connecting our students to opportunities that will enhance their academic, technical and social skills. LaShé intends introduce the Future Leaders Program – a monthly seminar for high school juniors and seniors where they learn about financial literacy, community engagement, public speaking, and career/technical education. LaShé is prepared to bring her real-world experience working with students into the school board and make sure our youth are fully prepared to enter a modern economy.