What Do We Do at Walnut Grove Secondary?
|The youth space we have at Grove|
I get to spend a lot of time working up at Walnut Grove Secondary School.
I’m there in partnership with the school to help provide emotional, relational, and practical support to their students. My connections there spill over into investment time outside of school and connecting them into our programs to facilitate deeper, life giving conversations.
The school has me set up with a room for teens to drop in on spares, their flex block (an all-school homework block), eat lunch in, or for me to work on planning and administration. I always keep my door open when I’m at the school, which means I always get interrupted whenever I sit down at my computer by a student, counsellor, or teacher - and that’s a very good thing.
Outside of my own hallway wanderings, I regularly get connected with students through the principals, counsellors, and some teachers. There is a lot of trust established between us and the school to the point where the staff will go out of their way to connect us with students
Just the other day I received this email from one of WGSS’ vice principals from a concerned parent of a student;
“I received your phone message and I think that our amazing youth worker, Jon Pue, would be a wonderful resource for us to tap into to help connect with your son ____ and give him someone to talk to and connect with. What is nice about this potential option is that Jon is not bound by the same dynamics of being a teacher at our school and this typically allows for a quicker building of trust and a willingness to share more freely. Jon is around our building a lot…I don’t mind making the initial introduction…and hopefully Jon and ____ can schedule regular times to meet.”
He goes on to ask for parental permission for me to be able to take him out for coffee during school hours and even goes as far to offer to pay for some of these coffees for us- all so this student can get the support that he needs.
There’s a common care for teens between Langley Youth Unlimited and Walnut Grove Secondary School- we both want to see them live healthy lives: physically, emotionally, mentally, intellectually, and spiritually. For me, I get to care for teens and meet them exactly where they’re at. For the school, they get the extra help they need in helping their students live healthy lives so that they can succeed. Amazing! Thank you for supporting us in this partnership.
- Jon Pue