Empowering Youth Voices Summit

On Friday, May 3rd, The Nan Project hosted our first summit, “Empowering Youth Voices.” At this event, we had over 150 students attend

 workshops throughout the day, all based on mental health and breaking the stigma around it. Teachers and faculty from each school had the opportunity to attend workshops focused on discussing strategies to better help students, and create a safe environment to talk about mental health in the public school system. 

During the summit, one of our Peer Mentors, Kylee, went around and interviewed some students, asking the questions: “What does being here today mean for you?” and “Why is spreading awareness on mental health important?” Here are some of the highlights from the high schoolers that attended:

 

Coco from Swampscott High School: “Today is about learning how to help other people.” 

Abby from Swampscott High School: “ To me today is about educating the school system on how to better help their students.” 

Mama from Everett High School: “Mental health is important because it’s the state of our well being both mentally and emotionally.”

Endurance from Revere High School: “Mental health is an overwhelming topic, so today is about hearing the students voices.”

Natalie from Danvers High School: “Mental health issues are present in a lot of schools but no one wants to talk about it.”

Sammy from Danvers High School: “It’s rewarding to share and teach others.”

Gabi from Reading High School “It’s a learning opportunity for all of us to learn to articulate our feelings.” 

Lucas from Swampscott High School: “Today is about learning how to help friends” 

Jackson from Swampscott High School: “We are learning to engage and communicate and address a situation on the spot. It’s good to know how to help.” 

Lyla from Chelmsford High School: “We are building a community with vulnerability and taking away the stigma. Today is a day of no judgment.”

 

After speaking with the students, it’s clear how important conversations about these topics are. We hope that the practice of asking questions and sharing our lived experiences is helping to build a community where stigma is nonexistent for these bright young adults.

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