Students create support group to help peers that are struggling with distance learning

Posted at 7:05 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 12:16:07-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Distanced learning can be a challenge for some students to not only pay attention but also can take a toll on their mental health, but a group of local highschoolers are trying to bring everyone closer at a time when we’re far apart.

The organization is a student support group called THRIVE which is entirely run by students and they are using zoom as a way to make students feel more connected.

“We just really wanted to come up with some way as students, how can we can contribute and help,” said Jayden Reyes Sarmiento, THRIVE leader.

It’s no secret distance learning has been a struggle for many students.

"The issues that our students have been facing is that there is a lack of emotional support mainly due to distance learning, being far away from friends and being able to communicate with them,” said Gerardo Bernal, THRIVE leader.

That’s why four Golden Valley High School Students came up with the idea to create a student support group to help their peers connect during the time of social distancing.

“We have our participants turn on their camera and their mics so that we are really engaged. It is a time that we actually see each other face to face," added Sarmiento.

They called the organization THRIVE, which stands for timing, honesty, respect, improve, valued, and engaged. Zoom meetings are held every week and deals with a different topic, either about school or mental health. Participants can send in discussion points anonymously so that everyone feels comfortable.

“The students that are consistent are really showing improvement and growth both academically and opening up to us emotionally,” said Sarmiento.

While the administration does help on occasion to keep everything on track, it is the students who are in full control of the support group.

“It was really there idea, there vision, there wish and desire to help there fellow colleagues and there fellow students,” said Paul Helman, principal of Golden Valley High School.

“The work that Jayden, Gerado, Manjot, and Juan are doing inspire us more, inspire us to be better administrators,” said Kyle Wylie, assistant principal Golden Valley High School.

For students that may also be struggling mentally and socially, the THRIVE team wants you to know that you are not alone.

“There are many out there that can help you and want to help you, not only just friends, family, teachers, there are many others who can help you with your issues, and you will get through them,” said Bernal.

The students behind THRIVE are working on making this support group district wide, so that they can help even more students.