Government, The Braxton Democrat

LegislativeUpdate…By Lori DittmanWV House of Delegates63rd District

While I am sharing information about a piece of legislation I co-sponsored, HB 2005, I would like to depart from the usual legislative update and share with you some thoughts on community, mental health, and hope.
HB 2005 establishes the dual enrollment pilot program to be administered by the Higher Education Policy Commission and the Council for Community and Technical College Education in conjunction with the State Board of Education. This bill will allow high school juniors and seniors to enroll in college courses free of charge. While student currently have access to these classes, they currently have to pay to take them. For students who wish to pursue higher education, this is a way to get a jump start on their post-secondary education and adding to their success in continuing that education. I’m excited for this opportunity for students.
On Saturday night, I attended the Braxton County Rotary Elimination Dinner. A wonderful meal, good conversation, and a chance to catch up with friends. I always enjoy seeing a high attendance at community events and that is one of the beautiful things about living in a small town, people show up to support each other. Proceeds from the dinner are used to fund local scholarships for Braxton County Students. I would like to say thank you to everyone that made the evening a success and to encourage you, if you have never attended, to attend the next one.
There are many community events taking place in Braxton and Gilmer counties. These events provide a wonderful opportunity to be involved in activities that enhance the community experience. Please look at the Community Bulletin Board in your local paper and share upcoming events with the paper.
Also on Saturday, I attended Engaging Mental Health with Hope, organized by the West Virginia Baptist Convention, at Gassaway Baptist Church. Speaker, author, and counselor Michelle Nietert led the workshop along with a team of mental health professionals. She shared there are many types of traumas that people experience from physical, emotional, mental, spiritual abuse, complex trauma, and secondary trauma such as trauma experienced by first responders, caregivers, and educators to name a few. My takeaways that I want to share is that you are not alone, you can heal, and there is help available. I have included the resource page, where help can be found, that was shared with us. We have seen tragedy and loss. Let us be there for one another.
Which brings us to Hope. We live in a state of uncertainty. Post-pandemic, there are many who experience lingering effects both economically and socially. If we have breath, we have hope. Reach out, seek help. May we check in on our neighbors and friends and see where we may lend a hand. We are all, truly, in this together.
As always, I look forward to hearing from the citizens in the 63rd District. I may be contacted at [email protected] and 304-701-8600. On school days, it is easiest to reach me after school hours.
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” –Ronald Reagan