Watari’s S.T.A.R (Stop Think Assess Respond) Program for Kids has had many successful experiences teaching in schools around Greater Vancouver. One experience that stands recently is about a student who approached them after one of their sessions. She came to the S.T.A.R team asking for help and support around a friend that had recently started using substances.
The youth was very concerned about their friend as they are only twelve years old, and were starting to hang around older people. The fear, also, was that these friends were going to high school next year and may separate. Because the S.T.A.R Program allows the team to be in the school for several weeks, they are able to find out who this person can talk to in her school. Services were coordinated with administration staff in the school, a designated school counsellor and the youth’s parents were also informed.
Watari’s S.T.A.R program allows students to feel their issues are real and important. The first step in someone reaching out is to create a place of trust, and this is how the S.T.A.R team is able to reach so many students and hear their experiences.