A group of high school students from Wapello County, known as the Legacy Youth Alliance, a group associated with the Legacy Foundation, presented their work on youth mental health support at the Ottumwa City Council meeting on September 5th. They teamed up with the Stomp Out Stigma group, and both groups wore green to promote mental health awareness.
The Legacy Youth Alliance shared their journey of becoming allies and advocates for youth mental health after seeing concerning grant applications and stories in November 2021. Since this “A-HA moment,” they have taken steps to educate themselves on issues affecting youth mental health, focused on funding for mental health spaces and resources in their schools, and advocated for the cause through presentations, storytelling, and media interviews.
At the City Council meeting, the youth philanthropists highlighted local organizations they’ve learned from, impactful projects they’ve funded, and their ongoing advocacy efforts. They ended by officially requesting Mayor Johnson proclaim September 19th as the first annual Youth Mental Health Day in Ottumwa to continue building awareness.
This City Council presentation represented a major milestone for the Legacy Youth Alliance and Stomp Out Stigma as they work to spotlight youth mental health challenges and make a positive impact in their community. The groups hope to keep youth mental health top of mind for local leaders and residents beyond the meeting.