October is Bullying Prevention Month. Every October since 2006, this national campaign has shed light on the harsh reality of bullying in schools.  Here at the WELL, we foster a positive student community, utilizing Positive Youth Development philosophy and techniques.

For this week’s Friday Five, we highlight five statistics about bullying.

  1. 1 out of every 4 students report being bullied during the school year
  2. 64% of children who were bullied did not report it
  3. 19.6% of HS students in the United States report being bullied at school in the past year. 14.8% report being bullied online.
  4. School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25%.
  5. Students report the most helpful things teachers can do are: listen, check in with the student after, and give students advice.


Follow us on social media for tips throughout this month on what you can do if you see bullying, how to talk to teens about bullying, and how to prevent bullying.


(All statistics found here: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/about/media-kit/stats.asp)

Happy Friday! This month, our WELL Rounded program focuses on Goal Setting. Appropriate for the beginning of the semester and new school year. Students will work to create and set goals for themselves, and we plan on revisiting those goals in January.


Our Friday Five this week is less of a list, and more of an acronym. We talk about setting “smart” goals for ourselves, but did you know that’s actually an acronym?!

S: Specific. Say something more than just “I will get better grades.” How will you do it? When will you do it? Try this: “I will spend 3 hours a week studying Math to bring my grade to a B.”

M: Measurable. How will you know when you have reached your goal? What benchmarks can you set that will help track your progress?

A: Achievable. Is this a reasonable goal? Yes, you can reach most any goal you set, but make sure this is something you can accomplish within the time frame.

R: Realistic. Are you both willing and able to work on this goal?

T: Timely. Make sure you put a time frame to your goal. Yes, you might want to get in shape, but by when? Having an end date in mind will help you track progress.


So, what’s your SMART goal? Share it with us in the comments!

As part of our Friday Five series, we’ve decided to share a bit about our staff members: their passions, their dreams, and a few fun facts! Periodically, we’ll interrupt your regular five facts with a staff interview.

First up: Shiona Caldwell, our Academic Services Program Coordinator.  Shiona has worked at the WELL for two years, and makes sure all of our programs run smoothly on a weekly basis!

  1. What is your personal philosophy?
    “Stay true to yourself”
  2. What does true leadership mean to you?
    “True leadership is being able to be led while you lead. A true leader is consistent, transparent, accepts their faults, compensates for their shortcomings, and more importantly is passionate about the work they do and the people they serve.”
  3. What is your hidden talent?
    “I love to sing! Though this is not really hidden, I’m selective about how I use my gift.”
  4. If you could give your high school self one piece of advice, what would it be?
    “Focus more and don’t lose sight of the goal.”
  5. What do you like most about working at the WELL?
    “OPPORTUNITY!! I couldn’t stress enough the opportunities that working at the WELL has afforded me in the 2 years I have been here. My work here does not feel like work. When you love the job you do, it rarely is.”

Friday Five BONUS:

What is something unique about you?
“Something unique about myself is that I have a birthmark on my tongue.”

Today is the 14th anniversary of 9/11.

Arguably the worst tragedy to strike our nation, and also a point of immense patriotism and collectivism. While we (WELL staff) remember that day vividly– many, if not most, of the students we serve were too young to remember that day or to fully comprehend the gravity of the situation.  To honor those brave men and women who ran towards danger to save countless lives on that day and every day since, our Friday Five today is meant to inspire.

Here are five quotes of hope and inspiration:

  1. “Ten years have passed since a perfect blue sky morning turned into the blackest of nights. Since then we’ve lived in sunshine and in shadow, and although we can never unsee what happened here, we can also see that children who lost their parents have grown into young adults, grandchildren have been born and good works and public service have taken root to honor those we loved and lost.” – New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking at a memorial service in New York
  2. “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” -Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank
  3. “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
  4. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” -Thomas Edison
  5. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” -Dr. Seuss

We’re changing things up a bit for this week’s Friday Five. Our staff members are sharing some of their favorite quotes about education.  With the school year barely in session, we figure a little motivation and empowerment is just what the doctor teacher ordered.

1. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” -Nelson Mandela

2. “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one” -Malcolm Forbes

3. “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence” -Robert Frost

4. “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think” -Margaret Mead

5. “The goal of education is to enable individuals to continue their education” -John Dewey


Thanks for tuning in this week–we’ll be back next Friday with another Five!

A fifteen year old girl, Trisha Prabhu, is making headlines thanks to her coding skills.  Inspired by a tragic story of a 12-year old girl taking her life as a result of cyberbullying, Prabhu put her passions, skills, and determination to good use.  The app took two years to develop, but ReThink forces users to pause before posting or sending a hurtful message. Prabhu is gaining national attention for her work, headlining a TEDxTeen conference and earning a spot as a Google Science Fair 2014 Global Finalist.  Currently, the app is available for Android users, and will release an iOS version in the near future.

To read more: click here.

Interested in developing your coding skills to make a difference in the world? Check out our Hi-Tech Teens program.  We focus on building computer science and technology skills, while introducing students to the vast array of possibilities that fall in the technology field.  We even have a session focused on App development.

WCPSS traditional calendar schools have their first day Monday! While you’re soaking up the sun during these last few days of summer vacation, our Friday Five focuses on tips to help kick off the 2015-2016 school year with a bang!


