“Where there is a will, there is a way.”
Shoot For the Stars
Student Leadership Conference, November 16, 2019
“Shifting our ways of thinking to foster our dreams into reality,” that’s the message I wanted to send across with this leadership specific conference. As student leaders and aspiring ones, we struggle to live with that timeless question, “is this who I want to be when I grow up?”
However, if we develop deeper understandings of our own selves we come to realize that solving real world problems doesn’t always require the need to “grow up,” and sometimes, requires us not to! This seminar provided activities, thought exercises, and skill-building techniques to build confidence as well as find our own super hero qualities. Ultimately, we come to learn that there is no set time frame for when we find our true calling.
Climate Change is Challenging Mental Health
Teach Out for Climate, March 15, 2019
In honor of our planet and of all the hard work the populations across our globe have put in, Northern Vermont University-Lyndon hosted its own Teach Out for Climate event in solidarity of Greta Thunberg’s valiant call for action on the crisis of this blue marble we call home.
My five minute presentation was put together from today’s research on the mental health impacts from climate change. Sources were pulled from peer-reviewed journals, as well as reputable psychology avenues. It’s dual focus is to raise awareness about the rising number of depression, suicide, and loss in populations suffering from climate change; and to provide ideas on how to find resolve through these exponential human health matters. The discussion itself was well received among my climate, weather, and atmospheric science peers.
From Being Invisible, to Finding A Voice
Student Leadership Conference, February 23, 2019
Living with an invisible illness is no easy feat, so when I was diagnosed with a lifelong incurable connective tissue disorder, life changed, but, for the better. It meant I finally had answers to the riddles of the maladies that was my every day existence: twinges of sharp shooting pain here, inability to walk some days, lack of muscle control, loss of memory there, the list went on. Perhaps the most difficult challenge of it all, were the adverse psychological affects of living a life with Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, especially not being believed about all of this ever since I was young.
Using examples from my own life; the life of Jon Rodis, Scarlet Checkers, and Victoria Graham; peer-reviewed scholarly data; psychological articles; and personal stories written from EDS patients, my presentation focuses on raising awareness about this rare genetic disorder while bringing to light the adversities of living with invisible illness. The Student Leadership Conference was hosted at Northern Vermont University-Johnson, and my seminar emphasized the power of perseverance through engaging the audience in sharing their own personal stories.