St. Lucie West Centennial High School students recently donated $2,500 to New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee to support mental health and addiction recovery programs for children and adolescents.
The money was raised during CENTennial Cares Week, a campaign promoting compassion and kindness in tribute of the students and staff who lost their lives at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.
During CENTennial Cares Week, students handed out compliments, granted favors, went out of their way to say hello, filled bulletin boards with positive affirmations, and donated their “cents,” which can add up to make significant “change” in the world.
“There was such an outpouring of generosity,” said Amanda Bevacqua, a teacher and organizer of the inaugural event.
The large portion of funds – a whopping $700 – was donated by students in Kenneth Skurnick’s and Rebecca Davis’ classes.
In total, the students raised $1,250 during the CENTennial Cares Week. Those monies were matched by the Student Government, for a sizeable check of $2,500 to New Horizons for increased access to mental health care for students and the community.
“We know as a community of teachers that unless we have our students’ total health in mind, minimal learning will occur,” said Bevacqua, who added that she and her colleagues “know New Horizon’s services are essential to their students’ overall health.”
New Horizons is the most comprehensive mental health and substance abuse recovery agency in the region, with nine offices across four counties serving 14,000 children and adults, regardless of their ability to pay, according to New Horizons officials.
In fact, 57 percent of New Horizons clients have no source of income or insurance, yet as a nonprofit, no one is turned away due to lack of financial resources. Funds raised from groups like Centennial High School go directly to their care.
To learn more, visit www.nhtcinc.org or call 772-696-2729.
Lisa Rymer is chief development officer for New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee.
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