Although my time here at West High school hasn’t been very long, I have been welcomed with open arms. Our CASA is a program created through a partnership between University Neighborhood Partners and the Salt Lake City School District. It is geared towards making a safe environment for students and families, where students can seek post-secondary educational readiness, and where families can access academic aid. By involving students in the creation of each Our CASA site, they get to see their impacts first hand on their schools and communities. The first students in the West High Our CASA have already set a foundation for the classroom as a welcoming environment with an atmosphere full of spirit.
As the student and family advocate for West High School, my main goal is to create a comfortable space for everyone within the school. One where students can talk about their issues, release stress, and prepare for life after high school. An institution as diverse as West High is hard to find in Utah, making it home to a well rounded population, the conglomeration of students seeking spaces that break down cliques and social normalities.
Our CASA translates as Our Home, or an acronym for Communities Aspiring, Succeeding, and Achieving. As the room begins to settle into its new location, I believe that the space will feel more like a home than ever. Big plans are in the works – a mural painted by students, new furniture, a variety of workshops, and a grand reopening.
There is an abundance of energy coming in and out of the space each day, and I am excited to work with these students and help them make their future a better place for everyone. I can’t begin to express how thankful I am for this position and Our CASA, as well as the students that enter the room.
Post written by Vivian Lee, Our CASA Coordinator at West High School