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S.O.S creates support for students

S.O.S coordinator Shelley Bustamante works on a presentation for S.O.S. These presentations are shared with freshman every Tuesday during their World Studies class.

Nina Heller

S.O.S coordinator Shelley Bustamante works on a presentation for S.O.S. These presentations are shared with freshman every Tuesday during their World Studies class.

Maya Benjamin, Staff Writer

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Tuesday is the exception to the norm for freshmen. Unlike all the other students at Carlmont, freshmen have a special event every Tuesday that takes place during their history class: presentations from the Students Offering Support group or S.O.S.

S.O.S has been a long-standing program at Carlmont. Started by Shelley Bustamante in 2000, S.O.S focuses on helping students that are in need of emotional support.

Besides helping to support students, student leaders in S.O.S give weekly presentations to the freshman on a variety of topics that includes bullying, alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, abusive relationships, and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS.

Student leader Tatum McGuffin believes S.O.S presentations are valuable to students.

“For a lot of freshmen who come to the presentations, S.O.S really helps because being a part of such a big school can be overwhelming,” said McGuffin.

Naya Salah, a freshman, agrees. Since the start of going to S.O.S presentations, Salah feels that the presentations have made a memorable impact on her.

Salah said, “S.O.S has impacted me by educating me on each specific topic. A lot of the topics I didn’t know a lot about, and it [S.O.S] has shown me that I need to be aware of certain things.”

S.O.S has impacted me by educating me on each specific topic. A lot of the topics I didn’t know a lot about and it [S.O.S] has shown me that I need to be aware of certain things.”

— Naya Salah

Besides just providing support to freshmen, S.O.S strives to make a lasting impact on upperclassmen as well.

Sandra Strongin, a senior, still remembers some of the presentations from her freshman year.

“I remember the teen mom panel. It was so eye-opening to see people just one or two years older than us, being parents and hearing about their struggles. It really made me think about how my decisions will impact my future,” said Strongin.

Despite the support most students have for the S.O.S presentations, some students feel that the Life Skills class covers the same information as the presentations.

Life Skills is a required class that all freshmen must take their first quarter of high school. It covers drug and alcohol abuse, sex education, bullying, and eating disorders.

“A lot of the topics covered in S.O.S are some of the same topics covered in Life Skills. I get why we have the S.O.S presentations but it does take away from time that I could be learning,” said Sunya Abhasi, a sophomore.

While not all students agree on whether or not the S.O.S presentations coincide with what students are taught in Life Skills, the impact of S.O.S  is undeniable.

“Every day since we’ve started presentations, there have been freshmen coming into S.O.S,” said Mcguffin.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
S.O.S creates support for students