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Previous Meeting Summaries

Former SRO Scott Sullivan

Saturday March 31, 2018 at 10:00am

Members from ESI met with Scott Sullivan, a retired police officer, who was formerly the student resource officer at Portsmouth High School, at Sully's Second Chance in Portsmouth, RI.

At the meeting the group heard more from Sullivan about how he envisioned the SRO position to be more student focused.

Newport Mental Health

Thursday April 19, 2018 at 11:00am

Owen and Lucas met with CEO Jamie Lehane and Director of Marketing Sandra Oxx at the Newport Mental Health building in Middletown, RI. Ross and Noreau talked about their experiences with the level of support they receive in school. They were then able to ask questions to Lehane and Oxx. A strong partnership was built at this meeting.

Community Forum on Mental Health in Newport County

Monday May 14, 2018 at 8:00am

Owen and Connor attended a mental health forum at the Newport County YMCA that was hosted by Newport Mental Health and moderated by Rebecca Boss, the director of BHDDH. Connor spoke about the lack of support that the group feels is available for high school students. After the event several individuals approached the boys in the hopes of setting up a meeting to hear more about the group.

Portsmouth High School Prinicpal and the Social Emotional Support Staff

Wednesday May 16, 2018 at 12:55pm

The group was able to sit down with Portsmouth High School Principal Joseph Amaral and the social emotional support staff. Which included; school social worker Munderbach-Shaw, school psychologist Barron, student assistance counselor O'Laughlin and Dean of Students Monahan. The group asked a series of questions of the school staff to gain a better understanding of the support systems in place at PHS.

This meeting gave the group the framework for what their platform would eventually look like.

Be Great For Nate Night

Saturday June 23, 2018 at 4:00pm

ESI, along with other friends, put together a fundraiser for the Nathan Bruno Memorial Fund to honor their friend that passed away in February of 2018. The fundraiser was hosted at Schultzy's Snack Shack in Portsmouth, RI.

They collected donations from over twenty local business that were raffled off to those that came out to support. There was also a bounce house, DJ, cartoon characters and a face painter.

The event raised over $7,000 for the fund!

State Senator Dawn Euer

Tuesday July 10, 2018 at 10:30am

Connor and Angel presented the first draft of the ESI platform for Senator Euer. They shared their personal experiences and desires to the senator who in return spoke about how impressed she was with their work. ESI has created a partnership with the senator and look forward to meeting with her in November to work on a law that would cement the proposed policies and programs of the group.

Portsmouth Prevention Coaltion

Thursday July 19, 2018, 8:30am

ESI was invited to attend the monthly Portsmouth Prevention Coalition meeting at the Portsmouth Town Hall. At the meeting the group presented their platform to all of the members in attendance and then received feedback.

Each member of the Coalition was receptive and gave constructive feedback on how to move forward with the platform of ESI and how the Coalition can be an ally in that.

BHDDH and Department of Health

Friday July 20, 2018 at 10:00am

Owen, Lucas, Eric, Connor, Tyree, Angel and Jack presented the ESI platform to a team of officials from both BHDDH and the Department of Health. The meeting was held at the Hazard Building in Cranston, RI.

The team consisted of Associate Director of Behavioral Health Michelle Brophy, Associate Director of Clinical Services Tom Martin, Coordinator of Community Planning and Development Tracey Tillinghast, LICSW, Communications Coordinator Jenna Mackevich and Violence and Injury Prevention Program Manager Jeffery Hill.

ESI walked away with lots of resources to continue their research into increased social emotional support and ways in which they can develop and expand their platform. ESI, BHDDH and the Department of Health made plans to continue a line of communication so that they can help provide any resources that the group may need.

State Senator Jim Seveney

Monday July 30, 2018 at 11:00am

Owen, Lucas and Angel sat down with Senator Jim Seveney at Schultzy's Snack Shack in Portsmouth, RI to present their platform to him.

The senator was enthusiastic about being a part of this movement and brings year of experience in the school system as a former school committee member. He provided the group with more resources and contacts to explore their movement with further.

ESI will work with senator Seveney and Euer in the near future on the legislation that will be created to provide more social emotional support to students in school and in the community.

