PPBHS Takes on the Ocean County Wellness Summit


Mrs. Molyneaux

Youth Wellness Council Presidents Briella Pulitano and Anna Dowling

On Thursday, April 4th, the Point Pleasant Boro High School Youth Wellness Council ventured to Toms River for the annual Ocean County Wellness Summit. The students were split into grades and then attended different workshops. Sophomores entered a motivational and cooperative workshop. The students taped a blank paper to their backs and had others write inspirational or thoughtful words on them. It reinforced the concept of building up the people around them and emphasized the idea of kindness in general.

Juniors and Seniors however had the opportunity to attend a college prep seminar. Students learned about the college application and acceptance process. They also learned about what to expect of campus life both academically and personally. Between workshops, students’ stamina was tested while they participated in a yoga class taught by instructors from the Lotus Lounge. When asked if they enjoyed the lesson, one student said that they “nearly passed out” and another claimed that “it seriously burned, but in a really good way.”

Of course, no field trip would be complete without lunch. During the students’ lunch break, they were able to visit the many vendors that attended the summit. Organizations such as 2nd Floor and the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide were in attendance, along with many more. Following these vendors, was the keynote speaker. The keynote speaker told the audience her life story which began when she was sexually assaulted at six years old. This event offered a safe venue to share her story about struggling with anxiety and mental illness. Her mother was also verbally abusive and kicked her out of the house when she was a teenager. She reminded the students how everyone goes through traumatic events, and we can either let them define who we are or we can overcome them and be stronger because of it.

Finally, seniors Anna Dowling, Mikayla Mount, and Briella Pulitano conducted their own workshop and gave a presentation to the staff from all  schools in attendance. President Dowling and Vice President Pulitano gave a presentation on how any school can create their own Youth Wellness Council, just like the students at PPBHS did. They fielded any questions posed, then handed the microphone over to Mount.

Mount, along with a handful of other students in APCS, created an app called DAWN, which Mount explained to the crowd. DAWN is a mindfulness app that provides users with a multitude of stress relieving techniques, resources, and mindfulness activities. Youth Wellness Council President Dowling attended this Summit all four years of her high school career and she said that she is “so disappointed that it is over” but she hopes that “the incoming students will get as much out of it as I did.”