The new “Wellness Center” can give MCHS students the help they need


Anthony Robledo

Ms. Quinones, the head of the new Wellness Center, is ready to help any students in need.

By Anthony Robledo, Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

Many students have dealt with obstacles in their home life that prevent them from succeeding in the future. Even worse, they may feel that they are required to push through the challenges all on their own. These issues can become problematic and hold some students back from reaching their full potential. No student should have to feel alone when dealing with their problems or ever let them interfere with their success.

Middle College High School has now implemented a “Wellness Center” that serves to assist students with needs through access to many resources that can help them. Now students can receive assistance with whatever issues they have, whether personal or academic. Ms. Arlene Quinones, a former MCHS student, is in charge of the center and works to help students with their needs. She is located in B-11 where she works to assist any student who walks into the room with a problem. She also works to talk to parents with any questions they have regarding their child’s needs. It is a safe environment for anyone to come in without fear of being judged. Now students and parents can be assured that their ideas, concerns, and opinions are not only heard but valued.

Ms. Quinones said, “The Wellness Center serves as a place where students and families can come and get resources based on their needs. These needs can range from basic needs like clothing, access to food, access to financial help or it can even be academics, college knowledge.” This program offers more resources to students on a variety of their problems. If any student is facing an issue they aren’t sure how to handle, they now are able to receive the help they need during the school day.

When asked what a typical day at the Wellness Center is like, Ms. Quinones said, “Usually, I’ll be meeting with families. Either someone connects me to the family because they need some type of resource or I call these families to offer my resources. Lately, like these past couple months, it’s been all about FAFSA. I guide them through getting the tax information and explaining to them what FAFSA is so that we could get our students money for college.”

Senior Jasmine Orozco said, “I know it’s hard to admit, but at some point throughout high school everyone is going to need help. Whether it’s your own mental health or you just need support you’re not getting at home or anywhere else. There’s an unnecessary stress people put on themselves trying to do everything on their own, but accepting the help we need lifts that stress from us.” The Wellness Center serves a way for the school to show that they do care for the needs of a student with the hope to allow them to overcome their issues.

Through this program, parents are able to learn how to support their children through the college application process and are given information about how they can support their children through high school and college. Ideally, students should be able to bring their parents in to receive the help they need. Ms. Quinones said, “The kind of impact I hope to see is that eventually families and students feel comfortable walking in here knowing that they’ll receive the help that they need or will be connected to some resource in the community where they can get the assistance that they need so that their home environment is better, so that they’re learning and growing in their capacities to where now families can fully support students.”

This story was originally published on The Spellbinder on April 5, 2019.