The Pacific Times | The Only Student-Run News Website in Natomas

New Social Emotional Youth Program Planned

By Alexis Kobane
Staff Writer | The Pacific Times

A new social and emotional youth program called “Giving Voice to Youth Well-Being” is starting at NP3 High School next week.

Dr. Meagan O’Malley is coming to NP3 High School Feb. 23 for the “Giving Voice to Youth Well-Being” program to discuss what well-being means with the school’s freshmen and sophomores.

O’Malley is an associate professor at Sacramento State University, where she has worked for the past six years. She is a nationally certified school psychologist and licensed educational psychologist with a Ph.D. in counseling, clinical and school psychology.

The “Giving Voice to Youth Well-Being” program is focused on the social health of the younger students at NP3 High School. There will be weekly meetings for the students to discuss what well-being means to themselves and what challenges a student’s ability to be in good health.

The goal of the program is “to build students’ knowledge and communication about what it means to be well, to improve awareness of policies and practices that promote or interfere with students’ well-being, and to build skills for students to take action to improve their own well-being,” said O’Malley.

The program was originally open to sophomores only, but it has recently been opened up to freshmen and sophomores.

NP3 High School is getting the opportunity to be a part of this program because of Jeremy Greene, NP3’s school psychologist, who was a past student of O’Malley.

Greene said he is excited for this program to start. He believes that students will enjoy taking part in this.

“Outside of advisory, I’m not sure if there are other opportunities within the school framework to talk about: How am I feeling? What am I going through?” Greene said.

Tony Thurmond, California’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction recognizes that the pandemic has impacted the youth both physically and mentally. He recently started “A Trusted Space” program in California schools to help students with the effects of the pandemic which is similar to the “Giving Voice to Youth Well-Being” program planned for NP3 High School.

The weekly meetings are planned to start in person on Wednesdays beginning Feb. 23. They will meet after school every Wednesday for 10 weeks from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Students may still sign up for the program with their parent or guardian’s permission. These students are being offered two $15 Amazon gift cards for joining and completing the program.

Contact O’Malley ([email protected]) or Greene ([email protected]) for any questions or if you are interested in participating.

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