KSSN is Making Headlines!
In a dimly lit classroom, seven kids struggling with mental-health conditions sit in a circle on the carpet.
The discussion among the students inside the Grandville elementary classroom is focused on coping with feeling overwhelmed.
"I went outside because I wasn't feeling good because of my anxiety and took my blanket,'' a fidgeting fifth-grade girl, struggling with social anxiety disorder and depression, told her classmates.
Students are afraid to fill out college applications and financial-aid forms. Volunteers fear driving to school. Counselors don’t have clear answers for students whose futures in the U.S. are uncertain, and parents are afraid to seek help from the police. In school districts with a high percentage of Hispanic families, wondering what the next day will bring has become the new normal.
While the phrase "youth leader" might bring to mind a distinguished elder with years of wisdom to pass on, these three young leaders offer vital lessons stemming from powerful experiences that inform their daily lives, from opening a pop up shop to sky diving with strangers, and navigating the adoption process. The way in which they connect with youth is clearly strengthened by their youthful spirits and aspirations.