February is always a great month for DOVES as it is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. In past years, it has become a tradition for DOVES staff to go to Big Bear High School and talk to the freshman about healthy relationships. This year’s effort was a great success. DOVES’ staff, Maria, Tonya, Quinton, and Laura were able to engage the students in discussions, get their feedback, and allow them to learn about such topics as domestic violence, digital dating abuse, self-care, coping with stress, as well as many others. DOVES is very grateful to the Bear Valley School District for allowing us to play a key role in how the next generation of Big Bearians relate to those around them.
DOVES’ Latino Advocate, Laura, has been going to Big Bear High School since the school year started, engaging the students in small groups, one-on-one settings, and giving presentations to entire classes. She has been able to receive feedback from the students and contour her programs and presentations to fit their specific needs and goals. Her work has helped primarily Spanish speaking students to acclimate and be more comfortable with life in Big Bear. As someone who herself made the transition from Mexico into the Big Bear school system, Laura has a unique perspective that the students are grateful to benefit from.
Recently, the DOVES staff administered the ACE Test to all Freshman at Big Bear High School. The ACE Test is a tool used by clinicians to determine how many adverse childhood experiences a person has gone through. It consists of 10 questions which are meant to reflect the various negative experiences a person can go through before the age of 18. The more difficult experiences a person has had to face in childhood, the higher their ACE Score will be. This test acts as a quality measure of the current need for DOVES’ services in the schools. The test has been distributed to the Freshman the past two years, and the most recent results only bolster the fact that several of our students are working through some difficult trauma. It is with this information that DOVES goes into the schools with a renewed passion to educate and assist Big Bear’s youth.
High School students play a game based on the relationship spectrum.