Authors: Courtney Clark, Alexis Doczy, Paddy Griffin, Madison Merritt
Faculty Supervisor: Nicole Masano DNP, RN, CNM, CME
Community Partner: MorningStar Children and Family Services
MorningStar Children and Family Services was founded in 1996 and was originally approved to serve up to 52 youth (males) with developmental disabilities and mental health needs. After many years, “Boys’ Estate” was changed to “Youth Estate” and accepted girls as well as boys. MorningStar is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is licensed by the State of Georgia. Their primary focus is children and youth ages 12-18 with IQs of 40-80 that come from unstable family environments. Our group implemented a project to educate with the use of primary prevention in the form of art therapy as an emotional outlet. Our goal was for the children to use the art therapy as a coping mechanism in times of stress, anxiety or violent outbreaks. The children created their own fake succulent pot and designed it to their own liking. This project can benefit the community youth because this is a healthy mechanism of coping that is on an individualized level. Our groups service-learning outcomes were met by implementing a windshield survey by touring MorningStar facility, speaking to those within the community, and identifying the ineffective coping mechanisms and then developing a strategic solution for the problem of the residents at MorningStar. We are optimistic that this project will be continued within MorningStar and have an overall impact of healthy coping within the children, both boys and girls, that reside at this facility.