What is a SAFE Adult?

Do you have yours?

What is a SAFE Adult?

Walking through the hallways, there are many signs on teachers’ doors (see image right) that say, “I am a SAFE Adult”—but what does this mean? 

The Student Assistance and Family Empowerment (SAFE) Program focuses on students’ needs and their progress towards a healthy mindset which is supported by SAFE coordinators and social workers. 

Mrs. Veronica Lewis is the school’s SAFE Coordinator, who originally was a dean but wanted a deeper connection with students. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that someone with mental health issues kind of jumps out at you initially. But as you build rapport, start to build relationships and they trust you, they tend to open up, right and then you can discover ways that you can help them and kind of what their needs are but you wouldn’t talk to anybody you don’t really know,” she expressed. 

The program allows students to feel a sense of security while treading through uncertainties. It aids students and families by providing services for mental health and behavior management. 

To help manage the SAFE program and the SAFE adults, Ms. Micaela Stone is the school’s social worker and a SAFE adult. “I think that [SAFE adults] should be inclusive. They should be open and welcoming for students as well as just be able to provide support from a nonjudgmental place,” Ms. Stone said.

Though the program within itself is important, it would not be successful if not for the people behind it. “If a kid is upset, I usually will catch them on the way out the door and ask if they need me. Being a SAFE teacher, they know that they can come in here whenever they need to.” Ms. Jessica White shared. 

Outside of her door, along with all other SAFE teachers, there is a “I Am A SAFE Adult” poster. This helps students identify their surrounding SAFE teachers. “I’ve been teaching for 13 years and I take the profession of teaching fairly seriously. So if anyone comes up to me or says that I impacted their lives positively, it is one of the most rewarding things about this job.” Mr. Ronald Godwin, a SAFE art teacher shares. 

Students are always allowed to go to their SAFE adult whenever they feel uncomfortable, angry, scared, or just need someone to talk to that isn’t their peers. Your SAFE adult is there to be a safe space for you while on campus. The SAFE team is always available to support your mental wellness. Ms. Stone is located in 6-302 and Ms. Lewis in the front office in room 1-101.