What You See/Expect is Not All That There is to See/Expect

Shriner’s Hospital.  I was struck by the latest commercial – this is a great one:

and this came to hit home this past year.   I was lucky enough to witness the many many opportunities that Shriner’s Hospital offer as a chaperone for the Upward Bound program this summer – and Shriner’s showed the opportunities in careers for those graduating in the culinary field, medical field, X Ray field and more, aside from the magic that is worked in the carpentry and mechanical shop that design cool and trendy tools that help children walk, reach and more.  Aside from what I knew Shriner’s was known for – in helping so many individuals, children and adults alike.  Add to this repertoire the nurses we talked with and why they chose to work at Shriner’s versus a higher paid position at a comparable medical facility, but they in fact did get to travel abroad to share care to other countries as well, not just isolating the good work they are a part of in the Shriner’s Hospital alone – in this case Philadelphia.

Yet, the biggest surprise was to come – when I encountered a group called FIERCE.  I was intrigued that this program targeted young women and opened them up to the information that they need in today’s age – what they are capable of as women challenged in many various areas, as well as health, physical, and social – it sounded pretty awesome.

Over the next few weeks, I tossed the idea and despite the program being within a fifteen mile radius of the Philadelphia area, and not receiving the grant I wanted to facilitate the choice of bringing them outside that circle I wrote to the Shriner’s.  Thank yo Mark Bulson – he facilitated the go ahead. Thanks to Ms. Kotowski, she laid the plans to happen with out administrator Mr. Chase and Ms. Thompson.  Thanks to our Bay Health staff (Andrea Smith, Suzanne Chafin, Joanna White) nurse Dawn Ellis who had personal experience with BayHealth, our Technical crew members, our PE Trainer Chona Carmen, the WHS coaches, WHS teachers, a GREAT cafeteria staff, led by Terri Hartzell, and that was just the tip of what happened.  We managed to get this elite team of experts to WHS to visit:

Dr. Corinna Franklin, Dr. Bethany Lipa, Dr. Heather Russel, Melissa Cramer – Physician Assistant, Courtney Mullen – Physical Therapist, Mike Szymendera – Dietician

and the thought to involve local, within the area sources of help to compliment these services also hit me, and thank goodness, thanks to the help of Greenwood Librarian Donna Carter, La Red CAME to the school December 6th as well! and thanks to 

Gaby Perez, Lorina Sellers, Pamela White, Juanita Morales, Brian Rodriguez

from La Red- let me just tell you briefly and this says it all.  Several students asked to speak with the counselor Brian Rodriguez about various issues related to social/personal needs and broke down in tears needing to hear from even more support teams how and what they need to do to cope.  It was amazing to see how the call for help being provided from new faces could indeed reach them and direct them to the resources we do have in school already, and allowing these students to hear from a different voice, what they need to do (often this is all it takes, a fresh message and face to realize that is around them that can help!) – in fact – that was what was happening to me in seeing the impact of the FIERCE team and La Red together this day!

Also add to the day a senior was able to enhance their senior research project by interviewing one of the attending surgeons from Shriner’s, and the fact that a roomful of young ladies received a lot of info and accessories that opened their awareness of how strong and power they hold with the right proper health and view, a positive one of how THEY Themselves can hold themselves to a higher standard, and not relying on others alone to do that.

What would have happened if this would not have happened? One of the most powerful impacts of this visit was the way students views the individuals that work at the High School ; students were able to see the talents that instructors, coaches, nurses, Health professionals all serve in AND out of the classroom in providing resources that not only affect their academic needs, but their social, personal, and mental states to be as healthy as possible. Seeing such a need, and connecting our school with community resources that many do not realize exist, is part of the overall educating process. Putting out students in touch with these resources in one of many steps towards seeing what is not known or expected and being able to do so more in the future.  We were so lucky and privileged to have Shriner’s FIERCE team and La Red to be on hand to also show that to so many in need as well.


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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