Ever since Mikey Munoz started high school, he kept to himself and didn’t make much of an effort to get to know his classmates.

“Our goal is to create a space where we can destigmatize things like trauma and anxiety and start conversations to build trust and empathy at the school sites that we visit.” — Eric Gutierrez, Resilience Squad Workshop manager

However, that began to change when Munoz and 30 of his environmental science classmates participated in Kaiser Permanente’s Resilience Squad Workshop Series.

“I’ve noticed that I was more interactive with my classmates,” said Munoz, a junior at Cambridge Continuation High School. “Normally, everyone is in their own groups.”

Resilience Squad

For the second consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente’s Resilience Squad is holding a four-day workshop series at Cambridge.

The hour-long workshops are designed to create a safe space for students to develop effective coping skills for trauma and stress, said workshop manager Eric Gutierrez.

“These are tools that my kids need, especially as we are getting closer to the holidays,” Cambridge Principal Pete Pulos said.

Research shows that exposure to violence and ongoing trauma can affect short-to-long-term health for students, Gutierrez said.

“Our goal is to destigmatize things like trauma and anxiety and start conversations to build trust and empathy,” he said.

Opening Up

“The workshops have helped me get out of my comfort zone and meet new people.” Jose Quintero, junior at Cambridge High School

Gutierrez and his team hold workshops throughout Northern California. They target schools where students have experienced high levels of trauma and stress.

“The workshops have helped me get out of my comfort zone and meet new people,” said Jose Quintero, a junior. “Some of my classmates are pretty shy as well, so hopefully it will help them, too.”

Pulos said that he is glad the Resilience Squad chose to hold workshops at Cambridge.

“They do an amazing job and make connections with kids in ways that we can’t,” Pulos said. “My biggest hope is that students are going to have another tool in their toolbox to deal with life’s challenges.”

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