Conference Call with BHDDH and Department of Health

Friday August 10, 2018 at 11:00am

Owen, Connor and Angel had a conference call with Michelle Brophy, Tom Martin and Jeffrey Hill to give them an update on the progress they have been making and the next steps tp cary put their platform and message.

Brophy, Martin and Hill were impressed with the amount of work the group had put in since their last communication. At one point even saying, "We need you more than you need us."

On the call ESI was provided with even more resources and connections to move forward with, as well as the contact information necessary to bring numerous agencies together for the ESI community forum on August 27, 2018.

SRO Ruest

Friday August 12, 2018 at 9:00am

Owen, Lucas, Eric, Tyree and Angel met with new PHS SRO Ruest at Dunkin Donuts on East Main Road in Portsmouth RI. SRO Ruest was present at the meeting when the group presented to the Portsmouth Prevention Coalition, so this meeting was centered around learning more about the SRO position and how it can best be utilized within the school.

The meeting gave the group valuable information to move forward with. They hope to next set up a meeting with the chief of police for Portsmouth, RI.

Saint Barnabas Church

Tuesday August 14, 2018 at 8:00am

Owen met with Marcia Blackburn at Saint Barnabas Church in Portsmouth, RI. Blackburn is on the Portsmouth Prevention Coalition and had been in contact with ESI about the possibility of holding a community forum at the church.

Ross and Blackburn met to discuss the structure of the night and who the group invited to be present for the event. They surveyed the room in which the forum will be held.

Principal Amaral

Friday August 17, 2018 at 8:00am

ESI asked PHS Principal Amaral to meet so they could present their platform to him and share all of the work they have been doing since their last meeting.

Mr. Amaral was unwilling to allow the ESI group mentor to the meeting so the group decided to cancel the meeting.

Student Assistance Program

Friday August 17, 2018 at 9:30am

Leigh Raposa backed out of a meeting with ESI, where the group planned to present their platform and ask for more information about their program and the QPR training.

Raposa revealed that students assistance would wait until the school year began and then they would start to provide support to ESI, with the stipulation that a school employee be in charge of facilitating the group.

ESI declined this proposal but hopes that Student Assistance will be willing to meet outside of the school building so all members of the group can be present.

Portsmouth School District Administration

Monday August 20th, 2018 at 10:00am

The group met with Superintendent Riley, Director of Pupil Service Dr. Collwell, High School Principal Amaral and Chairwoman of the School Committee Cortvriend at the Portsmouth Administration Building.

The group talked about all the work they have been doing, asked questions and then presented their platform.

The meeting gave insight into all of the the improvements Portsmouth has been making since last school year and this gives the group a framework on where to go from here to improve upon the social emotional support systems even further.

Mr. Amaral was receptive to most of the programs the group has proposed to implement within PHS.

This meeting allowed the group to build a formal relationship and line communication between ESI and the Portsmouth School District. We hope to move forward on building a partnership that will positively benefit all students within the district.

We are excited for the steps that come next.

Community Forum on Mental Health Hosted by ESI

Monday August 27th, 2018 at 6:30pm

After months of working hard to review some of the social emotional supports that are in place within the Portsmouth Community, ESI held an open community forum at Saint Barnabas Church in Portsmouth.

State Senator Jim Seveney, School Committee Chairwoman Cortvriend, SRO Ruest, Principal Amaral, along with over one hundred others were in attendance.

BHDDH, EBCAP, Portsmouth Prevention Coalition, AFSP, the Bristol Health Equity Zone and HARI were all present with information tables so they could provide resources and knowledge to those in attendance.

The group gave a fifteen minute presentation on the work they have done, the work they are doing and the work they will continue to do. During their presentation they gave an outline of some of the policies and programs that they would like to see implemented into the Portsmouth School system and beyond.

Following the ESI presentation the Hospitals Association of Rhode Island was invited to give a presentation on the Campaign to Change Directions. At the end of the presentation all of those in attendance gave a verbal pledge to know the five signs of a distressed person.

The group then took questions from the public for over a half hour.

The forum was well received by those in attendance. The group was given great ideas and constructive criticism to help them in moving forward.

The group plans to go to other communities to hold similar forums to present their work.

Every Student Initiative is thankful to Saint Barnabas Church for hosting the event and being a strong ally in helping to promote positive change.

