Community Leaders Roundtable Spotlights Physical and Mental Health of Pelham Teens
On October 28, 2015, the Junior League of Pelham held a Community Leaders Roundtable at the Pelham Art Center. The roundtable focused on the important topic of promoting mental and physical health of local teens. Stakeholders from various sectors including non-profit and law enforcement participated in the discussion, which also included robust engagement from an audience of over 40 members of the local community.
The roundtable was moderated by Melissa Ronan, a Pelham resident who is the President of the Board of Directors of Pelham’s Community Care Center. Topics ranged from alleviating academic stress to addressing bullying in school. Throughout the panel, audience members offered perspectives on supporting teens and provided real-world examples of the unique challenges teens face today.
Highlights from the panel included insights from the following panelists:
- Virginia Hartmere, Pelham Parents and Community Together (PACT) Coalition Director, spoke about the importance of balancing stress among teens. Her organization conducted a live chat with teens which revealed that stress induced from academics, sports, and competition was the number one topic on their minds. Virginia called for the need for more outdoor activities and gathering spaces specifically for teens in Pelham.
- Lynn Honeysett, Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center, spoke about the need to provide teens with an open, creative environment where they can have fun and express themselves individually through non-competitive after-school programs. She called on local organizations and non-profits to develop more programs and activities that engage teens, providing them with a creative outlet to alleviate their stress.
- John Hynes, Detective at the Pelham Police Department and a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer for 16 years, spoke about the increased presence of cyber-bullying in both the middle school and high school. The emergence of online applications and technologies enable anonymous and/or public bullying. Teens are struggling with new forms of bullying, oftentimes in a public online setting. Detective Hynes encouraged parents to monitor behavioral patterns as they relate to mobile technologies and proactively discuss with their children any changes in behavior or over-use of mobile technologies.
- Stephanie Raubenheimer, Director of YoungLife & WyldLife, spoke on the importance of parental modeling of good behavior and adult mentorship in the lives of teens. She also emphasized the importance of providing Pelham teens with activities and goals that focus on nurturing teen mental and physical health, as opposed to activities that build resumes.
Improving the health of Pelham teens is a topic of great significance to the Junior League of Pelham since the organization is committed to improving the lives and health of families. The JLP will continue to support services and discussions that promote the betterment of our community.
For more information about the organizations that participated in this round table, please visit:
- PACT: pelhampact.org
- Pelham Art Center: pelhamartcenter.org
- Pelham Community Care Center: pelhamccc.org
- YoungLife and WyldLife: lowerwestchester.younglife.org