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Speaking Youth to Power

By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
On Chesterfield Youth Citizen Board, Sutton ’22 works to bolster broader understanding of teen mental health issues
Camryn Sutton ’22 wanted to better understand the inner workings of local government, so when the opportunity to apply to the Chesterfield Youth Citizen Board arose, she jumped at the chance. The restrictions of COVID have not stopped Camryn’s experience, and she is excited about the continuity of the two-year term.
 
The Youth Citizen Board (YCB) was formed in 1978 by the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. The purpose of the YCB is to advise the Board of Supervisors regarding issues relating to youth and to provide opportunities for community input on youth issues in Chesterfield County.

“I wanted the opportunity to talk with adults and share the adolescent perspective with them as decision-makers,” said Sutton. The YCB began work in August and meets monthly.

The group has focused on mental health for youth, a topic that is important to Sutton. “I am interested in psychology for middle school adolescents,” she said. “I have been seeking leadership roles and wanting to support my community, even more during the pandemic.” The group provides resources for youth as well as parents primarily utilizing social media. “As a group, we are creating a campaign to post on Instagram and Facebook, and we are using TikTok to share videos on managing stress.” The campaign is called Mental Health is a Puzzle, and the posts will begin rolling out this month.

Sutton appreciates the impact of even a seemingly small social media post. “Social media posts can make you feel the support that surrounds you,” she said. “Knowing that I can help someone else even just by small actions is inspiring.” Sutton said that having the opportunity to hear from mental health experts as well as the government officials with whom they work has deepened her understanding of the importance of this work: “We had a guest speaker come and share statistics and what depression and anxiety are and how you can support someone experiencing these challenges, which unfortunately have grown during the pandemic.” 

Although the group has met fully virtually, Sutton has still felt a strong connection to other members of the YCB. “It has been difficult and meaningful to hear people sharing what they are dealing with and hearing their pain but also being able to support them,” she said. “It has also been impactful to have adults share challenges they have experienced with us and to see what they have overcome.” 

Sutton credits Trinity with helping prepare her for how to engage confidently with adults as a part of the YCB. “I have the confidence to talk to adults and I also trust that they will listen to me,” she said. “For this project, the adults are looking to us to lead and guide them.” Sutton hopes to translate her knowledge and experiences to Trinity and share with the community. 
 
Sutton has been surprised by how much she has enjoyed creating and the freedom afforded in creating the social media resources. She has also surprised herself with her own sharing in the group. “Being able to share my own experiences with the group and having people understand has been special,” she said.I want everyone to know that they are not alone in dealing with things and there is always someone out there who you can talk to.” 
 
Sutton has learned that even a seemingly small gesture can have a major impact on someone in need. She is eager to apply her knowledge and experience to another year on the YCB and to exploring a lifetime of learning and supporting those around her.
 
To learn more about the Mental Health is a Puzzle campaign resources that Sutton helped create, please visit:
 
or
 
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About “Connections”

Connections is a regular online column, written from the first-person perspective of Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement:

In this space, I have the privilege of sharing stories of Trinity students, alumni, and faculty and staff who are carrying our mission beyond the boundaries of campus. Many of these stories might not make the headlines, but they will illustrate how every member of the Trinity community has a unique path to discover, and the ability to make an impact on both the Trinity community and the world beyond.

I am fortunate to have been a part of this community since my own adolescence. I have been a student, a teacher, a coach, and an administrator, and in these roles I have witnessed the school’s growth and evolution through the years. We have grown in size as well as spirit.

Stories here will capture how seeds planted at Trinity have taken root and flourished into full-grown passions. You’ll also read stories of those in our community who bring their gifts from outside to help us learn. At Trinity, we seek to develop lifelong learners, and stories here will illustrate real-life examples of that beautiful symbiosis.

Read more "Connections"

List of 20 news stories.

  • Eternal Style

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Hettrick ’22 turns fabric into fashion in museum design workshop
    Read More
  • Speaking Youth to Power

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    On Chesterfield Youth Citizen Board, Sutton ’22 works to bolster broader understanding of teen mental health issues
    Read More
  • Seeing Red

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Kendall ’24 turns challenging diagnosis into opportunity to educate, organize and inspire
    Read More
  • Leading by Design

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Walker ’23 explores leadership through art in VMFA Leaders in Training Program
    Read More
  • Ski Lessons

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Daglio sisters find parallels between skiing and school
    Read More
  • Acts of Random Kindness

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Senior JD Dabney reflects on how building relationships and sharing personal stories can help change the world, one small step at a time
    Read More
  • Building Virtual Space

    Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00 Head of Community Engagement
    Longing for familiarity of Trinity campus, students create online version with Minecraft
    Read More
  • Community Service in Quarantine

    Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00
    Despite social distancing, Browder-Jones ’21 continues to feed her passion for serving others
    Read More
  • The Basis of Harmony

    Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Bassist Madeline Brooks ’21 shares her love of music with younger children
    Read More
  • On Guard

    Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Justin Dabney ’21 applies lessons learned in fencing to school and life 
    Read More
  • A Thankful Season Indeed

    Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    In a season of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the depth of relationships and experiences that being a part of the Trinity community allows. This column is a reflection about the emotions of the fall; vibrant, bittersweet, and overwhelmingly full of gratitude. 
    Read More
  • Making Waves

    Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Alice Phillips commemorates Titan swimmers' past community service efforts with a return to the water this fall
    Read More
  • Moved to Action

    Laura Hamlin Weiler '00, Head of Community Engagement
    Inspired by visiting Chapel speaker, Madigan ’21 learns Arabic to better support area refugees.
    Read More
  • A Team Player

    Laura Hamlin Weiler '00, Head of Community Engagement
    For state golfer of the year Garrett Kuhla ’22, trust built with teammates on the golf course translates to leadership in the classroom.
    Read More
  • The Long Run

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Looking Back on 30 Years at Trinity with Head of School Rob Short
    Read More
  • Raising the Bar

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Colin Goodpasture’s ’19 discovers joy and passion in service of "beautiful cause"
    Read More
  • Lightning in a Bottle

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Two generations of Sneads team up to fulfill lofty dreams
    Read More
  • McKinley ’18, Callaway ’15 and Calder Sprinkle ’21 have each found unique paths within and beyond Trinity's music and performing arts programs.

    A Melodic Symbiosis

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Three siblings find harmony in Trinity's music program and beyond.
    Read More
  • From the Midwest to Trinity: A Convergence of Values

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    "I lived for five years in the Midwest, and I loved it. The people were so nice. The people were so open."
    — John Irving, author
    Read More
  • Not So Sleeping Giant

    By Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement
    Junior Sydney Whiting exemplifies perseverance in her rigorous swimming schedule, competing for both NOVA Swimming and Trinity.
    Read More
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