Aquidneck Island Rally 4 Recovery

Saturday September 8, 2018 at 12:00pm

The group was invited to speak at the 7th Annual Aquidneck Island Rally 4 Recovery in honor of Recovery Month.

ESI members spoke to the crowd about the importance and reason for why they began this group, while also opening up about how they have experienced addiction and suicide in their lives. Video of this presentation can be found on our YouTube page, as well as the "Media" page of our website.

Providence Rally 4 Recovery

Saturday September 15, 2018 at 2:00pm

The group started the day at the Out of the Darkness Community Walk, where the group helped raised nearly $5,000 walking for team Be Great For Nate. All proceeds went to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

From there the group went to the Providence Rally 4 Recovery at Roger Williams Memorial Park. Here they gave a five minute speech about the reasons as to why they have started the group and why their platform is important to them.

After speaking the group was approached by several different organizations and individuals to show support. It was during this time that U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse approached the group and congratulated them on such a powerful presentation. ESI members also spent time speaking with U.S. Representative Jim Langevin about the initiative.

A video of the presentation can be found on our Youtube page, as well as the "Media" page of our website.

Scott Sullivan

Sunday September 23, 2018 at 11:00am

Several ESI members met with former School Resource Officer Scott Sullivan at his store. Sullivan now gives anti-bullying presentation to community members.

The group wanted to meet with him so we could learn more about his presentation and how his work can be integrated into the work of the Every Student Initiative.

From this meeting ESI will now work to be at Sullivan's next presentation so the group can see it first hand.

Newport Mental Health

Thursday September 27, 2018 at 4:00pm

Owen and Simon met with Jamie Lehane and Sandra Oxx to further discuss the group and the progress that has been made since the group first started and they last set down for an official meeting since April.

Lehane and Oxx discussed several ways in which Newport Mental Health and ESI can continue to work together to push forth the importance of mental health through the community.

The group will be taking part in their "I am Whole" campaign with the YMCA on October 10th, as well as having a table at the YMCA Fall Festival in late October.

Portsmouth High School Principal and Social Emotional Support Staff

Tuesday October 2, 2018 at 2:00

Members of the group met with the PHS Principal Mr. Amaral and the social emotional support team for the first time this year.

At the meeting they continued the discussion on how the support at the school can be improved and how the group can be a part of that.

The hope of the group after leaving this meeting is that this will lead to a positive collaboration of necessary change.

Lets Talk About Mental Health Community Discussion

Wednesday October 3, 2018 at 6:00

ESI was asked to host one of the governors Lets Talk About Mental Health Community Discussion. 

The group presented to the community filled Portsmouth Middle School Library on why the group started and why it is important to them.

They then took part in the community discussion that was moderated by the Office of Health and Human Services. Among the panel was the Director of BHDDH, the Director of DCYF and the Director of Veteran Affairs.

This even served as a great opportunity for the group to spread their message and help to start an important discussion throughout the community and state.

Warwick Rally 4 Recovery

Friday October 5th at 5:00

ESI was invited to speak at the last Rally 4 Recovery in the state of Rhode Island for the year. This was held in the Warwick mall parking lot.

The group presented on why they started this movement and why it is personally important to them.

The group hopes to continue to work with the Rally 4 Recovery in the future!

Portsmouth Juvenile Hearing Board

Thursday October 11, 2018 at 7:00pm

The group was asked to speak before the Juvenile Hearing Board in Portsmouth. They gave a twenty minute presentation on all the work the group has done and the programs they would like to see enacted to better support teens and youth in their schools and communities.

They plan to return at the beginning of 2019 to give the Board an update on their progress.

Meeting with the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office

Wednesday October 17, 2018 at 4:00pm

The group met with Joee Lindbeck from the Attorney General office in Cranston to discuss the group and how they would like to enact law to leave a lasting impact on the entire state of Rhode Island.

During their meeting they discussed bringing the Jason Flatt Act to RI, as well as creating Nathan's Law.

It was a very productive meeting and is the first step and the lasting impact ESI hopes to have.

YMCA Health and Wellness Fair

Saturday October 20, 2018 at 10:00am

ESI was invited by Newport Mental Health to have an information table at the YMCA Health and Wellness Fair.


The YMCA and Newport Mental Health have been rolling out the "I Am Whole" campaign.

This fair was a great opportunity for the group to network and spread the message of the work the group has been doing!