Workshop helps put students on right path

Pamela Sepulveda, who presented a Feelings and Coping workshop on Thursday for the Re-entry Program, used a presentation that was geared toward teens, but made sure that is applied to college students also.

Sepulveda said, “The importance of the workshop today is for you to feel empowered on how to cope in a healthy way with your feelings because this is a very stressful time in your life going to college.”

Sepulveda’s presentation stressed how feelings are perfectly fine to live with, but the behaviors that come from those feelings determine if you are coping positively or negatively.

“This is really a workshop for you to make those healthy choices and what’s behind making the unhealthy choices,” she said.

Leandro Acosta, veterinary assistant major, found the workshop very informing and found the help that is out there as the information that stood out.

“There’s a lot more resources than when I was young and as I was growing up, I made a lot of mistakes that I wish I hadn’t, but (it’s) good to know that (there) is help now for some of the youth so they can go in a better direction,” he said.

Shannon Estrada, head of the Re-Entry Program, said, “I just think it’s invaluable information and it started out as the parenting workshops, but then there were just some many other topics and this one just felt perfect to help people get different skill sets and tips on how to manage themselves.”

Estrada went on to explain what the Re-Entry Program is all about and said, “The Re-Entry Program is there for support and guidance for students that have had a break in their education, (like) people that have never been to college but have been out of high school for awhile or (went from) college to college, but it’s usually for adult students.”

She continued, “I’m not a counselor. I’m more of an advisor to help them with the transition process and provide all of these workshops.”

Sepulveda used a very conversational approach to get her message across and attributed that to her time working with the Casa Youth Center by saying, “If you are a book smart person and you just talk book smarts people don’t listen. You have to be relatable and as a therapist, I am taught how to build rapport. So as a presenter, that is how I build a rapport with the audience.”

The Casa Youth Shelter is a short term crisis for runaway or troubled teens ages 12-17 located in Los Alamitos.