Meet Student State Representative Callie, Be Strong’s March 2023 Student of the Month!
“The youth of today is seen as soft, but many fail to see it is because of how we were protected and raised. We are strong. We are capable. We are working to push through the preconceived ideas of our generation while making our future bright.”
High school is a formative time for young adults, with many students struggling to find their place in the world and reckoning with their own personal identity. But the peers of Callie, our Be Strong Student State Representative from Missouri, have a helping hand in their corner.
Callie knows who she is, moving through 12th grade with confidence and kindness — and helping others do the same. Known for being a great listener, she can talk to just about anyone.
“I’ve become more open to speaking with my peers,” Callie said. “Conversations are encouraged through Be Strong that wouldn’t otherwise be approached. I love hearing what others have to say about mental health and how we can promote strength, diversity, and peer support.”
Bullying is a widespread issue among high schoolers — but it’s not the only one. Callie says her peers struggle with isolation and lack of community, an issue she’s passionate about solving.
“We’re lucky to not have bullying be an overwhelming issue in our school,” Callie said. “It isn’t as prevalent as I’ve seen in other areas. What we do have is lots of social isolation — many of the social groups are the exact same as they were in elementary school.”
Callie works to integrate different groups within her school, reducing exclusion and encouraging friendships across disparate social circles. Bringing new students and existing students together, Callie knows that communities are stronger when they’re more connected.
But serving as a leader isn’t always easy — Callie’s found that advocating for others can make it harder to advocate for herself. “I think I do a decent job of standing up for others,” Callie said. “Maybe I could stand to stand up for myself more though. Many times it’s easier to advocate for others over yourself.”
Nevertheless, she’s learned to prioritize her own wellbeing so she can continue caring for others. “I have put more focus into journaling and exercise,” Callie said. “These two outlets allow me to get out any negative emotions before they have any chance of growing and overwhelming me.”
Callie works to connect her peers in need with resources and curriculum provided by Be Strong, including services offered on the Be Strong App like crisis counseling, local support, emergency services, and a suicide prevention hotline.
“I really appreciate the access to mental health resources,” Callie said. “I utilize it with my peers who need a strong shoulder or just a friendly ear.”
Ever a beacon of positivity, Callie is committed to encouraging kindness and empathy in her school and community. Her advice for others rings true in any situation:
“Be kind. When you have something to say, stop and ask yourself if it is meaningful, thought provoking, educational, helpful, encouraging, positive, or building bridges,” she said. “Stop, think, and act with the best of intentions. We share this planet, our home, and we need to learn how to really SHARE it.”
To learn more about Be Strong’s free programs, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To nominate a student to lead change with Be Strong’s innovative student volunteer program, visit nominate.bestrong.global today.