February has been a busy, and fulfilling month for the FEEST Fam! We had an amazing opportunity to meet with Aaron Garcia, the Board Representative for District 1 at Highline School District!
FEEST Youth Leaders prepped for this meeting by brainstorming key questions that students felt were vital to ask during this precious time with Aaron. Youth leaders had been surveying their peers at school for the past few months on the most pressing issues that students were facing. This helped them narrow the topic of the meeting with Garcia down to mental & emotional health because that was the most pressing topic based on the student survey:
Image is of our Survey Results, with over half of respondents indicating that the Lack of Mental, Emotional, & Physical health support is affecting their wellbeing.
Before chatting with Aaron, youth leaders led us through a Land Acknowledgment, everyone introduced themselves, the schools they go to, and then students shared personal experiences from their own lives on how their mental health and lack of resources impact their ability to learn at school.
Youth asked Aaron 5 major Questions:
- Who is in charge of providing mental health resources to students? Who should we be talking about this with?
- What are some ways that students are able to give feedback about the mental health resources available in the district? How are you implementing students’ feedback?
- Is there a plan to implement more mental health counselors in HSD? If so, when?
- What is the secret to being successful in convincing decision-makers to change the cultural/systemic ways of thinking? What are some ways to achieve this result?
- How are you making changes to accommodate students who need extra support outside of therapy or counseling?
As you can see, based on these questions, FEEST Leaders and Aaron were able to have a rich, in-depth discussion on students’ mental health, the resources they need to flourish at school, and the best ways to enact this change in our school district.
Image is of FEEST youth leaders with Aaron Garcia
FEEST wants to extend a warm thank you to Aaron, who is a thoughtful and inspiring member of our community, who blossoms at the opportunity to engage with youth and students in his district.
Thank you, Aaron!