The Watkins Mill High School Wellness Center is the backdrop for a far-reaching Bethesda Magazine article, “The Young Arrivals”, about teen immigrants to Montgomery County, and their story is told in part through the eyes of two Identity youth who fled their homelands.
Report Amy Halpern worked with the Identity-run Wellness Center to gain the trust and interview teen immigrants who opened up about their experiences.
We hope readers of Bethesda Magazine are inspired to welcome and help newcomers acclimate and thrive in their new community.
Identity is the lead agency at four of the county’s High School based Wellness Centers (at Gaithersburg, Seneca Valley, Watkins Mill and Wheaton High Schools), in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Public Schools and our partners: 480 Club, Emerging Triumphantly, EveryMind, and True Connection Counseling.
Identity is expecting to welcome and work with nearly 700 newcomer youth of all ages and their families and/or sponsors this year. The nature of the journey is such that they bring only what they can carry. So there is usually an urgent need for food and clothing, assistance with school enrollment and emotional support to process the trauma of the journey and reunify with family or integrate into non-parental guardian households.