Haben, an 8th grader at Sequoyah Middle School, initially found Communities In Schools through her friends, as several of them were involved in services. Her friend group was often wrapped up in drama that would pull them out of class and require multiple meditations from our School outreach Coordinator, Alicia Vasey-Nielson, to sort out.
After getting connected with Communities In Schools, Haben started to take on more leadership roles at Sequoyah. She started by getting involved in WE Act Club where she took a leadership role in creating and implementing community service projects. She has a passion for helping people and making the world a better place. Haben also took a leadership role in the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance).
She started taking a more active role in mediations by offering to help bring her friends in before the drama blew up too badly. Haben began to learn a lot from participating in mediations and made an effort to apply what she learned to help her friend group stay out of drama. She successfully mediated several peer conflicts throughout the year and used skills she learned to mediate her own friendship conflicts without adult help.
Haben stepped into many leadership roles while working with CIS and utilized her strengths to begin addressing the areas that were a struggle for her. She was able to do a lot of self-reflection with our School Outreach Coordinators around the behaviors she had that were helpful and not so helpful, and she made a lot of progress in striving to be the best leader and friend she could be once she learned from her mistakes. The goal of our School Outreach Coordinators is always to empower students with the skills they need to succeed on their own. From being easily wrapped into friendship drama, to trying to prevent it from happening in the first place, to mediating her own conflicts and even helping others to mediate theirs, Haben has grown tremendously and is empowered with skills that she will carry with her well into adulthood.