Necessity often breeds creativity. Waymakers adopted an inventive approach when we could no longer conduct our research based, in-person workshops to educate students on the harmful effects of drugs and tobacco due to the pandemic. The team immediately adapted and conducted workshops over Zoom and added offerings to include simple enriching classes, like cooking, to help students stay connected. We also held multiple outreaches to school districts, including a partnership with Newport-Mesa Unified School District to encourage students to participate the first ever Mental Health Awareness Month Art Contest. This inspired students to design original art pieces centered on the theme, “What Sparks Joy?”. Nearly 200 students creatively expressed what makes them happy and how they relieved stress in a healthy way. Director of Student Services, Dr. Phil D’Agostino said, “We are grateful for our strong partnership with Waymakers in supporting us with our wellness indicatives, including sponsoring this amazing art contest, and I congratulate all our art contest winnes.”
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