Celebration of Change Event Honors Students for Healthy Life Changes

More than 150 middle and high school students in the Winter Park/Maitland area will be honored for overcoming life challenges through the CHILL (Community Help & Intervention in Life’s Lessons) counseling program on Friday, April 30.

The event, called “Celebration of Change,” will be at 11 a.m. at the Outback Steakhouse in Winter Park. This is the seventh year for the event.

Sponsored by the Winter Park Health Foundation, the CHILL program is a free counseling program for students and families in Winter Park High and all of its elementary and middle feeder schools. The Foundation provides a licensed mental health counselor in each of these 12 schools to help students address a variety of emotional issues. In the seven years the program has been available, more than 4,000 children from elementary to high school have been impacted by the program.

To be invited to the event, students need to have accomplished goals agreed upon with counselors. Some students set goals of quitting drugs or alcohol, or managing anger and resisting fights, said Shellene Mazany, LCSW, CHILL counseling Program Manager. Other students worked on issues such as self-esteem, and learned how to stand up to bullies.

Parents who have worked with their children to achieve family success also are invited, as well as teachers and other staff members who have been key players in the success of the students.