Olga: Creating a Safe Space for Students
Experiences of social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic have created unprecedented challenges for students and families, highlighting the need for social-emotional learning more than ever. Students like Olga did their best to help their friends reengage and have a safe space to share how they felt about the issues they were facing inside and outside of school.
Olga has been with Communities In Schools® (CIS™) of Los Angeles (CISLA) since her freshman year of high school. Like thousands of her peers, Olga had a hard time during school closures due to Covid-19. This year, as she returned to the classroom for her senior year, Olga had an idea that she hoped would bring her peers together.
She decided to start a club like the clubs she had been a part of with CISLA. In this club, she wanted to focus specifically on recovering from the pandemic with topics like mental health, physical health, and maintaining connections with people you love. She called this new group ‘The Self-Love Club.’ Site Director, Max Figueroa, was thrilled and encouraged her initiative.
In late September, Olga stationed herself at her High School club rush event, where she spent her lunch period enthusiastically pitching her idea to the students who stopped by her table. After the event ended, Mr. Max stopped by and asked her how everything went.
With a big smile, Olga responded, "I got 17 students to join my club!"
The CISLA team is so proud of Olga. She recognized that there were other students who felt the same way she did while schools were closed due to COVID-19. She took initiative and demonstrated great leadership to create this platform at her school, so that more students can have a community that they rely on and a safe space to share their thoughts and feelings.
While our team credits Olga for her compassion, initiative and leadership, we would also like to believe that the years of support that we’ve provided Olga is blossoming in a profoundly beautiful way this year. This Winter, Olga has been applying to several schools in the University of California system. This CISLA student is certainly ready to graduate and make her mark in the world!