Three student groups from Hopkins High School presented at the Youth in Educational Leadership Summit last month. Ten students from Royals United, Change to Chill and the Student Wellness Committee shared resources and information as the student leaders and advocates for their topic.
“They are the experts on what it’s like to be a teen today and their voice is so important for us as adults to elevate and support,” said Holly Magdanz, Hopkins One Voice coordinator.
Royals United students Leah Stillman, Jaxon Parker and Liv Steen presented information about their student-led mental health awareness initiative. Change to Chill students Karina Lara, Nimo Gelle, Lexi Riley, and Grace Riley discussed the mental well-being program aimed to help teens become more aware of the things that stress them out and resources to manage that stress and anxiety. The Hopkins Student Wellness Committee students Kaitlyn Ziegler, Marcella Reese, and Emma DePape presented on vaping awareness.
The Youth in Educational Leadership Summit was a way for students, teachers, coaches, parents, and other mentors to collaborate and learn how to best support young leaders. The three Hopkins student groups were asked to present because there was a need for session on vaping and mental health supports.
Other presentation topics from groups across the state included civil dialogue, privilege, the impact of post-secondary enrollment, and more. Magdanz was inspired to see so many students learning from one another and collaborating to create change.
“A few big takeaways were that there are a lot of school resource disparities across the state, particularly in rural school districts,” Magdanz said. “Also, the event was a reminder of the common issues impacting teens across the state, whether inner-city, suburban, or rural.”
After attending the summit, the Royals United group is inspired to start a statewide legislation action coalition of students to advocate for mental health funding in schools.