Directors | Officers | News | Investor Relations | Financial Reports
Ojai Community Bank and Rotary Club of Ojai Donate to Support Our Grieving Youth
Back row left to right:
Michael Weaver, President Rotary Club of Ojai; Bill Gilbreth, former Community Service Chair Rotary Club of Ojai; Bill Hatch, Rotarian and major donor to the program; Dave Brubaker, President/CEO Ojai Community Bank, member Rotary Club of Ojai; Hank Bangser, Ojai Unified School District Superintendent, member Rotary Club of Ojai; Don Scanlin, Chairman of the Board Ojai Community Bank, member Rotary Club of Ojai;
Front Row, left to right:
Judy Gabriel, Community Relations Ojai Community Bank, Secretary Rotary Club of Ojai; Jeannine Murphy, Director of Counseling Services Student Bereavement Program; Terri Wolfe, Executive Director Help of Ojai. Photo courtesy Ruth Miller.
The Ojai Community Bank and the Rotary Club of Ojai have joined to launch a campaign to support the Student Bereavement Program created by HELP of Ojai and Ojai Unified School District Student Bereavement Program. Together they have donated $2,500 to HELP of Ojai to provide additional funding forsupport this vital assistance.
The Student Bereavement Program was started 6 years ago following the loss of a teenage girl to drugs. Unfortunately, our Ojai teens are again facing the tragedy of friends dying. In the last 15 months four boys from age 16 to 20 have died, all from different causes including murderstabbing, respiratory failure, a drug overdose, and a skateboard accident. In a small town like ours, most of our teens knew at least one, if not all four, of these youth. The Student Bereavement Program has provided group counseling, projects to honor the deceased youth and resources for families to further assist their grieving children.
Drugs are also a serious problem in Ojai. They are not exclusive to any racial or economic category. Heroin, Oxycontin OxyContin and Mmethamphetamine (Mmeth) are readily available and affordable in our sweet valley. Through the Student Bereavement Program, students will be able to anonymously leave tips of known drug sources or if they or a friend are struggling with an addiction.
Layer on top of those stresses the financial strains from our flailing economy and the ominous task of finding a job or financial aid for college or finding a part time job. Take a moment to go back and walk down the hallway of your high school years. You will undoubtedly tap into a stream of anxiety that ran a constant course through your body just dealing with school work, peer pressures and the looming thoughts of adulthood.
Our kids need as much support as possible right now. Our youth need ways to reach out for help.
HELP of Ojai raises the funds for the program through a grant from the Harriet H. Samuelsson Foundation and private donations. The funds are used to provide counselors in each of our public schools. The school district works with HELP of Ojai schedulingto schedule one counselor at our five elementary schools, Matilija Junior High and Nordhoff High School.
Currently Nordhoff receives 30 hours of counselor time and the other six schools receive only 10 hours aper week. The average cost of one hour of these counselors’ time at any of the schools is $15 per hour. Ten hours a week at Matilija Junior High is especially inadequate since this age group is in the pivotal period where all the decisions we face as adults are presented at once. Drinking, drugs, sex and many other responsibility choices are suddenly part of their daily decisions.
<< go back