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A Peek into North’s Advocacy and Support Groups

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North is home to over 70 clubs and activities, some of the most important, yet underrated, being the numerous support and advocacy groups that exist in the high school.

Students of the Gay Straight Alliance, Grief Group, AMIGOS, and the African American Read In are just a few of the many groups here at North.

North’s African American Read In happens at Indiana University’s Neal Marshall Black Culture Center, where students of all races from North are invited to attend and read their work. Steve Philbeck, sponsor for the African American Read In, describes the importance of the Read In to North’s African American community.

“We bring by far the largest group every year, double the amount of students anybody else brings.” he said. “It’s great for African American students to be immersed in their own culture for the day.”

Hannah Ledbetter, a senior at North and President of United Students explains how United Students meetings go. “Every meeting, we try to do something different. We have students from IU come in and talk to us about the environment is like for those who are, for example, transgender, and settling into college. Some of the members in our group don’t have a support system at home, so it’s very important to them and to us that they have a Gay Straight Alliance readily available in school.”

Hannah Ledbetter
Members of the Gay Straight Alliance visit the LGBTQ+ Culture Center at Indiana University in April of 2018.

Touching on many members of the diverse North community, these support groups all vary greatly, but all share this important ideology. North’s support and advocacy groups all strive to encourage understanding and acceptance, offering a safe place for people to share their experiences. Support groups in many ways are an outlet for members to be empowered, united by the similar challenges and situations members have faced.

Bloomington is also home to numerous self-help and support groups, including Al-Anon Alateen and Middle Way House. Al-Anon Alateen meets at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, and supports those whose lives have been affected by drinking of a loved one. The group is open to all ages, from teenagers to adults. The Middle Way House, also in Bloomington, supports all who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, offering a range of services, including a 24 hour crisis line, emergency housing, and even legal advocacy. Anyone can volunteer at Middle Way House, as volunteer applications are always open and volunteer orientations are continually ongoing. Anybody can get involved in this community wide support and advocacy organization by attending their upcoming volunteer training dates this year, being hosted on Sept. 15 and Dec. 1.

 

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The Student News Site of Bloomington High School North
A Peek into North’s Advocacy and Support Groups