Bay High School embodies inclusivity with SGA mentorship program

Bay High School embodies inclusivity with SGA mentorship program
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 9:36 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay High School is on a mission to make all students feel welcome through a mentorship program for ESE students.

Every year members of the Student Government Association team up with Lisa Deaton, the school’s ESE teacher, to help kids who suffer from autism and intellectual disabilities build their motor skills.

“I really think it’s just real world and they’re going to need to interact with everybody,” said Deaton. “Some people may say they’re different, yeah, yeah, they’re different, but they’re just like us. We are all the same.”

The students help make decorations for various school events by cutting, tracing, and building props. They even assist in the school’s garden exploring their green thumb capabilities.

Bay High School SGA Public Relations Manager Jazmira Guzman said the students are always willing to lend a helping hand and do not let their disabilities define them.

“For prom, our theme was Night in Neverlands. So, it was like a mixture of Into the Woods, Enchanted Gardens, and they did lanterns and painted on them, greenery and things like that. They are always open to helping us with any decorations to make them feel as included as possible in school events,” Guzman said.

The SGA members say the program has allowed the ESE students to get more comfortable communicating with others all while building lasting relationships.