Dr. Lori Maldonado
I typically focus on positive and uplifting topics in my writing and conversations. However, I feel compelled to address the heavy issue of youth suicide that weighs heavily on my heart. The alarming rise in suicide rates among children aged 10 to 14 cries out for our attention and action.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2021, suicide was among the top 9 leading causes of death for people ages 10 to 64, but sadly it is the second leading cause of death for children ages 10-14.
But amidst this darkness, there is hope. A long-term mentoring connection like the Teach One to Lead One (T1L1) Experience holds tremendous power in making a positive difference. T1L1 provides a lifeline of support and guidance to our vulnerable young ones.
By creating meaningful connections, T1L1 mentors create safe spaces where kids can freely raise a hand, express their emotions, navigate challenges, and build resilience. These very qualities can help combat the grip of suicide and much more.
T1L1 mentors play a crucial role in recognizing warning signs. They watch for behavioral changes, persistent sadness, withdrawal from activities, or even hints of death-related thoughts in the students.
By initiating compassionate conversations with children and alerting school administrators when needed, children can receive professional help. As a result, T1L1 mentors become instrumental in guiding children towards brighter paths.
At T1L1, we are investing your financial gifts in expanding our reach nationwide in elementary, middle, and high schools. We strive to break the silence around suicide while fostering a culture of unwavering support for our students.
Please know that each time you give a financial gift to T1L1, you empower children to overcome life’s challenges.
I know you, just like me, want to rewrite the narrative for our young ones. We want to instill hope, nurture their well-being, and provide the guidance they need to navigate the darkest times. So thank you for partnering with us and building a bright future where the light shines, and no child feels alone.