b'A Helping Hand atColumbia High School The debut of CHSs new resource center, the Counseling Annex BY CASSANDRA RATKEVICH Minority Achievement Club (MAC) director Marcia Hicks helps unveil the Counseling Annex at Columbia High School.I n September 2021, Columbia High School taking classes from a bedroom, makeshift office, orchanged and met the needs of the students. The students returned to the school building toat a kitchen table. Counseling Annex serves to do just that. receivefull-day,in-personinstructionafterFortunately,CHShadopenedanewresourceThe Counseling Annex held its grand openingalmost a year and a half of online learning.center to help students navigate their new realities. orribbon-Withthepandemicstillinfullswing,The CHS Counseling Annex is the brainchild ofcuttingtype however, returning to both the regular schoolCHS guidance director Falynn Balassone, Minorityceremony, day and extracurricular activities was difficultAchievement Club (MAC) director Marcia Hicks,asBalassone for many. During the first months back at school,andCHSsocialworksupervisorJenniferEaston.explainson students and parents alike were flooded with emailsLocated in the rear of the school library, it offersSeptember about where and how to get a COVID test, quar- academic and social/emotional resources to support27,2021, antine protocols, and adjusted sports and academicstudents.intheCHS schedules, amongst other things. Before becoming the MAC and Counseling An- Librarydur-Formanystudents,transitioningbacktothenex director, Hicks was a guidance counselor at CHSing students classroom was made more overwhelming by men- from 2002 to 2016. Ive kind of always had this inlunchpe-tal health struggles relating to the pandemic. Mostmy mind, she explains. She envisioned someplaceriods.All students had spent the last year and a half isolatedintheschoolwithprogrammingthateachyearstudentsandGuidance director Falynn Balassone34/ matters magazine / school 2022'