During the busy holiday season it is easy to become so focused on our own preparations and celebrations that we forget about those who may not be looking forward to their holiday break at home. Students can be at risk for many reasons, including living in unstable or violent households, living in poverty, or experiencing homelessness. How can these students best be supported through the holiday season?
GlobalED staff make an effort to get to know the students in their care, and they encourage anyone who wants to help to do the same. They advise talking with students in a non-threatening and casual way to get to know them before they are under stress or in a crisis. Let them talk about their lives and their emotions, both positive and negative. Don’t pass judgment, just be there to listen and validate their feelings. If you already have a relationship with a student, you will be more likely to see changes in their daily behavior that show that they may need help.
GlobalED staff familiarize themselves with the resources available in their communities. They understand that one person can make a difference, but one person cannot do everything themselves. Know where students can go for a hot meal, a place to stay for the night, help with groceries, counseling services, and many other services. However, giving a student a phone number or an address is not enough. Students may need help making the initial contact. Whether it is in person or over the phone, a caring adult can be right there with a student, helping and encouraging them to communicate with those who can help them.
Our at-risk youth need us to be there for them at the holiday season, but they also need to know they can depend on us year-round. GlobalED staff know to follow up with students and check in with them throughout the year, providing that support that is crucial to a student’s success. Helping at risk students is not a “one and done” proposition. At-risk students need adults they can count on, and at GlobalED Solutions, every staff member strives to be that adult in the lives of the students in their care.