SOAR Youth Group

SOAR Youth Group welcomes RHAM Middle School and RHAM High School students who would like to make positive changes on the RHAM campus through service and education. Students are encouraged to use their voices as they work as a team planning small events and activities that focus on mental health awareness and healthy lifestyle choices. All students are welcome! 

Leadership and community service opportunities are available throughout the school year. 

SOAR Youth Group is an offshoot of AHM Youth & Family Services’ Coalition for a Healthy & Empowered Committee. AHM Youth & Family Services sponsors SOAR Youth Group under the direction of Prevention Coordinator Ashlee Parks and RHAM High School, School Psychologist, Carol Rusch. 

AHM’s Prevention Coordinator:
Ashlee Parks
860-228-9488, x22


SOAR Advisor at RHAM HS
Carol Rusch, School Psychologist


SOAR 2023-2024 Meeting Dates:

Time: Wednesdays, 2:20-2:30 pm

Location: RHAM High School Fish Bowl (located right next to the cafeteria). 

  • September 13
  • October 11
  • November 8
  • December 13
  • January 10
  • February 14
  • March 13
  • April  TBD
  • May 8

Past Events

In honor of Mental Health Wellness Month SOAR hosted Neurotransmitter Art for all students and faculty on the RHAM Campus. Class was led by Amy Ordonez, owner Studio 13 in East Hampton CT.  Meditative art form that simply uses a piece of paper, sharpie and watercolors.  

In honor of Mental Health Wellness Month SOAR hosted a Taylor Swift Yoga Flow Class that was open to all students and faculty on the RHAM Campus. Class was led by Anna Glowacki. 

Barnabus, an adorable therapy dog & his handler Kobe visited with students after SATS at RHAM High School.

The National Prescription Take-Back Day was held in October and was an opportunity for SOAR members to learn why it is important to dispose of prescriptions safely and to earn community service hours in the process. Visit the Prevention Page to learn how much was collected at our events.

Motivational Presentations

Kris Wright – For twelve years Kris worked as a Violence Prevention Educator and the Director of Prevention Education at Safe Futures. Her team trained over 5,000 students in some 30+ elementary, middle, and high schools around New London County. Her curriculum supports students to develop the social and emotional skills necessary to communicate one’s feelings assertively, while also responding to others with empathy. For more information about Kris visit

Ian Hockley – Ian created Dylan’s Wings of Change Foundation, dedicated to his son’s memory with a mission to inspire empathy, courage & hope. Ian will speak with our students about the power of empathetic leadership and countering this epidemic of social isolation. His son was one of victim’s at Sandy Hook. 

About Ian Hockley – When IBM relocated the Hockley family from England to Connecticut in the winter of 2011 it was the realization of a family dream. Ian had visited the United States regularly since childhood, Nicole was from Rhode Island, and eldest son Jake was born on the 4th of July. In many ways they were coming home. 

They moved to the idyllic town of Sandy Hook which Ian selected after touring the beautiful neighborhoods and meeting the staff at the elementary school, knowing his younger son Dylan would get a fantastic start there as they made their new life. This bright beginning came to a crashing end on December 14, 2012 when 6-year old Dylan was killed in the Sandy Hook mass shootings alongside 19 of his fellow students and six educators. 

Ian created Dylan’s Wings of Change, dedicated to his son’s memory with a mission to inspire empathy, courage & hope everywhere. Working with experts the foundation created Wingman, a universal program of experiential learning activities that foster deeper conversations, stronger bonds and more connected communities. 

Ian appears in The Courageous Life Podcast Ep51: Empathy: An antidote for our time 

Dylan’s Wings of Change on the web: 


Stephen Schirra is founder of the Around the Worlds non-profit who shared his inspirational journey to his non-profit’s inception and the wonderful experience of sharing the game of soccer with children around the globe. 

RHAM Middle School and High School students decorated soccer balls with positive affirmations that will be brought to Stephen’s soccer clinics around the world. 

To follow Stephen please visit where you will find blogs from his travels.