NHS Life Skills Conference a success

Muzi Motors employees Jonathan Aleman, Chris Caceres, Marshall Tulley teach ‘Basic Car Care.’
NHS School Resource Officer Adrienne Anderson teaches students how to cook.

NHS School Resource Officer Adrienne Anderson teaches students how to cook.

Last week, the Substance Prevention Alliance of Needham (SPAN) partnered with Needham High School students, the Director of Needham Health & Wellness and BID-Needham Hospital to unveil the Needham High School Life Skills Conference, a three-day event that gave NHS seniors the chance to sign up for one-hour life skills workshops of their choice.

The idea started as a student project last year. Four Needham High School seniors surveyed their classmates regarding what might be causing them stress as they prepared to graduate. They found that while most students felt very prepared to leave Needham High School academically, they did not feel prepared when it came to basic life skills.

Needham Bank’s Marketing Event & Community Relations Manager Erica Shom teaches ‘How to Manage your Money’ to NHS seniors.

Needham Bank’s Marketing Event & Community Relations Manager Erica Shom teaches ‘How to Manage your Money’ to NHS seniors.

The students recommended that a Life Skills Conference be developed for seniors in order to help reduce stress and help prepare them for life beyond NHS. The students did a great deal of research, and found strong support for the idea from NHS Principal Aaron Sicotte, as well as the administration.

The Substance Prevention Alliance of Needham (SPAN) heard about the story on social media when students began posting on the Needham Facebook page in search of community members to teach workshops. SPAN brought the idea to BID-Needham, which offered to sponsor the event.

Three NHS seniors learn how to chop vegetables during Adrienne Anderson’s Basic Cooking workshop.

Three NHS seniors learn how to chop vegetables during Adrienne Anderson’s Basic Cooking workshop.

Kathy Pinkham, Director of the K-12 Wellness Department at Needham Public Schools, agreed to pilot the conference for seniors during health classes for three days at the end of January.

The result was the first Life Skills Conference, which brought many Needham community and business owners to NHS last week to share their time and advice.

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