Our student guest blogger is Dyuthi Kumar, a junior at a California high school and a member of our National Youth Advisory Board. She started a SAVE Promise Club at her school after hearing about the program from a leadership advisor.
I helped organize a virtual Youth-to-Youth Conversation event to connect with high schoolers nationwide. It was an incredibly powerful experience. Not only did we learn about what makes us different, but we also learned a lot about what makes us the same.
There was so much love present, so much support present, and so much care for each other that I felt truly connected.
Students Struggling with Social Isolation
Many of us found great comfort in hearing that others are struggling with many of the same challenges. Social isolation from our classmates, our friends, and, in some cases, our families has certainly taken its toll. We all have concerns about mental health and getting our friends and classmates the help they need.
Because the conversation was organized “by youth, for youth,” I believe that students felt more comfortable in opening up and sharing their experiences. It was an important reminder for me that even in this virtual world, it’s still possible to make real relationships and have real conversations.
While many who participated are already a member of a local SAVE Promise Club, others are now starting a Club in their own schools. I’m excited to see our SAVE community grow!
In Their Own Words
Here are some of the responses from the more than 60 participants. I can’t wait to do this again!
“I loved the people here. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, and I just felt in such a safe place.”
“It’s amazing to see all the teen leaders and changemakers around the nation; it definitely inspires me to continue making a difference in my school community. Thank you so much for this opportunity!”
“I loved that we could discuss everything instead of just listening.”
“I wish I had more time to speak with the people in my breakout room. We had really good conversations and it was awesome to get to know them.”
“This event surpassed all of my expectations and was such an amazing event. Great job and I can’t wait to become more involved with the Sandy Hook Promise and what I can bring to my school.”