You Belong Kicks Off at December Event
The transition from elementary to middle school can be difficult for some students. You Belong is a youth-led initiative designed to support students through this transition. The project liaison, Mike Ferrer, works with adult mentors and students from participating schools with the support of the MHARS Board.
You Belong is designed to support schools interested in increasing the number of students that feel connected to peers and teachers with the understanding that increasing belongingness and decreasing the number of students who experience isolation and alienation, can reduce the risk of suicides. Further, You Belong provides an opportunity for youth to take a leadership role in creating a school climate in which every student understands that he or she belongs.
On December 6, students and mentors from each school involved in the initiative came together at the Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain County Community College for the You Belong Kickoff Event. At this event, roughly nine students from each school and their mentors participated in activities aimed at developing engagement and leadership skills. At the event, Ferrer and his team facilitated multiple activities to prepare students for their roles in You Belong.
The MHARS Board of Lorain County is providing financial support for nine schools this school year. The schools include:
- Longfellow Middle School (Lorain)
- Johnnie Wilson Middle School (Lorain)
- Southview Middle School (Lorain)
- Midview Middle School (Grafton)
- Brookside Middle School (Sheffield)
- Durling Middle School (Lorain)
- North Ridgeville Academic Center (North Ridgeville)
- Learwood Middle School (Avon Lake)
- Keystone Middle School (LaGrange)
By Kaeli Moody