Students advocate for Health Center funding


Last year Youth Advisory Council Council and the Sexuality and Gender Accentance group visited the State House and met Senator Bruce Tarr.

DANIELLE DENMAN, Staff Writer, Editor

Wednesday, March 20th, GHS members of the clubs Gloucester Youth Council (YAC) and Sexuality and Gender Acceptance (SAGA) will be traveling to the Massachusetts State House in an effort to show what GHS School-Based Health Center has done for the school.

This year is the first annual Advocacy Day, a day at the State House dedicated specifically the presentations of different School Based Health Centers, to legislators across Massachusetts.

Students will advocate for substantial funding for Health Center, which will provide an appropriate budget to continue to create projects that promote a healthy lifestyle for GHS students. Legislators decide what programs to fund and how much they are granted. The GHS Health Center, which supports the two clubs, relies on this funding.

YAC has been responsible for a variety of projects at GHS, including a Halloween photo booth to promote making safe choices, and distributed lavender sachets for stress relief. SAGA supports communication and advocacy for inclusiveness and acceptance for LGBTQ students at GHS.

School nurse practitioner and co-founder of YAC Linda Gipstein says this experience will help students gain experience and share ideas with other students.

“It is also a way for us to see what others are doing across the state,” said Gipstein. “Nurse practitioners see each other on a regular basis, but now students can interact and share.”

YAC is presenting to three state legislators, Senator Bruce Tarr, representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, and State Senator Julian Cyr.

This is the second year the club has visited the State House. YAC member and GHS senior Jesse Alexander is excited to attend this field trip again.

“Last year was a really great experience,” she said. “We were able to tour the State House and meet representative Ferrante and Tarr. It was rewarding to see how much our work had paid off.”