School-Based Health Centers: Here for the Kids
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School-Based Health Centers: Here for the Kids

I signed up for college. My situations in this school were just…they were not good. I think that we have this ability to
create a safe space for kids that sometimes are really struggling. Sometimes kids come in to see us for the
most basic medical needs, you know they need a sports physical because they need it right now, they need it for tomorrow, sometimes they need their vaccines, quite
often they need their vaccines. School-Based Health Center meant to me as a sort of support that I really needed during my time in high school with all
the high school drama and also everything you go through as a teenager. These kids need to learn how to navigate
and how to access services, but all through high school they’re learning how
to utilize the services, they’re learning the language they need, they’re
learning what it is they deserve in terms of healthcare. Eliminate that
barrier to care because so many of the kids I see for therapy would not be able
to access therapy. In some ways the School-Based Health Centers are the
perfect integrated primary care and behavioral health program. They’re trusted, skilled professionals who can meet the students wherever they are to help them
get what they need, and most importantly they do all of that with a significant
amount of heart. I have a senior that I’ve been working
with since she’s a freshman, and she has had a lot of barriers. She struggled with
homelessness, trauma, you know she umm… We lost one of our students in
community violence about two years ago and that was very difficult, and she said
to me, umm, she’s talking about graduating, “I want to get thank you notes to write
thank yous to everybody that helped me”. And we talked about who those people
are, and so I got a note and it said, you know, thank you for all your
help, and it said I know sometimes I was rude I was just scared. Medicine is the easy
part in all this, it’s building them up so that they feel
like they are wonderful, responsible people, because they all are. There’s there’s no such thing as a bad
kid. Having her here and having her listening to me, I feel like that’s one of the things
that actually got me to just keep on going. I just wanted to be someone in life. I have
a little sister I wanted to be a good role model for her. Just by me staying in
school and by her seeing me graduating it’s a lot for her. And then she’s
going to want that too. She’s going to want that cap and gown. She’s going to want that, you know, she’s going to want everything that she’s going to see on me.

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