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United High School Provides Support for Military Connected Students


Posted Date: 12/01/2023

United High School Provides Support for Military Connected Students

United High School is giving back to veterans and military families by providing support for the unique challenges their children face.

 

School Counselor Christian Davila realized the special needs of military-connected children when she was working at United Middle School. She made it her mission to make sure these children received emotional and academic support for the challenges they face, which led to that campus earning the Purple Star Campus Designation from the Texas Education Agency. When she arrived at United High School at the beginning of this school year, she knew there were many students from military families at her new campus, so she quickly began setting up the same support system for them.

 

To begin this initiative, the school held a meet and greet with all the school’s military connected students. They gathered in the school’s cafeteria to listen to guest speaker Captain Adrian Torres of the Texas Army National Guard, who told them about some of the educational benefits available to them as military dependents.

 

Children in military families often bear the burden of being separated from their mother or father while they deploy overseas. They often live with the stress of knowing their loved one may be in danger.

 

“What people don’t understand is that when that father figure, or that mother figure, leaves for a deployment or leaves for a certain amount of time, that leaves a void in the household,” said Captain Torres, “we always talk about how difficult it is for single parent households. Well, that’s exactly what happens when one of the parents leaves for service.”

 

He further illustrated some of the stress these families experience in regard to current events. “If we as adults look at the news and worry, imagine that kid knowing their sibling or father is in that situation,” said Torres, thus highlighting the fact that students who have siblings serving in the Armed Forces also face this type of stress.

 

In addition to lengthy separations, children of active duty military personnel often go through multiple relocations that result in ending friendships, numerous cycles of adapting to new communities and schools, and feelings of isolation.

 

“It is extremely important to have this support for them,” said School Counselor Christian Davila. “We want them to know that we’re here for them, and we want to make them aware of the resources the District has for them and their families, and what we have available for them here on campus: emotional support, academic support, and just that we’re here for them.”

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