The CT Focus Group has returned to Cass Technical High School. The group resumed operations for the current academic year.
The goals of the focus group are to provide a safe space for students to discuss their concerns and to hopefully work with the administration and staff to create a more positive learning environment.
Ms. Wiley, the group’s adviser, said that the focus group began in 2019 but was disbanded because of the pandemic. Administration approached her to begin the focus group again this year, and she said she was more than happy to do that.
“I think it’s really important that for students to be able to take up space and to say, ‘Hey, this is happening, and no one’s addressed this yet, so we need to bring it to the adults who can make a difference’,” she said.
Wiley said the group is planning several upcoming events for students.
“We are planning in the new year to host mental health assemblies,” Wiley said. “We want to be able to collaborate with the family behavioral health therapists who are here at the school and be able to offer… coping mechanisms, advice, just kind of talk through some of the anxieties that we’re feeling at this point.”
Senior Charisse Gibbons is a current member of the focus group.
“My hope for the group is just that… we can put action behind words and actually… get involved and get issues solved,” Gibbons said.
Charisse said that the requirement to join the group is just a desire to make a difference.
“It allows the average student voice," Gibbons said. "You know, you don’t have to have like a 4.2 and be a part of student council and be popular to be a part of it."
“I think focus group is a great tool to… just connect the whole school, bring it together, and inspire change."
The group meets every two weeks and is planning after school meetings in the near future.