By: Kiara, a senior in High School
- Youth-Nex recently hosted their 8th conference entitled Pass the Mic: Amplifying Youth Voice & Agency, co-chaired by Drs. Wintre Foxworth Johnson and Nancy Deutsch.
- In this Pass the Mic blog series, we are highlighting each of the sessions from the conference, sharing videos, and uplifting youth voices to summarize and reflect on what was discussed.
- Kiara (a senior in High School, youth panelist and conference attendee) summarizes and reflects on the fourth session about “Health & Well-Being.”
As a High School student athlete who wants to pursue a health career, I know learning about health and well-being is essential. I truly enjoyed this panel discussion and the knowledge I obtained from these health professionals.
I felt so much inspiration when hearing from the youth about how they feel they can advocate for not only themselves but their families as well. Some of these aspects to advocate on is related to health and wellness systems, but also things like food, desserts or even being comfortable in the environment they live in.
Hearing the panelists’ ideas about having mental health professionals in schools to be able to speak with students about the things they may be experiencing in their communities was something I completely agree with.
Giving youth the opportunity to speak to someone about the things that they see everyday could be the first step to healing childhood trauma (that they would have to tackle one day in their adulthood).
I also enjoyed learning that different cultural backgrounds can have different health and well-being standards based on the history and traditions that are aligned. I definitely was able to learn different aspects of what health and well-being is, whether it is mental health resources or family resources, which truly resonated with me.
Stay tuned to this Pass the Mic blog series to learn more about:
- Politics, Organizing & Civic Engagement, and
- Programs that Elevate Youth Voice & Agency.
Missed the earlier posts in this series? Check out:
If you have any comments or questions about this post, please email Youth-Nex@virginia.edu. Please visit the Youth-Nex Homepage for up to date information about the work happening at the center.
Author Bio: Kiara A. is a senior at An Achievable Dream High School in Newport News, VA where she has been in the top 10% of her class all 4 years. She is currently ranked 4th in her school graduation class of 2023. Kiara currently serves her school as An Achievable Dream HS Senior Class President and President of the An Achievable Dream Middle and High School National Honor Society. Kiara is also a member of NNPS Emerging Leader Institute, Newport News Mayors Youth Commission, An Achievable Dream HS 3.0 Club, An Achievable Dream HS Principal’s Advisory Board, SCA, NNPS Flourish Youth Empowerment Club, Heritage HS Girls Varsity Volleyball team, Captain of the Heritage HS Girls Varsity Tennis team, CNU Community Captains, National Society of High School Scholars and Hampton University Upward Bound. Kiara has participated in various panels representing her school system Newport News Public Schools and her Newport News community. She has served as a student panelist on the Aim for Impact Summer Leadership Institute and the NNPS Innovate Conference, both sponsored through Newport News Public Schools. In addition, she recently participated in a local community panel sponsored by WHRO Public Media and iHeart Radio for a community conversation on safety and school security in September 2022, which was televised locally. Kiara plans to attend college where she will be majoring in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science, where she aspires to be an athletic trainer for the NFL or a major league sports franchise.