JCPS student thanks district’s mental health program for staying on straight and narrow

Seantez Townes in class at Fern Creek High School
Seantez Townes in class at Fern Creek High School(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 3:08 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2021 at 3:09 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As parents, teachers and students start to put more of an emphasis on mental health, one JCPS student is thanking a district mental health practitioner, and athletics, for keeping him away from a troubled past.

Seantez Townes is a senior at Fern Creek High School, but it didn’t always look like that was going to happen. Townes was removed from Valley High School for misconduct and put into Minor Daniels Academy, an alternative school. Between the disruptions in the classroom and the violence in the streets, Townes’ mother was looking was help and mental stability for her son.

“I think he’s been to over ten funerals in the last ten years... Kids that have been in my house,” said Freelisha Ingram.

Ingram blames some of the violence around her son and peer pressure as some of the reasons he was acting out.

One day at Minor Daniels, Townes went to Chip Cosby, one of the now 100+ mental health practitioners across the district and said, “[you’ve] got to get me out of here.” Now he is out. He’s at Fern Creek. He thanks Chip Cosby for helping get his mind right, but Chip Cosby says Townes did it on his own.

“He had a vision,” said Cosby. “He came to me and said work with me when I get out and he turned around and did what he needed to do.”

Townes and Cosby have developed a special relationship. Townes said Cosby has been there for him since he left alternative school.

He’s even playing football now, and Cosby was there for Senior night.

But what sparked the desire to change for Townes?

”When I knew how much potential I had,” said Townes.

Cosby says Townes has turned his life around.

”He’s thriving right now and I couldn’t be more proud,” said Cosby.

Cosby doesn’t necessarily believe Townes is an outlier, and that Townes is a reminder of the potential that all students have.

Townes mother is also grateful for Cosby, saying she hasn’t been able to find mental health professionals able to treat her son outside of school.

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