Giving Back Thursdays — Sources of Strength

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By — Mia Parada

This year has shown to be a year to remember, not only are we in the midst of a pandemic, we are also seeing a boiling point for human rights in America. With all of the challenges, we are seeing more people step forward to help their fellow community members in numerous ways. So the focus here is to take a closer look at those members of our community who are helping in extraordinary ways, giving a shout out to those who are doing their part to make a difference in these challenging times. 

Giving Back Thursdays

This week The Pack caught up with Sources of Strength, a nationwide outreach program/club that has made its way to Tuscarora. Sources of strength is a strength based program that is all about sucide prevention and mental health awareness. One of the main focuses is individual strength and preventative measures that students can gain to have a great year. Last year was the club’s first year at Tuscarora and even through the hardship of distance learning, the club is still in full swing giving out the message of hope, help, and strength. I sat down with Benjamin Fernandez, Tuscarora’s school psychologist and advisor for Sources of Strength, and Lataja Allen, an intern for Ferndandez, for an interview. 

When asked about what their message is this is what Fernandez had to say. “We are pushing these messages out, and we are a relatively new club and that there is hope and we have strength. And it’s about being those connectors. A lot of kids can get help they need through their adult advisors. It’s important to have people know that they are not the only ones who are struggling. Knowing that they are not alone.” In Sources of strength they push out messages every week in advisory but also are looking for more ways to implement the club in Tuscrora’s community. Sources of Strength is not only a program to help students with preventive measures, but also an inclusive club who tries to create connections between students, and also teachers. 

“We are still going to be pushing those messages, we are trying to get through each strength. So right now we are talking about positive friends. And today I am meeting with some of our students to talk about friendship and positivity with friends. For the return to school we are trying to establish connection. One of the biggest challenges is people being connected.” When going back to school Sources of Strength will be trying to reestablish the connection between students and faculty/teachers. This time has been challenging for everyone, however knowing that the individuals in the Tuscarora community are not alone is what can make this situation better for everyone. 

When asked about what the club entails, here’s what Fernandez said, “The adult advisors coordinate the program, support the teen, and they are these trusted adults in case kids need anything. Also their role models/mentors who are promoting the message of hope, help and strength. The students are steering the ship. It’s been a long time since I have been in high school. Our students act as connectors, reaching out promoting with that message of hope, help, and strength through a variety of initiatives. Last year we had healthy activities and our thankful initiatives.” Sources of Strength works with students to help prevent these harder days and getting through this hard year together as a community. It’s important to know that this club is in Tuscarora and that the Tuscarora community is here to help students during these difficult times and that we can persevere through all of this. With hope, help, and strength we can get through the pandemic together. Check out Sources of Strength’s website to join.