Cali H. is a freshman at the University of New Hampshire and is studying Speech Pathology. Cali was chosen for the North Central Community Action Team’s November Youth Spotlight because of her love for helping others and giving back to her community. Cali started community service work at a young age while attending Lunenburg Lions Club meetings with her mother where she would prepare Thanksgiving baskets, meals, and more for community members in need. Cali joined the National Honor Society in high school allowing her to continue serving her community.
Cali’s favorite part of service work is the ability to make a difference in the life of another person. She recalled a time when handing out Thanksgiving baskets that a mother of four came up to her and thanked her and said that she would not have had the resources to have a Thanksgiving dinner for her family without the basket.
When asked why youth should get involved in community service Cali said this, “it completely changed my outlook on life and made me grateful for what I have. I just want to go out and help as many people as I can.”
Cali recommends youth interested in getting involved in community service should talk to their school and teachers and ask what they can do or bring an idea forward and run with it.
Cali believes that community service helped her stay away from drugs and alcohol because it showed her a different path in life to take. Cali explained, “Some places where you volunteer you see people struggling with addictions and because you see that struggle you choose not to do it.”
Cali’s future plans are to be a speech language pathologist or audiologist and work with children who are hearing impaired.
Empowering Youth and Embracing Self-Care Through Art
by Amber Haney
Throughout the month of May, LUK Prevention is encouraging youth in Central Massachusetts to consider the ways in which they are making time for their mental health and wellness while staying at home. Youth will be invited to create and submit artwork that centers around the theme “How I stay mentally well during physical distancing”.
With a strong focus on mental wellness, the hope is that this art contest will strengthen protective factors to aid in the prevention of youth substance use while youth are at home, practicing safe social distancing.
Everyone reacts to challenging situations differently, and may embrace varying coping skills and self-care strategies. The recent COVID-19 crisis has bestowed extraordinary challenge and hardship upon our world, and youth have been burdened with unique struggles, themselves. The LUK Prevention art contest encourages youth to consider the healthy and adaptive self-care strategies that work for them. The contest empowers youth to embrace their creativity and expressiveness, promoting an organic self-care practice, in itself.
LUK Prevention will proudly present select artworks on our social media pages following the close of the contest. It is our goal to empower youth in an art-making process that will yield artworks which will become catalysts for discussion around self-care and mental wellness. LUK Prevention will be publically sharing these artworks with the intention to inspire viewers to consider their own self-care practices, too.
Additionally, LUK Prevention will select three art contest winners based on predetermined age categories (10-13, 14-17, and 18-21 years of age). Winners will be awarded a bundle of high-quality arts materials to promote art as a continued means of self-care and self-expression.