Vivian Geilim, staff writer
For the first time, Beverly Hills High School’s popular program, Norman Aid, started the year without the participation of student counselors.
“This is the first year that we haven’t had peer counselors doing counseling,” Counselor Ali Norman explained. “Although it’s amazing and some students would prefer talking to a peer, we were finding that more students were wanting to turn to an adult therapist.”
The incorporation of student counselors into Norman Aid took a toll on the department’s time management and ability to service students.
“It was taking two Maple councilors’ time, and so basically we were investing in about 15 hours a week into the peer counseling program and we weren’t getting enough students to take advantage of that time,” Norman said. “So now what we’ve done is we’ve added walk-in hours so not only can students come in and see somebody every week, students can just walk-in and have a counselor.”
Although the program has undergone subtle advancements in staff, its curriculum still helps students every day.
“By having tools for managing that stress and anxiety or depression, it not only makes a difference for them in the classroom where they can actually focus and concentrate more in the classroom, but it can actually support them so they can make healthier choices in their lives,” Norman said.