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LET Initiative Kicks off with “Youth Mental Health & Sports”

On Tuesday, March 7th, the Network for Social Justice and our partners at Woburn-based Social Capital Inc. (SCI) launched the Leaders for an Equitable Tomorrow (LET) initiative, a 3-year project made possible by a grant from Winchester Hospital Community Benefits. The kick-off program, “Youth Wellness & Sports,” was geared toward high school students from Woburn and Winchester. The program began with a mindfulness workshop led by Sharon Marrama, then was followed by a panel discussion that featured James Morton, former President and CEO of the Greater Boston YMCA, and two mental health professionals, Jesse Schram and Ariana DiPetra, both associated with the therapy practice Unlimited Resilience, a nonprofit where every therapist identifies as an athlete.

Each panelist began by recounting their own journey with regards to athletics and wellness, describing a wide-range of experiences. For some, athletics was the pathway to wellness, while others described the pressure they felt from being an athlete and their journey to better understanding themselves and their relationship to sports. After each panelist gave their personal statement, the program opened up for a Q & A with topics as varied as how mental health professionals take care of their own mental health to how coaches can play a positive and negative role in the wellness of athletes.

If you know of a young person in your life who is interested in learning more about youth wellness or would like to be considered for a paid internship with NFSJ exploring this topic, keep an eye out for future LET events, which will cover the connection between youth wellness and class, race, and gender identity and sexual orientation.

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