1. Come prepared! Yes, Monday is day 1, but every day counts. Be sure you have notebooks, pens, an agenda, etc. to keep track of first day assignments and papers.

2. Ease into it! One of the joys of summer is being able to sleep in.  Come 6am Monday morning, you’ll more than likely want to hit the snooze button one too many times.  To save yourself the shock of an abrupt schedule change, ease into it. Begin waking up a half hour earlier each day so that you’ll be prepared (and not as sleepy) for day one!

3. You have a fresh start–use it! A new school year means a new set of classes and a clean slate. Had a tough time turning in homework on time? This is your chance! Use the new year to your advantage: stay on top of assignments and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

4.Organization, organization, organization! Everyone learns different, just like everyone has different preferences for how to organize.  The beginning of the school year is a great time to try different methods of organization and see what works best for you! Taking a few weeks at the beginning of the school year to find the perfect way to keep everything in order is good.

5. Have fun! Relax! The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to have a little fun. You’re in new classes, meeting new people, making new friends.  Take advantage of it and reach out to someone new: you never know when that person could be your newest BFF.

Last week, our Friday Five focused on our accomplishments during the 2014-2015 school year. This week, we’re looking ahead to our returning programs, and those we plan to launch.

1. WELL-Rounded: Our weekly program focusing on developing strong life skills gets a reboot this fall. Each Wednesday from 3-4pm, students will participate in activities and discussions relating to the monthly theme. September’s theme is “Who Am I/Fresh Air”, where we’ll focus on learning more about ourselves. We’ll set goals for the school year and return to those as the year progresses.

2. WELL Service Warriors: Ever wanted to do community service, but didn’t know where to turn? That’s exactly what WELL Service Warriors is for. Each month, students have an opportunity to earn community service hours by completing projects for local non-profits. Our September non-profit is A Note in the Pocket.

3. Hi-Tech Teens is back and bigger than ever! We have 2 fall sessions planned, and 3 opportunities during the week to explore computer science. Not only do we have the same Thursday and Saturday days like last year, but we’ve added a co-ed class on Tuesdays!

4. Kaplan Practice Tests: In addition to our boot camp partnership with Raleigh Tutoring, the WELL is proud to partner with Kaplan to offer free practice tests to students taking the PSAT and SAT.

5. Teen Talk: A new endeavor for the WELL, Teen Talk is a weekly, facilitated discussion for teens led by partners from InterAct and NCSU. Students have an opportunity to talk about the things occurring in their lives, focusing on healthy relationships, social and emotional health, communication skills, and more!


These are just a few of our incredible offerings for this school year! Sign up for our e-newsletter for the most up to date information.


Our Friday Five this week is a bit of a flashback.  We thought we would highlight just a few of the things the WELL accomplished in the most recent school year.  With the 2015-2016 school year right around the corner (and already in progress for some) we’re looking to have an even bigger impact, and can’t wait to open our doors to students in a few short weeks.


Our year in review 2014-2015:

1. We supported 233 students through our ACT/SAT boot camps: an increase of 28% from the year before.

2. We kicked off a new program, Hi-Tech Teens, which allows high school students, especially young women, to explore computer science and technology in an environment free from gender-associated pressures. Hi-Tech Teens had 92 student and 57 mentor participants.

3. Our volunteer corps is growing! 18 volunteer tutors contributed 4,552 hours of tutoring for our students. Even better–we had a 100% passing rate!

4. Our 209 student members came from 19 area high schools! With 27 WCPSS high schools, we hope to broaden our reach even more this year!

5. Our students participated in 10 service events benefiting some great organizations: Step Up Ministry, Wake UP and Read, Glenwood Towers, and Feed the Pack (food drive).


These are just a few of the great things at the WELL.  Visit our Programs & Services page to learn more!


INTRODUCING…Friday Five! Our newest, weekly blog adventure is a way for us to share our passions with you. Whether a list of highlights from the past week, a staff spotlight, student spotlight, volunteer spotlight, or general tips and tricks, we’re looking forward to sharing our Friday Five with you each and every week.


WELL Service WarriorsThis week: Summer Spotlight! Summer has come to an end here at the WELL.  We’ve wrapped up six incredible weeks of academic and enrichment workshops. While we would love to share a highlight from each of our workshops, here are just five of the spectacular happenings from the past six weeks:

iThrive1. We had a great partnership with Wake County 4-H to provide workshops to students free of charge: iThrive Academy and Bicycle Repair. During iThrive Academy, students discovered their sparks, set goals for themselves for the coming school year, and had a ton of fun in the process!

2. Our College Tours were a success! Students visited area universities and got a brief taste of what it is like to be a student in college.

3. Math 1 & 2 gave students a chance to refresh their skills in preparation for another semester of numbers, variables, and equations.Engineering

4. Students got hands-on practice in Hi-Tech Teens! Our three sessions focused on Python, App Development, and HTML/CSS. More to come in the fall! Stay tuned.

5. Another partnership, this time with NCSU College of Engineering, allowed students to explore four different types of engineering. They even made ice cream with liquid Nitrogen!


Well, there you have it–our first Friday Five.  Check in next Friday to see what we have in store!