Current United States of America’s (USOA) Mrs. Nevada 2022, TrinaMarie Shaw (along with two other Junior League members named Amy & Brianna), spent time at Leaders In Training (LIT). The Junior League of Las Vegas works with different schools and youth organizations including LIT. They have a program called Elevating Teens. TrinaMarie is also a member of the Junior League of Las Vegas and this Elevating Teens session was on “Self-Care – Maintaining Physical and Mental Health.”
Leaders In Training (LIT) is an organization that EMPOWERS first-generation college graduates from diverse backgrounds to be the next generation of leaders who end systemic and structural inequities in every sector, in every community: redefining leadership. USOA Mrs. Nevada 2022 (TrinaMarie) worked her platform, SPARKLE – TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT, as she spent her time speaking and engaging with High School Seniors throughout southern Nevada.
Leaders In Training (LIT) was founded by Erica Mosca who serves as Executive Director in 2008 and it became a 501(c3) nonprofit in 2012.
By 2020, LIT is proud to say it EMPOWERS more than 180 members from high school freshman to college graduates with one full-time staff member and three part-time staff members.
Also by 2020, 100% of LIT students were accepted to four-year universities! Now that’s empowering, inspiring, and uplifting!
TrinaMarie (USOA Mrs. Nevada 2022) developed a curriculum that she utilizes when visiting schools. It starts off with a Community Building Game that focuses on being observant, communicating with each other, and ensuring everyone makes it to the other side of the island. This side she calls the “Happy Place.”
You will notice in this next photo… this young male student is looking back, ensuring his community member is okay. Now that’s community efforts in building safer communities!
Then there is classroom time that she talks about what happened during the activity to engage the students even more. The community-building activity really helps the kids to get up, moving and ready to be more open with her and among their peers.
She guided them through the discussion and then prepares them with words of encouragement and affirmation that they can share with their friends and even themselves in times of depression, anxiety, or need in general.
The key is not to put the burden on themselves but to become more aware. To probe more and to let their peers know that they are not alone. It also teaches about the importance of seeking help, whether it is to reach out to a friend, a counselor, therapist, or some other expert to help guide them through whatever their circumstance is.
TrinaMarie ask them how they decompress and ensured they made time to do so on a regular basis. She educated them on the importance to avoid burnout. Due to time limits, she went over a small portion of her curriculum:
- What Are My Coping Skills
- How Do These Skills Help Me
- Accumulate Positives
- Relaxation Techniques
She ended the life coping skill session by providing her business card which had resources for those who need help.
It is TrinaMarie’s belief that Life Coping Skills should begin to be taught at third grade and even in college courses. Furthermore starting at the age of preschool, kids should be taught how to identify their emotions. There is nothing wrong with having emotions, it’s understanding them and learning how to manage them.
This is a similar message she shares about mental health. It is okay to not be okay. Just can’t unpack your bags and stay there. You have to ask for help. The key is, people must feel safe, empowered, encouraged, and inspired to do so. She believes without a doubt by creating safer environments destigmatizing mental health, more people will begin to ask for help.