‘Find Your Fire‘ is a local nonprofit in Juneau, Alaska that serves youth and the community through direct actions that address mental health. ‘Fire Your Fire’s’ aim is to help lead young adults and teens to find their “fire” (aka what they are passionate about) by supporting life skills, job opportunities, and mental health resources as they transition into adulthood. Their services have included presentations about digital addiction and mental health, and the effects of vaping. Its latest lawn sign campaign has become a notable support to young and old alike in and around Juneau, especially during the global pandemic.
Growing up, we were taught to be kind to others. Through our childhood experiences, we begin to learn what that means. We don’t steal a friend’s lunch, hurt another’s feelings, or bully another kid on the playground. As we transition into adolescence, we begin to focus on what makes us individuals, what attributes we possess, and what defines us. This, largely is what our society is telling us. We see it in the media, in our technology, even in the expectations that our parents, teachers, and mentors provide us. By the time we reach adulthood, we often begin to get caught up in the staying busy, working hard mentality. We strive to succeed in so many areas – our education, our relationships, our professions, our parenting, the list goes on. Life is tough. There are marriages, kids, divorce, family disagreements, mortgages, bankruptcies, health concerns, and so many stressors that we begin to feel impatient with ourselves – and often with others. Continue reading ‘Find Your Fire: Supporting Youth Mental Health in the Community’ by Melissa McCormick
It is a rare educational innovation that both endures and remains relevant for 50 years. Ask any person under 55 years old from Juneau about their elementary school memories and they will say, “Sea Week.” At first it was called Sea Week, but it grew exponentially to Sea Month. Sea Week is a Juneau school and community success story.
Discovery Southeast is a Juneau-based non-profit that works in local public schools and provides professional development to educators. Their work “deepens our connection with nature through education and exploration. We introduce children and families to the outdoors, providing the foundation for lifelong interests, skills, and exploration. We promote a better understanding of ourselves, the natural world, and our place in it.” Discovery Southeast’s investment in public schools connects hundreds of school-age students to their local wild areas every school year. Continue reading ‘Respect and Awareness Within Our Local Landscapes’ by Sylvia Madaras at Discovery Southeast