Eagles Nest Offers Safe Place to Land for Students


Program Coordinator Priscolla Carillo-Coleman prepares her office and the space for the official opening.

A school-based youth services program is coming in January to room H100 in Winslow Township Middle School; it’s goal is to provide various help to all students and families quickly as needs arise. According to the staff there, they want it to be a safe space for students where they can receive free support tied to mental, social, and academic health and success.

“We provide a lot of comprehensive services for students, so we go the extra mile not just in provided mental health counseling, but academic support. We do mentorship, leadership, and field trips,” explained Program Director Ms. Darchelle Waller. “We also have a wonderful student lounge for students to use, so it’s a one stop all for students and families and staff.”

School-based youth services programs first were started in the 1970s  when student surveys by social workers said the adolescents felt like they needed a safe place where they could go to deal with personal issues and get develop social and life skills. The social workers used that feedback to develop what we now know as school-based youth services. Waller stated that students and families can receive confidential counseling regarding problems they are having for which they need support; this follows the model already successfully in place at Winslow Township High School.

“I’m excited for the students,” expressed Principal  Ms. Nwanguma. “We always need additional supports, and any time you get a grant that supports our students we’re excited. I’m excited as a principal that we have one more resource for the community.”

Entering H100, students will be greeted with a smile and staff who is happy to see them. The Eagles Nest is a comfortable, relaxing environment for students to come throughout the day; they can play tons of games, works on arts and crafts, enjoy free snacks, do their homework, sit and read, chat, and be involved in discussions. There are academic activities and support and also comprehensive services. Students can just be able to have fun and be themselves in a safe space, but must be referred for services through school staff.

“It’s in connection with the Eagles Landing which has started years ago at the high school. That program provides that the high school students have a place to go to talk to an adult when they need it to get support whether its academic or emotional support or just a place to take it down,” Ms. Nwanguma explained. 

Waller stated that the Eagles Nest staff will be happy to see and help students with whatever they need. Waller added that students, parents, teachers, and everybody else can come in and feel safe and know that they have a warm staff that is welcoming and there is nothing too big they can’t assist with. 

“We will be fully furnished, fully operational, and it’ll be a nice flow of students and families and staff and everybody getting to know the program and the staff,” Waller declared.