The newest Identity-managed Wellness Center is now up and running at John F. Kennedy High School where staff are working tirelessly to introduce programs and services to the whole school community. Students flock to the center during lunchtime on Tournament Tuesdays for Mario Cart competitions, and on Wednesdays staff set up games in front of the cafeteria, where they meet students who might benefit from programs and services.
The Wellness Center hosted a lunch and open house for school staff the week before school started, and for families they ran a Kennedy Mercadito/Pop up Shop, a community closet event where families could choose donated clothing and food while learning how the Wellness Center could support their children’s success in school.
Wellness Center Manager Jess Cruz feels she has an amazing team and partners from 480 Club, Emerging Triumphantly and True Connection Counseling. “Everyone here is so creative. We are all trying different ways to engage students and make sure everyone in the school knows this is a safe place and an important resource.”
The Wellness Center is already running seven different curriculum-based programs with about 150 students focused on developing healthy relationships and boundaries, skills to manage difficult emotions, and, especially for newcomers, the skills necessary to thrive in a new country.
Identity manages five of Montgomery County’s high school-based Wellness Centers that work to build upon young people’s strengths and help them stay connected to school, leading to better economic and life outcomes. The Wellness Centers are operated in partnership with Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.