Resident Feature

Teen Esteem:

Empowering Students For Life

Every child is unique.

Every child is worthy of respect. 

Every child should know their value is based on who they are; not what they do. 

Teen Esteem sends these messages loudly and clearly to the children in our community while providing resources to help them develop lifelong skills toward healthy futures. 

Since 1994, Teen Esteem has served more than 231,000 students and nearly 79,000 parents in the Tri-Valley through our prevention education programs. These programs include classroom presentations, assemblies, parent education, workplace lunch-and-learns and community events. Teen Esteem educates students, parents, and our surrounding community on the challenges young people are facing right here and right now – substance abuse, prescription drug abuse, vaping, social media, healthy relationships, and mental health issues. 

With their education comes empowerment to make positive choices regarding those challenges. Consider these statistics:

90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18

50% of all lifetime mental health issues begin by age 14

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for individuals 10-19

Drug overdose deaths in 2020 were up 30% from 2019 primarily due to an increase of synthetic opioids

Adolescents who use social media more than 3 hours per day may be at heightened risk of mental health problems, particularly internalizing problems

The data clearly shows that there is no time to waste in reaching our youth, they need our help. Teen Esteem programs are primarily funded by individual donors and due to Covid, we’ve had to downscale our annual fundraiser two years in a row. We are humbly asking the community at large to partner with Teen Esteem and help fund our upcoming fall programs. 

Here’s what students are telling us:

“The most impactful part was “where you mattered” because I always had thoughts that it wouldn’t matter if I killed myself.”

“Teen Esteem talked about things that are usually not talked about.”

”I was impacted by all the things the Teen Esteem speakers shared about drugs affecting sports because it gives me a super important reason of why I should never try vaping or drugs.”

“I think it was very informational. I just wish that I knew about this a year or two ago (before I started experimenting with drugs).”

“The presentation taught me a lot about self-worth. I will respect myself more and know that every decision I make will have an impact on my future.”

“I believe it will help guide the choices I make like whether to take drugs, even if just medications, and alcohol. I also know not to take medications, especially pain killers from other kids.”

Check out one of our most popular ED Talk videos – iParents and the Impact of Tech ED Talk:

This ED talk will encourage and equip you with tools to become an iParent (Informed Parent), creating strategies that will cultivate a healthy tech environment for your family. Find our complete ED Talk library on our website!

By Rachel Ackerman, Director of Administration, Teen Esteem