“I want to send a special “Thank You” from the Student Health Center’s Youth Advisory Council.  They were awarded a Best Bet grant from the Peabody Education Foundation.  The monies paid for an educational field trip to the State House in Boston for Massachusetts Community Health Center Awareness Day on April 13, 2016.
The students received advocacy training from the CEO, Maggie Brennan, of North Shore Community Health Center prior to the visit.  She spoke with the students about the state legislative process and how funds are directed to community programs.  They designed t-shirts, created a power point presentation and table display for the Awareness Day.  They even met with Mayor Bettencourt a week prior to the trip and got his advice on how to advocate for a cause with passion and purpose.  Students shared their stories with Representative Ted Speliotis and also Scott Ahern from the Governor’s Office.  They spoke from the heart about how important the Frederick E. Berry Student Health Center at PVMHS is to them and their fellow students.  Representative Tom Walsh visited with the students here at the school last week because he could not meet with them at the State House as planned.  Representative Speliotis dropped by that day as well to say Hello.
This group has blossomed into an amazing youth council.  They come from all different groups of the school: the band, the hockey team, the artists, the National Honor Society, track, the students that feel left out, the students that aren’t involved in other clubs.  No one is turned away and no students need to meet an academic standard.  In this group they come together almost every week and do some incredible things for their school.  They started with an anti-stress campaign in the fall, during the holidays they focused on “making the school look pretty”  (their words) by beginning an inspirational snowflake activity to decorate the school cafeteria windows.  They wanted to make sure that each student was recognized on Valentines Day, so they strung 1609 paper valentines in the cafeteria to represent the number of students enrolled in the school.  They made green ribbons for School Based Health Center Awareness month and passed them out to fellow students and encouraged them to visit the Student Health Center for a tour.  They are in the process of making a commercial in the school TV studio about the health center, and also planning a fun “count down to the last days of school”  by making origami flowers.
Without the Best Bet grant from the Peabody Education Foundation, this trip would not have been possible.  Truly, on behalf of the students and staff of the Student Health Center… Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!  This was a trip they will never forget.”