High School Hosts Second Annual Wellness Fair

Students gather around therapy dog Baby Girl at the second annual Wellness Fair, held at the high school on Friday, April 14, 2023.

Randolph High School successfully hosted the second annual Wellness Fair in the Auxiliary Gym from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., on Friday, April 14.

Countless students eager to learn about mental health issues and solutions visited the fair’s 21 “wellness tables,” which were staffed by vendors from local mental health and wellness organizations.

Some of the table displays promoted relaxation techniques, while others featured information on mental health, addiction assistance, physical health and more for students. Students also participated in wellness-themed activities, including trivia games and demonstrations.

“Ever since coming back from the pandemic we’ve seen an increasing need for mental health supports for students and through the wellness fair,” explained guidance counselor Jessica Cavaliere, who organized the fair with other members of the RHS guidance department. “We hope to connect students to different organizations in the community that focus on physical and mental wellness.”

The following roundup highlights of some of the vendors who attended and their contact information.


Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs and Tierra Wellness Center

Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs and Tierra Wellness Center were, not surprisingly, two of the most popular tables as they featured two therapy dogs, a German shepherd named Curry and a golden retriever named Baby Girl.

Therapy dogs are trained to promote relaxation in students, patients in hospitals and the elderly. Petting the dogs makes most people feel calm and happy.

“We adopted Baby Girl, and we knew there was something special about her,” said Febe Sieb of Tierra Wellness Center. “As soon as she sensed there was a lot of stress [in my husband], she went by him and started making noises and giving him kisses.”

Various organizations train the dogs to become socialized and therapy dogs. Some dogs, like Baby Girl, are able to sense medical needs such as high blood pressure.

“[Our goals are to] raise awareness of therapy dogs, to socialize them, and to bring happiness to the people we see,” explained Melissa Bumgardner of Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs.

The dogs were comforting for the students of RHS and a clear highlight of the fair. –Lindsey Kudriavetz


Prevention Is Key

Prevention Is Key (PIK) is a nonprofit organization located in Rockaway that focuses on educating the community on the harmful effects of substance abuse. PIK has a peer mentoring program where youth ages 11-17 are paired with mentors of the same age or older to help support them academically, personally and socially.

“We love to help educate the community on the harms of substance abuse and to revisit the people who were in our program, or families who are using substances,” said Arielle Aigotti, a youth mentor leader. Many students who visited the table seemed to find this information helpful.

“I did not know much about vapes or how they impact you in general, but now I know much more information about this topic and how badly it can impact you mentally and physically,” freshman Joe Dicristina said.

To get help for yourself or someone you know with substance abuse, call their 24/7/365 hotline at 973-625-1143 or email [email protected]. –Mel Hutchinson


Dashboarding Minds

Gail Kreitzer, a certified life coach at Dashboarding Minds, works to help students visualize and manifest their ideal lives.

“I’m trying to help students connect with the fact that they are always at [the crossroads of making a] choice,” Kreitzer explained. “They get to create their life. Nobody else does but them.”

The Dashboarding Minds booth allowed students to discuss their ideal lives with a partner. The students asked each other questions about various topics, for example, about their social lives and family, which students answered in the present tense.

“The visioning exercise allows them to envision their lives with insight, and it gets them the opportunity to think about a future age or stage that they want to manifest,” Kreitzer said.

This activity is aimed at helping students step into the mindset of their goals in order to achieve and embody their ideal lives and selves. –Lindsey Kudriavetz


Jersey Women’s Battered Shelter

Jersey Women’s Battered Shelter (JWBS) is a private, nonprofit organization located in Morristown whose purpose is to support and empower people who are experiencing domestic violence. This includes teaching high school students about prevention and the hallmarks of healthy relationships.

“Relationships are such a big part of our lives, and you should be able to feel safe while being in them,” representative and therapist Samantha Avignone said. “Too many people get stuck in unhealthy relationships and it is not fair to them, and I love to help the ones who need help.”

Students who visited the table had plenty to add. “I really appreciate the fact that I am lucky enough to have this place as a resource if I need it,” junior Anabella Dicristina said. “Not all girls have the same opportunities to get help if they need it, so just knowing it’s there if I need it is very comforting.”

If you or a loved one is experiencing relationship abuse, you can reach their 24-hour help hotline at 877-782-2872 or visit their website at https://no2datingabuse.org. –Mel Hutchinson


Good Grief

The Good Grief organization, located in Morristown and Princeton, helps children, teens, young adults and families cope with their grief “after the death of someone significant in their lives, which includes a parent, sibling, guardian, mentor or friend,” according to the brochure.

The organization is built around the idea that nobody should have to grieve alone. “[It’s all about] helping families through a rough time,” representative Beth Tomlin said. “We want people to know a relationship between a family member doesn’t end when the person passes.”

For more information, visit www.good-grief.org. –Charlie Wesolowski


Edge New Jersey

Edge New Jersey is a nonprofit wellness center located in Denville that supports members of the LGBTQ community as well as people living with HIV.

Their table displayed a variety of papers, pamphlets and posters to educate those who feel they may be experiencing these and other medical issues and would benefit from having a supportive community.

“We apply housing devices, behavioral health, support groups and case management and we host Morris County Pride, which is coming up on June 24,” said Zoe Heath, the special events assistant. Many students who visited the table said it provided a lot of information.

“Learning about Edge New Jersey services can be great for students, especially if they do not feel accepted in their homes or by their peers, then they know that they have a safe space there,” senior Alexa Gavenas said.

For more information, go to https://edgenj.org/contact-us and fill out their form. –Mel Hutchinson


Saint Clare’s Health

Saint Clare’s Health “is an award-winning network of community hospitals and healthcare facilities providing high-quality, compassionate care delivered by exceptional medical staff with the most advanced state-of-the art technology,” according to their website.

“When we work with people who struggle with mental health, we try to tap into their brain’s emotions,” a representative added. “When it comes to making changes in someone’s life to lead to better mental health, one of my favorite recommendations is to offer breathing techniques which can help you calm yourself down, and these can be used anywhere.”

For more information, visit https://saintclares.com.–Charlie Wesolowski


Center for Evaluation and Counseling

The Center for Evaluation and Counseling (CEC) is a non-profit mental health agency that has been around for over 25 years and “provides therapy for those who aren’t comfortable [with it],” a spokesperson explained.

The narrative the CEC creates, which is letting everyone know there is someone who will listen to them, is what has helped make CEC so successful for so long.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 973-829-6960 –Charlie Wesolowski