|Grossmont College's Helena Ayersman|
Helena Ayersman and Jordan Arechiga from Grossmont College and Hiba Jbouri and Warren Preston from Cuyamaca College will be heading next month to Sacramento for training on mental health and wellness issues to serve as advocates and to provide peer outreach at their colleges. They were selected from about 250 applicants.
The function of the ambassadors is to connect students with resources and support, raise mental health awareness and help reduce the stigma. Under the guidance of a faculty adviser on campus, the ambassadors will also plan health and wellness events or activities. In addition to two days of training in Sacramento and online training throughout the year, the student ambassadors will receive a $1,000 stipend for their service.
“I am so excited to have been chosen,” said Ayersman, who is pursuing a degree in child development.
|Helena Ayersman at Grossmont's Health Services office.|
She graduated in the spring with a degree in sociology and was set to transfer to a university out of state, but upon learning she had been selected as a student wellness ambassador, she decided to stay at Grossmont and seek another associate degree.
“This student ambassador position will open more doors for me in the future,” she said. “It will be a great learning experience.”
The California Community Colleges Student Wellness Ambassador Program is a component of the California Community Colleges Health & Wellness program launched in 2011 as one of several prevention and early intervention initiatives funded by the voter-approved Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act. The newest crop of student ambassadors represent the second cohort of students participating in the project.