Positive Youth Development Impact January 2023

Positive Youth Development Educator Lisa Sanderson collaborated with UW Extension Professor Debbie Moelledorf to provide information about Raise Your Voice, mental health advocacy groups for youth, to local mental health providers including staff from United Way/PATH (Providing Access to Healing) director Brianna Heusterberg, Mental Health America youth outreach staff Keegan Rhynas. Debbie has decades of experience, is on the Extension State Youth Mental Health Team, and has successfully implemented a Raise Your Voice club in the Wausau area which has significantly impacted school culture regarding youth mental health issues. Nationally, youth mental health issues are exceeding capacity for support. Raise Your Voice is a way for youth to raise awareness of and advocate for youth mental health issues and contribute to positive school and community culture around mental health. Next steps will include a planning meeting in late January with Lisa and afore-mentioned staff, and potential continued collaboration with Debbie. Intended outcome is to find a school / school staff receptive to hosting a pilot chapter of Raise Your Voice.

In other news, Lisa and Sheboygan Outreach Collective met with Generations staff in Plymouth to discuss coordinating a resource fair at that location with a tentative date set for May. Sheboygan Outreach Collective’s one year anniversary (formerly Sheboygan United) is in February. Sheridan Elementary, who hosted our first resource fair, requested we return for our one-year anniversary! Several area orgs will participate in a resource fair with Spanish language support on February 16. Hmong Mutual Aid Association hosted our last fair in mid-January. Community response to this effort continues to be overwhelmingly positive.