“We are trying to foster more dialogue in the community about any array of subjects, but wellness is specifically one of them,” Alvin Kim, Program Coordinator of the Wellness and Openness of the Palo Alto Community (WOPAC), said.
The first “Tea Time” meeting will be held in the library on Oct. 25. While “Tea Time” will open up its first session at Paly this October, the program has been running at Gunn for the past year as well. “Tea Time” will be held during school hours, and students are free to ask any questions to former alumni.
“The premise is to get a few alumni from the [Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD)] high schools to return on a weekly basis and essentially, just be there to have an open conversation with students. There is no set subject; we just go and talk about any subject we want, whether that is about wellness or the sports game last night.”
Alvin Kim, Program Coordinator
The idea was started by a group of alumni who felt that it would be a good idea to give current students their perspectives concerning Paly after having gone through a similar journey. The alumni will undoubtedly have experience and be able to shed light surrounding Paly’s academic, social, and athletic culture.
“All the people who are part of the program came directly from Paly, so we know what the culture is like, what the events are like, what the stresses are and how to deal with them,” Kim said.
Kim has already seen a number of inspiring improvements been made to Paly, and hopes to further raise awareness surrounding student wellness.
“In terms of general trends, what I have been seeing out of Paly has been extremely cool and reassuring,” Kim said. “Just having the wellness center and having more people dedicated to community building and mental health is super important.”
“Tea Time” will continue to take place on Tuesdays during tutorial in the Library Resource Center until the end of the semester.
“When you are going along the path of high school and trying to go through PAUSD, it’s easy to lose sight of what is in front of you,” Kim said. “You do need to be healthy and happy, and we are trying to help students do that.”