Houston Matters

Program Gives Santa Fe Students A Place To Be Safe, And To Cope

More than a year after the Santa Fe school shooting, Houston Matters visits a pilot program for teenagers there.

Santa Fe Recovery Program Students
Liberty Wheeler, a Santa Fe High School student, and Lexi Rene Rodriguez of Alvin High School, both attended the summer “pop-up” Boys and Girls Club in Santa Fe.

After the shooting at Santa Fe High School last year, numerous agencies and organizations there banded together to create the City of Santa Fe Resiliency Center to help those affected by the shooting. And now, a new summer pilot program hopes to fill another need for young people in the area.

The five-week program is run by Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston. The activities are a lot like what you’d find at a typical Boys and Girls Club, but Santa Fe doesn’t have an actual club of its own.

So, this is what they call a “pop-up” club, housed in the rec center of Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

Santa Fe Resiliency Center Sign
A sign for the City of Santa Fe Resiliency Center outside Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

Around 30 kids ages 13 to 17 get meals five days a week and participate in all kinds of activities – like cooking and photography lessons and exercise programs. Plus, there are games, and field trips.

But it’s all paired with lessons about handling difficult thoughts and emotions.

Santa Fe Zumba Class
Teenagers participate in a Zumba class at the “pop-up” Boys and Girls Club in Santa Fe.

Since it’s a pilot program, it ends this week. But Boys and Girls Club is looking for funding to make it permanent.

To find out just what kind of difference the program is making, Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty went to check it out.

In the audio above, he watches some of the activities, talks with a student who experienced the 2018 shooting, and learns how it’s helped them.