We put the “WE” in “WELLNESS”
Categories: Advocacy, Linked Learning, Wellness Centers
July 21, 20015 — By Juliane Nguyen
For the past couple of days, I had the pleasure working with a group of amazing Linked Learning students from Manual Arts, Hawkins, Huntington Park and Fremont High School. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a high school classroom and so much has changed! On my first day with the students, we discussed their experiences in high school, common health issues they learned and/or may have encountered, and barriers to accessing health services. I asked whether or not they have ever been inside their school’s wellness center and I found out that although the students were aware of the center and certain health services, but nearly half of them have not set foot inside their own wellness center. As a result, we toured the Manual Arts Wellness Center and the students had an opportunity to ask questions. To their surprise, they didn’t realize the vast amount of services provided in their very own community, such as oral health care, reproductive/sexual health counseling, and mental health services. After the tour, the majority of them reported they would most likely return and refer their peers to the wellness center.
During my second visit with the students, Nicole Ressa, Senior Director of Community Education and Training for the Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, presented a workshop on minor consent and youth rights. This workshop reinforced the importance of everyone’s roles in promoting health services, including students and community members, and how to be more proactive in the community. We covered as well as debunked a variety of misconceptions on health services, such as what it means to be healthy-physically, emotionally, and mentally, consent, confidentiality, and most importantly safety. The students are extremely inspirational and have taught me how to think creatively as well as compassionately. It truly has been an enlightening and educational experience to work with these amazing young individuals as well as partnering with them on promoting and educating others about health. I would like to personally thank the students for becoming great health advocates and making the world a better place.
Juliane Nguyen is recently graduated with her Masters in Social Welfare and is currently finishing her Masters of Public Health at UCLA. Her career goals include researching, planning, and advocating for holistic health through school-based health centers. This summer, Juliane is working as The L.A. Trust’s school health policy intern on the impact of school-based based health centers within LAUSD. Juliane has also received her B.S. in Health Science and B.A. in Asian American Studies at California State University, Fullerton.