DEERFIELD, Ill. — The shuffle between bells at Deerfield High School (DHS) started leading some students to what may look like just another classroom a few weeks ago, but on the other side of the door, is now something far from it.
“It was [in] the midst of the pandemic and I saw myself starting to struggle with anxiety,” said Adison Schwartz, a student at DHS. “A lot of my friends were struggling.”
Two-and-a-half years ago during her freshman year, Schwartz founded the nonprofit organization “You Are Enough.”
Since then, Schwartz and her club have raised $25,000 to outfit a room at DHS that now provides quiet games, art, aromatherapy and even a comfort dog once a week to help students take their minds off the pressures of high school.
“You can’t not love this face,” said Jessica Carbon, a student at DHS, about the comfort dog when it makes their weekly visit. “That has to cheer you up.”
“I think that fixating on something that isn’t so important can be really relieving,” added Etta Kramer, a senior at DHS, on the impact of the room.
Robyn Corelitz is Deerfield’s Social and Emotional Learning Specialist, the professional that checks in with students each time they visit the room, and tries to meet their needs.
“Any day that a student comes and uses the room, in my opinion, is a good day,” Corelitz said. “It’s a kid making a choice to take one or two minutes out of their day to really reset.”
According to DHS assistant principal Marcellus Moore, the movement to create the room was fronted mostly by Schwartz and her peers, and has been inspiring to see from the eyes of faculty.
“It really has been student-led, which is really just magical,” Moore said.
Moving forward, Schwartz hopes to expand the mission of You Are Enough to schools all across the state and beyond.
“One day,” Schwartz said. “I want to see these rooms in all schools in Illinois, in all schools in the country.”
You Are Enough will hold its second 5K in just a couple weeks, where the organization aims to continue raising money to expand its vision, and reach even more students.