Partnership to benefit at-risk students

Last year, Presidio School partnered with Helping EveryDay Youth to address the social and emotional needs of its at-risk students and provide them with the services they need to succeed.

Helping EveryDay Youth (HEDY) provides a variety of community and school-based treatment programs that address the external behaviors of youth.

HEDY and Presidio School, a low-income school in Tucson, partnered in spring of 2018 to help the school’s students who are struggling socially and emotionally.

“We’ve had students from a lot of difficult situations,” Dr. Mark Saliba, Presidio principal, said.  “And we know that even in general in the student population, there’s a high number or a high percentage of students with social and emotional needs that go beyond the training that we have here on staff to manage and to treat and to handle.”

Some students who face social and emotional issues at school leave campus when they are supposed to be in class, or they act out and have to be removed from class.

Presidio and HEDY want all students to receive classroom instruction, and HEDY’s services are in place to make that happen.

“We built programs around helping teachers to help the kids. If there’s a kid that’s disrupting the class or needs to be talked to or anything like that, we try to provide those services to those kids and just try to help them,” Chris Wilcox, HEDY CEO, said.

HEDY is committed to helping children thrive by providing education, mentoring, community support, supplies, tool and donations.

“What makes our partnership with Helping EveryDay Youth so unique is that they are willing to be our partner with the family and come into the school to help the students with the real-life situations,” Maria Morones, Presidio director of student services, said. “So, let’s say a student is struggling in the moment, HEDY is there.”

HEDY currently has a staff member at Presidio that checks in with the students the organization helps. It also offers students after-school activities and academic services.

Morones said HEDY has been a resource to help students with social and emotional needs.

“We started up that partnership and we feel like it’s making it possible for students to actually stay in school and learn and be able to move forward through some of the difficulties that they face.”

In addition to the school services HEDY provides, the organization works to address the external behaviors of youth in the community, especially those who are underserved.

“A large part of HEDY is going into their environments and changing their environment,” Delton Devose, HEDY supervisor, said.

He explained that when an organization takes a child or youth to a different community, “the kid still has to come back to where they live. How do they survive in that environment?”

Rather than taking children and youth to higher-income communities to engage in activities, HEDY encourages children and youth to get involved in their community in a positive manner.

Sierra Ciaramella

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