Peer Counselors plan Health Fair

On September 8, junior Aaliyah Victoria and senior Miles Tobitt held a peer counselor meeting in room 916. They discuss plans for the Health Fair that will take place at Bonita Vista High after spring break. (Angelina Ruckman)

Mental and physical pain naturally make a big impact on everyone and their daily lives. The two pains have a neurological pathway; which is harmful towards the mind and the body. At Bonita Vista High (BVH) the Peer Counseling program has taken part in helping with this physical and mental pain by bringing back Health Fair which will occur after spring break in 2023.

“Peer counseling is becoming a big school wide program in which we train students for hours to become peer counselors,” BVH Peer Counselor President and senior Miles Tobitt said. “These students lead large support groups and meet with struggling students one-on-one [in order to] help them work through emotions and create a comforting and supportive environment.”

Currently BVH Peer Counselor and junior Aaliyah Victoria and Tobitt are in charge of the preparations for this Health Fair. This event is held to show both students and parents about the importance of properly managing mental and physical pain and in order to help us have a better understanding of healing.

“When we think about Health Fair we have to think about wellness and that includes what we eat, the amount of exercise we get and our social and emotional health,” BVH Principal Roman Del Rosario said.

Over the years, society shifts and people change based on what they’re dealing with and it eventually manifests itself in unhealthy ways. This is why the preparations for Health Fair are beneficial and are important for students at BVH.

“The planning of Health fair will go into effect soon. Preparations for the Health Fair will probably start within this month and we have lots of plans we want to put into action,” Tobitt said.

Tobitt and Victoria recently had a meeting on Sept. 6, with the ASB Advisor Patricia Pérez, Assistant Principal Jason Josafat and Principal Dr. Roman Del Rosario. They discussed the plans they have for BVH and how they manage the planning together.

“We just reviewed the big picture or vision of the event,” Del Rosario said. “The conclusion to the meeting was [that] the students had to come up with a detailed plan to present it to our faculty advisory in October.”

Although the preparations for Health Fair were held back due to the acceptance of moving forward with this event, the ideas of planning for Health Fair didn’t end there. Victoria and Tobitt check in with each other with ideas and updates for the event.

“We usually meet after school every other Friday and that’s where all the peer counselors share their ideas and from there Miles and [I] would discuss,” Victoria said.

Often these discussions were short. However, the meaning behind it had a greater purpose. The discussions helped them brainstorm and add to their own ideas.

“During meetings we discuss our plans for the school. We discuss support groups and how those run,like volunteer events, and other matters associated with peer counseling as a large and growing program at the school,” Tobitt said.

However, at BVH the last Health Fair was held over a decade ago. This created the opportunity to have new, bright and fresh ideas. Victoria and Tobitt are excited to put their updated ideas into action for the new and improved Health Fair after years.

“I heard about how Health Fair was [held the last time it happened] and I thought it was poorly planned out and not put together well,” Tobitt said. “I wanted to completely revolutionize the idea–I want to make it a big school wide event, and that has required me to think outside the box a lot.”

Tobitt and Victoria want this to be a new way to spread the program and help Peer Counseling share an event to help others in need. So far everything that they have done has gone smoothly. With all the planning going on, the event should be held in either April or May of 2023.

“Putting the vision and thoughts onto paper and being able to think it out is a methodical process. Being able to plan it helps us make it what we want to make it. That’s part of the goal for Health Fair, to plan it out and be able to put that into reality” Tobitt said.

The planning has not only been beneficial to Health Fair, but it has created new steps for Victoria and Tobitt to help students and adults take advantage of Peer Counseling to seek support, as both groups are related to each other.

“Health fair is something that is really important to me because being in the program I get to help people but the main thing that I want is for people to reach out to me,” Victoria said.