Chautauqua Striders’ Bilingual Educator Teaches Life Skills

Elizabeth Cosme, Chautauqua Striders Bilingual Life Skills Educator, meets with JHS students at lunchtime to talk and do activities like “Job Skills Jeopardy.”

“Mrs. Cosme is a supporter. She’s the type of person that I can trust and go to,” said JHS junior Yomairis Morales. “She’s not just a teacher, but a support for us at JHS.”

Yomairis was talking about Elizabeth Cosme, who is a Chautauqua Striders Bilingual Life Skills Educator at Jamestown High School. Through a partnership with Chautauqua Striders Life Skills Education program, Mrs. Cosme visits JHS on Tuesdays and Fridays. She works with bilingual ninth through 12th-grade students one-on-one and also holds small group sessions and lunchtime meetings. Life Skills Education (LSE) is a program focused on enhancing social and emotional skills for students. Using an evidence-based curriculum developed by the ARISE foundation, Life Skills Educators lead weekly small group sessions focused on giving participants the skills to have a positive school experience. Mrs. Cosme helps students with everything from studying more effectively, time management, applying for colleges, how to find a job, where to find resources if they need help in the community and fostering positive self-esteem. The groups also take field trips to local colleges and organizations so that students can see what is in their community. Mrs. Cosme is a JHS graduate and was also a bilingual student so she understands what the students are going through and what help they might need to succeed.

“My students are from similar backgrounds as myself and I hope that when I share my story of how I struggled but ultimately persevered I can be a role-model and provide support for them,” said Mrs. Cosme. “I am their advocate both in the educational atmosphere but also in the outside world. I want to see them succeed.”

An example of a recent group lunch activity included students playing “Job Skills Jeopardy” where they answered questions about interviewing, resumes and how to look and act at a job interview. The discussion was lively and the students answered the questions in English but sometimes needed help translating. However, translation is just a small part of Mrs. Cosme’s job.

“She really helps us with life skills,” said JHS junior Jockshuan Carmona. “She helps you break the information down so that we can understand it. She has helped me find a job and she also helped me get into Jamestown Business College. She is a person you can trust and supports us in all we do.”