Parkersburg High School Social Services Class Receives Top Honors at West Virginia Capitol | News, Sports, Jobs





On Monday, students from Nichole Liotti’s Social Services class made their way to the State Capitol where they were recognized for their hard work and dedication to community, recovery and service. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

PARKERSBURG — Many positive changes have been seen in the community since the start of the pandemic. One was instigated by Parkersburg High School social services teacher Nichole Liotti.

After seeing an increase in anxiety, depression, and isolation among teens, Liotti worked to include a new curriculum in his classes to benefit students, families, friends, and the community.

“This year we have expanded past life skills such as scholarship research and writing and worked to include life coaching skills,” she says.

On Monday, students from Liotti’s Social Services class made their way to the State Capitol, where they were recognized for their hard work and dedication to community, recovery and service. The students received their Youth Life Coaching and Recovery certificates and pins for completing their community service hours.

Liotti said PHS has been teaching social services and life skills for 18 years, however, this is the first year the school has incorporated youth recovery and life coaching into certifications, which has been eye-opening. students.

The students received their Youth Life Coaching and Recovery certificates and pins for completing their community service hours. (Photo provided)

Liotti said the course highlighted that. Even though everyone is different, they may have more in common than meets the eye, she said.

“We work to eliminate the stigma, because you never know what everyone’s life is like,” she says. “The pandemic has helped show us how everyone can be affected by trauma and everyone has a story.”

Madison Batten, a senior in the class, said that as a life coach, she and others in the course work with people to become the best versions of themselves. She said they accomplish this by removing barriers and impediments to change and giving people who are looking for support and resources to improve.

“For many of my students, it has shown them that they are not alone with traumas or difficulties, and by teaching them to help others, they are able to use the same skills and techniques to help themselves. themselves, their families and their communities”, Liotti said.

According to the West Virginia Recover/Life Coach Academy, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of young people seeking help for trauma, mental illness and addiction. By implementing this training in schools and using peers, more people can be helped.

“Youth life coaches speak the language of a younger generation and can have a significant impact on their access to resources and their long-term sustainable social and emotional well-being,” the Academy said in a press release about the program.

The course, offered by Greater Recovery and Community Empowerment, enables students to: “Explore social and emotional well-being; develop skills to improve relationships; describe the impact of stigma; explain the importance of active listening; applying motivational interviewing; explore many dimensions of change and coaching; discover attitudes about self-disclosure and sharing their story; explain asset-based community development; describe the stages of change and their applications, increase awareness of culture, power and privilege; explore trauma, ACEs, resilience, including growth mindset; resolving ethical and boundary issues; experience in goal setting and planning; describe advocacy and its importance and discover ways to deal with their own issues”.

Shaylen Miller, a senior PHS in the course, said she wanted to be a nurse.

“I want to work in an emergency room. I think life coach certification can help me connect better with people while caring for them,” she says.

With West Virginia Higher Education, the course also offers three college credits, a life coach/recovery coach certificate, CPR and naloxone training certifications, an invitation to be part of a nationwide coaching network state, ongoing coaching support, and continuing education opportunities.

While at the Capitol, the students met with local senators to promote youth life and recovery coaching as positive community outreach in local high schools and the community.

Madeline Scarborough can be reached at [email protected]




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