St. Lucie West Centennial High School students recently donated $2,500 to New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee to support mental health and addiction recovery programs for children and adolescents.

The funds were raised during CENTennial Cares Week, a campaign promoting compassion and kindness in tribute of the students and staff that lost their lives last year at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.

During the week, students handed out compliments, granted favors, went out of their way to say hello, filled bulletin boards with positive affirmations, and donated their “cents,” which can add up to make significant “change” in the world.

“There was such an outpouring of generosity,” said Amanda Bevacqua, a teacher and organizer of the inaugural event.

The majority of funds – a whopping $700 – were donated by students in Kenneth Skurnick’s and Rebecca Davis’ classes.

In total, the students raised $1,250 during the CENTennial Cares Week. Those funds were matched by the Student Government, for a sizeable check of $2,500 to New Horizons for increased access to mental health for students and community.

“We know as a community of teachers that unless we have our student’s total health in mind, minimal learning will occur.” said Bevacqua, who added that she and her colleagues “know New Horizon’s services are essential to their students’ overall health.”

New Horizons is the most comprehensive mental health and substance abuse recovery agency in the region, with nine offices across four counties serving 14,000 children and adults, regardless of their ability to pay.

In fact, 57% of New Horizons clients have no source of income or insurance, yet as nonprofit, no one is turned away due to lack of financial resources. Funds raised from incredible groups like Centennial High School go directly to their care.

To learn more, please visit www.nhtcinc.org or call (772) 696-2729.