Health Ambassadors’ advocate in Albany

Casi Knorr

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On February 11th, the Curtis High School Health Ambassadors Club went on a trip to Albany. The  Health Ambassadors are most recognizable by the stands they set up in the lunchroom. If you’ve seen the tables set up about autism awareness or mental health that’s the Health Ambassadors. This club acts as a bridge between the health center and the students, they help the center know what the students need and how to best accommodate those needs. The ambassadors discuss different topics such as self harm or relationship violence. Nicole Fonseca, a member of the club, said, “We discuss the different problems facing teens and make people aware that the health center is there for them.”

The health center gets funds from the city. That’s what prompted this trip to Albany. Daniela Paolino, another member, explained that, “the trip to Albany was to speak with our senators and tell them what’s going on in school and why the health center is important so we can get money grants. The grants will go to promoting and improving the health center. The grants  fund the center and keeps it free and open to the public.” It’s slightly surprising that this club that many haven’t heard of plays such a big part in the  school. Ms. Brianna, an advisor of the club, discussed why this funding is so important, “It goes towards us operating because we see people regardless of income, immigration status or insurance, so we need funds to pay the people who work here and the supplies, and that all comes from the budget of New York.” Many students use the health center regularly and it is a big help with not only physical, but mental issues.

       The ambassadors are not only advocating for the health center in Curtis. They advocate for money to go to 250 health centers all over New York State. With this visit,  they asked the state for a sum $5,000,000 to go to these centers. Since they attend these meetings, it increases the chances of more grants and funding in the budget. “One representative who just got elected verbalized that he was really impressed by the students in the club and was interested in the funding. We’re lucky that the people who represent us appreciate the students who come all the way out there to support the health centers. The money is going to go to what the students here need most,” said Ms. Brianna.

The health center plays such a big part in our school community, so the work of the Health Ambassadors is very crucial.

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