In partnership with United Way of Grant County, Lark's Song has been serving the Mississinewa High School and R.J. Baskett Middle School's Natural Helpers programs since September 2017. This includes monthly group training and coaching sessions at each school, as well as two retreats for new members.
The focus of Natural Helpers is to "Build a Better - Self, School, Community and World," and participant surveys indicated that they desired stress management skills and ways to help and lead their peers. Because of this focus and participant needs, we concentrated on Building a Better You for the first semester. The focus was on Building a Better School and Community during the second semester.
There are 97 Natural Helpers – 67 high school students and 30 middle school students. There were also 9 adult/teacher volunteers that were trained by Lark’s Song at the Natural Helpers retreats.
Through guided exercises and experiences, students were able to make significant ground in their personal and social development. With no doubt there has been a significant impact through the Natural Helpers on their families and friends, and specifically at school.
In the final Natural Helpers training for this school year, students talked about the difference between meeting a need through the elimination of a threat versus the presence of a vision for something better. “Peace in ourselves and our school environment” is their vision for a better future. Their courageous vision cares for both the elimination of threat and the flourishing of human souls.
We are incredibly grateful for the support of United Way of Grant County and are looking forward to a continued partnership in 2018 with them and our other collaborators in this project. It is only because of their investment and belief in students that we are able to see the impact that comes from strengthening and empowering young leaders.
There is something unique to be learned and valued from each of these students' feedback. When we take time to understand the world around us, Whether it is our workplace, classroom, or inside our homes - there is so much to discover. With each seemingly small discovery we unlock a pathway to make a difference in our own lives and the lives of those around us. What are your areas of influence? How should you take ownership and care of yourself today so that you can be a better resource in your community? Big or small, how can you make a change today?