Students at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) spent several weeks this spring exploring the theme of “Second Chances,” with a focus at various times on post-incarceration, drug and alcohol addiction and recovery, immigration, homelessness, hunger and food insecurities. Their work was in preparation of CSM’s annual two-day Social Justice Day events held at the Leonardtown and Prince Frederick Campuses.
In discussing addiction and second chances after major life events or disruptions in one’s life, Calvert County Health Department Peer Recovery Specialist (PRS) Patricia Schleeter told students, “We all can benefit from internal retrospection and get comfortable with ourselves–how we grow, eat, sleep, talk–stop, and take stock. Take care of ourselves. Self-care is important.” PRS Veronica Granados echoed the need for self-care and coping mechanisms for young adults. “At the age of 15 we have at least 30 negative thoughts a day, with constant comparisons on social media, with peers, and even our own self-perceptions. We need to find healthy coping mechanisms rather than self-destructive behaviors.”
During Social Justice Day, students participated in a poster contest, heard from counselors who assist victims of violence and abuse; listened to a victim of sex trafficking recount her journey of survival; and heard from a former law enforcement officer who was found guilty of attempted murder-for-hire, The students also attended a trip to the Holocaust Museum.
Pictured above from left are some of the winners of the Prince Frederick Campus poster contest: Malgorzata Conover, who earned second place for “Should Sex Addicts Get a Second Chance” and an honorable mention for “Autism;” CSM Professor Lisa Lynk; Alise Allison, who earned an honorable mention for “2nd Chance at Life;” Amara Soffos, who earned an honorable mention for “Ending an Abusive Relationship;” and Gracie Knudson, who placed first in the contest with “Home is Where the Heart Is? An Analysis of Homelessness in the U.S.”