Last week, I had the exciting opportunity to visit the Balboa Teen Health Center, located at Balboa High School. After about a 30 minute BART ride to Balboa Park, and a short 7 minute walk, I found myself at Balboa High School, a beautiful campus, with long hallways and a huge open courtyard, bustling with activity. I had to maneuver my way through the maze that makes up any school but in no time, I made it to the center, where I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Kim Tucker, a registered nurse who works at the health center. She gave a fellow peer and I a short tour, showing us the various parts of the center as well as the services each provides to the youth of the school. Afterwards, we were able to sit down for a short while and ask questions about the teen health center.
Throughout the entirety of my visit, I was taken aback by how wonderful a resource this was for the students of this school. Here, these students are provided a safe space where they can seek help for their physical, mental and emotional health, at the convenient location of their campus. I was uplifted by what an impact the members of the health center have on the students of this school. These kids love going there, not only because they get some time out of class, but also because they feel like it is a safe, helpful and overall great place to be. I think this is such a crucial resource for the school-age population, because the teenage years are a time in their lives that can break them and can shape them, and they need all the support they can get.
This visit was a wake up call to me. I know personally that teenagehood is a rough time, and high school is not always the most comfortable experience, but it never occurred to me there was anything people could do to fix that. Now that I am aware that these health centers are around and are so fantastically maintained, I am inspired to be part of this service that has such a positive effect on youth. If you are in high school, I highly recommend you to seek out health centers in your area if you are ever having trouble or feeling troubled, because they will definitely lend an ear and support if no one else will. And if you don’t know of any health centers at your local schools, I urge you to ask your educators and board members to push to establish one, because I now know that it is an asset to the security and well being of teenage students in school, a tough place that many youth struggle through. But I believe these health centers are directly contributing to a more comforting and supportive school environment, one that someday, all students can enjoy.
This blog post was written by Sharonya Shrivastava.