Earlier this month, MTN News followed up with East Middle School’s 8th grade counselor Carly Swingley.
Swingley used her One Class At A Time grant to purchase personal growth journals for a new student club at the school.
Twenty students were a part of ‘Girls Group’ this year. They talked through tough issues like anxiety, depression and relationships.
“What a healthy relationship looks like in terms of friendships and boyfriends, we talked about the grief cycle and how to conquer life and do it with confidence,” said Swingley.
“Even if nobody like knows how you feel, you can still have people to talk to and they’ll talk, and I learned that whatever happened to us isn’t completely permanent and we shouldn’t let it define who we are,” said 8th grade student Patience Geron.
Swingley said The Big Life Journals will help the girls follow up on their thoughts and feelings since ‘Girls Group’ has ended for the year.
“It was a good, safe spot. All the girls that were there wanted to be there, they picked the topics and we went with it so they were able to open up and explore things in a non-threatening environment,” said Swingley.
Students said they’ve learned valuable lessons and even made new friends because of the group.
“I’ve had help with like my social anxiety and stuff because I didn’t know most of the girls in my group but now I’ve gotten to open to up to more people,” said 8th grade student Kendall Heikens.
“The thing that stuck with me was learning how to deal with rumors and drama and learning how to not let it affect you in a negative way,” said 8th grade student Krissie Winney.
Swingley said she saw a need for a ‘girls only’ group and plans to help more young women gain confidence and work on issues through the club.
“(I want them to know) that there’s resources out there for anything they’re going through in life, whether it’s something now or when they get to being an adult there’s always resources and people to access to help out with anything that’s troubling them,” said Swingley.
For more on the One Class At A Time program, click here.