Davis wins fifth award for Wellness Center


Photo courtesy of Darshana Doshi

DBHS Wellness Center adviser Sandy Davis, center, was awarded the CAMFT Outstanding School Award on April 27. She attended the ceremony with principal Reuben Jones, left, and CAMFT Clinical Director-at-Large Darshana Doshi, far right.

Diamond Bar High School has become the first high school to receive the prestigious Outstanding School Award, a prize usually given to universities, for its Wellness Center.

Last month, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists presented this award to Wellness Center adviser Sandy Davis. She was nominated by the organization’s  Clinical Director-at-Large, Darshana Doshi.

“I chose Mrs. Davis because I thought she was doing excellent work for the school,” Doshi said. “She’s providing an excellent opportunity for young high schoolers to provide peer counseling support to their peers, which is very much needed in high school.”

The school’s Wellness Center, opened in 2016, has been a pilot program that South Pointe Middle School and other schools have replicated after seeing its effectiveness. Some of the work Davis has done for the center and for DBHS students include hosting events like the TEDx Talks, DB Forum and Kindness Week.

“I thought that if this school is recognized and given the award, many other schools can also implement a Wellness Center in their program,” Doshi said. “This recognition would motivate those other schools [to follow in DBHS’s] footsteps.”

One of Davis’ ideas indirectly led the school to be nominated for the Outstanding School Award. Davis planned on implementing a new workshop, with the school administration’s approval, titled “Cracking the Guy Code.” The workshop would focus on allowing male students to open up about their lives and problems to male mentors, enabling them to break the “male code of silence.” However, the Wellness Center needed more funding for the workshop, which caused Davis to look for grant opportunities.

“I had a parent that I was talking with who was a psychotherapist, and I was asking her if she had any suggestions on grant opportunities,” Davis said. “The parent was a [clinical] member of CAMFT and suggested a CAMFT grant. Over the holiday break in December, she called me and mentioned nominating the Wellness Center program for CAMFT recognition.”

Although Davis did not receive the grant, she did win the award.

This is the fifth award Davis and the Wellness Center have received in the past three years.

“I like this award so much is because these are counseling professionals saying, ‘What you are doing is incredible for students,’” Davis said. “They are validating and giving our program credit.”