Stress management in senior courtyard

The end of the semester brings stress for many students, but this year, it also brought some furry friends.

Marshall Minds Matter teamed with Alliance of Therapy Dogs to bring dogs to the senior courtyard to help with stress.

“It’s really important for us all to find healthy coping mechanisms,” said MMM president and senior Sara Porjosh. “[Therapy dogs are] a really great option.”

Senior Kylie Henigan said she was drawn to the event because of the strong animal presence in her life.

“I’ve done a lot of work with animals, and we’re training one of my dogs to be a therapy dog, so I found this event really interesting,” Henigan said.

Like Henigan, sophomore Julia Elliot Ortega and her three sisters were attracted to the event due to their history with dogs.

“When we heard there were dogs, we just really wanted to come because we love dogs,” Elliot Ortega said. “We have one and we’ve had dogs all throughout our life.”

MMM social media manager and junior Claire Anderson said dogs can provide comfort.

“Animals are just a good outlet to get more emotional support because they’re loving,” Anderson said. “They make you feel good, and when you’re kind of in a bad place, a cute animal’s gonna bring you up no matter what.”

MMM vice president AJ Oliver agreed.

“It’s being able to focus on something other than your schoolwork and other stressful things and just being around a calming presence like a dog,” Oliver said. “It brings a lot of joy.”

Based on the turnout from the event, Oliver said the MMM club will look into hosting a similar event later in the school year.