Our Response to COVID-19
By Dan Bailey, Founder and President, Just Say YES
The mission of Just Say YES is:
“Growing value and vision in youth by combating isolation and imparting hope”
Our world is changing daily in response to COVID-19. We find ourselves navigating through uncharted waters, trying to establish some sort of new norm. As humans, we are naturally social beings with a desire for community. Then how, living in quarantine for the health and safety of all, can we combat isolation and impart hope in our own lives and in others?
How Just Say YES is Helping Students, Parents and Educators
As districts across North Texas announce school closures, we think of the seniors who won’t walk across stage to receive their high school diplomas at graduation. We think of the students who miss their classmates, teachers and daily routines of learning and play. We think of the students in low-income areas who depend on receiving breakfast and lunch at school. We think of the students who need a safe place like school to go to.
We also think of the educators who are acclimating quickly to online learning resources and platforms, hoping to keep students engaged in their education. We think of the parents who are struggling to find balance between working-from-home and home-schooling their children.
At Just Say YES, our belief is, “A connected student is a protected student.” We provide social-emotional learning opportunities to K-12th grade students through motivational experiences, wellness education and in-school peer-to-peer mentoring. These programs address important topics that students face daily, including: bullying/cyberbullying, drugs and alcohol, vaping, depression, self-harm, suicide, healthy relationships, teen dating violence and more.
Our in-school programming has come to a complete stop for the time being due to COVID-19; however, we have not given up on our mission. Like others, we are adapting to the ever-changing landscape in order to help students build meaningful connections during a time of isolation.
- Zoom Video Conferencing: JSY Mentor Coordinators are holding weekly video group sessions with students from seven DFW area high schools participating in the Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Students share how they are handling life without school and after-school jobs, home dynamics, and offer their peers words of encouragement. Mentor Coordinators are also connecting with students individually via call or text, making sure they feel supported and heard during these times of uncertainty.
- Virtual Aim for Success Programs: Our in-person Aim for Success wellness education programs are being developed into live streaming or pre-recorded videos. This will allow schools to share with their students, parents and educators on various virtual platforms.
- Leveraging Social Media: Our incredible speakers are curating short-video content, which will be posted each week on our social media platforms. Students, parents, educators and friends can follow us for an uplifting message or encouraging word to bring positivity and connectedness to their day.
How YOU can Help Yourself and Others
How are you combating isolation during this time? Are you helping others by imparting hope in their lives? Whether you live alone, have a full house, or are somewhere in-between, we all need each other now more than ever. Be intentional by making phone calls, video chatting, emailing or texting with your family, friends and coworkers. Stay connected. Be engaged. Remain hopeful.
This too, shall pass.
If we can be of help to you, please let us know. Visit our Contact Us page and a Just Say YES representative will respond to you promptly. We look forward to hearing from you!