Summer Awareness Work in Westchester

Summer is an interesting time at Safe At Home. While our students aren’t in school and counseling isn’t in session, many of our counselors take the time over summer to review the year that’s passed and prepare for the new school year to come – taking trainings, updating material, and more. But that’s not all that our counselor at Peekskill Middle School did over her summer!

Maura’s school received a small grant so that she could do more community-based work over the summer. She partnered with the Peekskill Youth Bureau and worked with 75 young people ages 10-15 all summer long. She led workshops that taught many of the things we share in our Margaret’s Place program, focusing especially on peer pressure and bullying. The young people engaged in role plays to highlight the different ways that people can pressure others – both verbally and non-verbally.

She also led workshops on healthy dating relationships and other forms of abuse that someone can experience from friends and family as well. Participants took part in interactive activities to help them identify types of abuse. They also created a mural that highlighted each person’s rights in all of their relationships.

The Peekskill Youth Bureau also partnered with Peers Influencing Peers Partnership, a media company that specializes in short documentary videos on sensitive topics that impact young adults and teens. Maura helped them create two public service announcements about bullying prevention and drug use prevention. Her participants were able to take an active role in the video process – helping on stage crew, directing, acting, or writing a script.

Special thanks to the Peekskill Youth Bureau for their partnership and advocacy work, Westchester Jewish Community Services (our local partner agency at our Westchester school locations), and to our counselor Maura!