Harbor Beach High School
My name is Whitney Hoppe and I’ve been going to the Student Health Center at Harbor Beach High School for three years. School was never been an issue for me until I reached high school. It was a whole new ball park. I didn’t know any of the students my 9th grade year because I’d been in rural schools. I went in lost. I was alone, excited, terrified and trying my best to fit in. A few weeks passed and I think the teachers noticed I wasn’t doing well. They took me aside and talked about the great Student Health Center they had. My first thought was, “I don’t need that.” A couple more days went by and the counselor came and asked if we could talk. She explained who she was and what she did. It started out to be just questions like how I’m doing, how’s school going? Being the talkative person I am, I started to talk more about my issues at home, past issues and feelings. Right then I knew I was going to be heard.
The counselor has been there for me more than my family has at times. Her door and heart are always open, whether it’s a quick chat, something major, even just to say Hi. This means a lot to me simply because I go through my streaks of having bad days. She’s been there when I’ve been at the lowest, knowing everything about me, my past, my present even knowing what I dream of becoming in the future. She’s been there for just about everything. If I didn’t have a school health center to go to, I would be lost.
My 11th grade year school has been going semi fine. I recently turned 18 and also found out I was pregnant a couple weeks into school, right there in the school health center. It started out to be a normal counseling session, I started talking about personal issues and that I wasn’t feeling well. She asked if I could be pregnant and offered the idea of taking a pregnancy test at the school health center with the nurse. The test came out positive, I was terrified. The nurse and counselor helped me through it and encouraged me to tell my mom ASAP. She came to the school health center, the counselor and nurse helped me tell my mom.
Today, I am a positive person. I feel if it wasn’t for my school’s amazing Student Health Center I would be a drop out or emotionally lost. I plan to become a counselor to help teens with similar experiences like neglect, abuse, bullying and depression all because of how I was treated at the school health center. I want to continue to making kids believe that there is more to life than horrible days, you can completely change someone by listening and being there for them. This is why school’s need to continue having health centers.
About the My Health Story Contest
School-Based Health Care Awareness Month is the time each year that we pause to celebrate the value of school-based, school-linked and school wellness programs. This year, we asked youth across Michigan to tell us how a School-Based or School-linked Health Center has improved their health and helped them to succeed in school. Contestants were asked to submit an essay about their experiences with a Health Center. Stories will be posted daily on our website beginning in February during Awareness Month to the end of April when we host advocacy day. You can see all the contest entries here.