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$10,000 Ali’s Hope Foundation Brings Hope to Students Facing Mental Illness

Concentrating in school can be difficult for students, but especially those struggling with chronic behavioral and mental health conditions. Although support for students with challenges like these are in place throughout Seminole County Public Schools, sometimes it’s necessary to think outside the box on how to provide additional care.  Thanks to a $10,000 grant award from Ali’s Hope Foundation, SCPS can provide enhanced mental health counseling to students that need some extra support.

Seminole County Public Schools operates two special center schools – one for elementary age students and another for middle/high school age students. The mission of both schools is to ensure that all students acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be successful in the educational, career, and community mainstream. While current programs are successful for most, approximately 15% of the students attending these schools show outward signs of self-destructive behavior. These students are in need of intensive counseling services by a certificated clinical behavior specialist.

Through the Ali’s Hope Foundation grant, students will receive a methodology of care with the objective of stabilizing the child, intensive counseling services involving parents in the care plan and receive ongoing therapeutic counseling. “If a child thinks he or she is alone in this, it’s hard to overcome it” stated Joe Gallagher, founder of Ali’s Hope Foundation which was set up to help provide resources for programs that help assist young adults with mental illness – some of which are not being covered by insurance carriers.

Funding from the Ali’s Hope Foundation grant will aid in supporting a certified clinical behavioral specialist to support the students with mental health needs at both centers. For more information on how to support the students of Seminole County Public Schools struggling with chronic mental health conditions, contact the executive director of The Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools at 407-320-0176.

Pictured from left to right: ESSS TOA Curriculum Support Deborah Bidwell, SCPS Foundation Executive Director Davia Moss, Hopper Center Counselor Yves-Mahri Paul, ESSS Executive Director Dr. Michelle Walsh, ESSS Administrator Amy Elwood, Hopper Center Security Officer Tena Waters, Ali’s Hope Foundation Founder Joe Gallagher, Ryan Delfft, Paraprofessional SED, Hopper Center Principal Donna Weaver, School Psychologist SPEC Rhoda Hicks, School Social Worker Ashley Crews and Hopper Center Assistant Principal Paul Harshman