Today, it’s my pleasure to host Yvette M. Calleiro with her new release, HYPE. She’s brought along a compelling guest post and is offering a giveaway. See below, and please welcome Yvette!
GIVEAWAY: 3 e-book copies of HYPE!
Leave a comment below for your chance to win!
It’s hard for anyone outside of the school system to understand how vital school counselors are for our youth. Students cannot leave their problems at home. They carry them everywhere they go, including school. When a child is struggling emotionally or physically, they cannot focus on learning. Teachers are the first level of comfort for many students, but there are certain areas that need more in-depth help, and that is where our counselors come in.
At my middle school, we have two regular counselors, a TRUST counselor, and a mental health counselor. A TRUST counselor is a special counselor that focuses on being a beacon of help for our students. Our TRUST counselor is amazing. I could spend pages trying to explain all the ways she helps our students, but I’m going to focus on the one that applies to my novel, HYPE. She listens with no judgment and helps keep the student physically, mentally, and emotionally safe. I cannot tell you how many lives she has improved (and has saved) because of the work she does with our students.
In HYPE, Cici is referred to the TRUST counselor by her best friend when Cici’s behavior changes. Here is an excerpt from the story:
Mr. Cooper comes from around his desk to shake my hand. The first thing I notice is his happy eyes. They seem to smile all on their own. Curly, brown hair curves around the sides of his head, leaving the top bald. His bushy mustache almost completely covers his mouth; it’s good his eyes smile for him. I want to relax around him. He has this positive energy about him, but I keep my guard up.
“Come in. Come in. You must be Cecilia.” He shakes my hand and points to a chair in front of his desk. Instead of going to sit in his chair, he closes his door and sits in the chair next to me. “I’m Mr. Cooper, the school’s TRUST counselor. A friend of yours is worried about you and asked me to meet with you.”
Dee. It has to be.
“I’m not sure if you know who I am or what I do.”
I shake my head, although I have a pretty good idea what he’s about to say.
He smiles. “I am not a regular counselor. I don’t handle schedules and high school credits. I deal with more sensitive issues. Students come to me when they want to speak privately about issues such as homosexuality, relationship problems, anorexia, bulimia, suicidal thoughts, physical or emotional abuse, rape, problems with friends, etc… You can talk to me about anything. You and your thoughts and words are safe here.”
I like Mr. Cooper, despite what his job is, and I really want to let it all spill out of my mouth. “And everything I say is confidential?”
“Yes, everything is kept private between us. However, there are three details I cannot keep private for your own safety. One is if you want to harm yourself. Another is if you want to harm someone else. And the last one is if you are being abused or have been abused in any way. Your safety is the most important thing to me, and to keep you safe, I cannot keep those details confidential. I would have to get additional help, but I would be with you through every step.”
I shut down.
“Cici,” I correct him.
The smile again. “Cici, I work with plenty of troubled teens. The teenage years can be the most difficult in anyone’s life. I can help you get through whatever seems to be troubling you. Each person’s problems always seem bigger than they are. Sometimes, sharing them with a stranger who will not judge you and will hold what you say in confidence can help you work through it.”
I say nothing and stare at him. What I want to share is something he could not hold in confidence, so I stay quiet.
It isn’t easy for a student to open up to a complete stranger, but TRUST counselors know how to create those safe spaces to allow students to have a place where they can share their struggles. I know this from my own experiences in high school.
During my junior year, I became very depressed. I stopped eating and had difficulty sleeping. My parents tried to take me to a psychologist, but my stubborn self refused to talk to him. A teacher referred me to the TRUST counselor. At first, I was hesitant about speaking with him, but he slowly showed me that he was there to listen to me. I felt seen and heard, without judgment or expectations, for the first time in a long time. It was a turning point for me, as it is for many students.
The dramas of my yesteryears still exist, but today’s teens have so many more issues to deal with: school shootings, COVID, social media bullying, and so many more. Counselors are needed more than ever in the schools, and I hope this story shines a little light on them and their vast importance to our youth.
Cici’s junior year in high school is going to be the best year ever. Popular co-captain of the varsity cheerleading team, she’s dating the starting quarterback. Even her jealous co-captain’s attempts to steal her boyfriend can’t curb her enthusiasm.
When her mom moves in with her fiancé, a handsome, wealthy man, only one small detail threatens Cici’s perfect life. The school’s social pariah is about to become her stepsister, and Cici wants nothing to do with her.
Everything changes when someone Cici cares about throws her life into a tailspin, and the one person Cici couldn’t stand becomes her only ally.
Warning: This story contains scenes of sexual assault.
Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.
Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.
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Visit Yvette’s AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE for a complete list of all her novels
Thanks so much for visiting in celebration of HYPE. Teen years are especially difficult, but I can’t imagine what it must be like today with the added pressure of social media and 24/7 scrutiny. I thought Yvette wrote an excellent post about the importance of TRUST counselors. To participate in the giveaway, don’t forget to drop her a comment, then help spread the word about HYPE with the sharing buttons! 🙂