Middle school is a tough time for any kid, but for Henry, it was even more than that: the loss of an immediate family member and repeated episodes of community violence left him grieving, traumatized, and unable to feel successful in school. He acted with aggression toward his peers and his teachers, at one point assaulting a classmate and frequently disrupting his classroom environment.
Henry was referred into our Counseling-Enriched Classroom (CEC) program as soon as he began sixth grade. Fred Finch’s CEC program currently serves participants at two middle schools and two high schools in Oakland Unified School District, setting up a small classroom of 12-14 students at each site. Students aged 10-18 will be referred into the counseling-enriched classroom setting after prolonged periods of emotional and behavioral disturbances that leave them unable to access their educations in a typical general-education classroom.
Teaming with Oakland Unified School District and Alameda County Behavioral Health Care, Fred Finch Youth & Family Services provides participants with mental healthcare and behavioral rehabilitation in a CEC setting.
For Henry, the effects of his counseling-enriched classroom really began to show once he reached high school. In ninth grade he developed a strong and trust-filled relationship with his therapist, which empowered him to address his anger over the losses and trauma he had experienced. With CEC support, Henry learned skills to help him control his emotions and began to see success in his academic life, even joining clubs at school and making the soccer team.
When Henry began tenth grade, he and his therapist evaluated his growth and development, and together, decided that it was time for him to move to a less restrictive setting. Henry’s therapist advocated for his graduation from the program, upon which he entered a lower level of care that continues to meet his needs and support him for success in every way.