Our Alumni are truly empathetic, altruistic people and it shows through all that they do. St. Angela Merici Parish School would like to highlight the work of alumni Alex Pluma, Class of 2013, and honor her for her great contributions to combating stress in high school students.
Alex Pluma is now a senior at Brea Olinda High School and she is no stranger to the stress and anxiety that every student faces on a daily basis. But when Alex discovered that teens are the most ‘stressed out’ group of Americans and that their anxiety levels trumped that of adults (according to a 2014 American Psychological Association survey), she decided to take action.
Alex had the idea to create a club at Brea Olinda High School that practices Mindfulness Meditation. Since last spring, Alex has been working hard on constructing a constitution for the club. Additionally, she researched the benefits and positive effects Mindfulness Meditation had on stress levels, and then presented her findings before the school. Her club was approved!
Mindfulness Meditation is a unique form of meditation, as it is centered around of the idea of existing solely in the present and becoming aware of what is true moment by moment; you learn to embrace your reality. Instead of escaping to a happy place, the meditator becomes content and at peace with where they are in life. This strategy is effective in alleviating a person’s stress because they learn how to stop internalizing the inessential suffering that results from attempting to run away from everyday problems.
Alex Pluma hopes that through her club, fellow students will experience a reduced level of stress, increase their focus, and learn how to let thoughts come and go without holding onto them. The Mindfulness Meditation Club gathers once a week and strives to give students a relaxed state of mind. They will be able to work through negative thoughts and create a positive mindset that is crucial to a happy, healthy life.
St. Angela Merici Parish School is so proud of you, Alex! Your innovative and unique actions in tackling teenage stress are incredibly admirable and we couldn’t be happier for you. SAM can’t wait to see what your future holds; we know it will be great.