Congratulations to Olivia Archard one of our empowerYOUTH members on graduating from Bedford High School this weekend. Olivia has been an important member of the empowerYOUTH team! Her hard work and dedication to suicide prevention and mental health issues is an inspiration to all. We want to take the opportunity to congratulate her on graduating! We are excited to see what the future holds for Olivia because it will certainly be bright. Here is an interview we did with Olivia regarding her experiences with empowerYOUTH and plans for the future. Thank you Olivia for all you have contributed!

What made you take part in empowerYOUTH?

I find it so important to get involved at this age and especially in the current state of the world. Now more than ever the voices of youth are listened to and followed. Without providing my input on the pressing issues of today, no change will be made the way I wish it to be done.  

What has been your best experience or favorite memory as an empowerYOUTH member?

Over the past months I have taken part in the Makin’ It Happen Youth Podcast, which has been so eye opening and just amazing! I have connected deeply with fellow members in this process and my understanding of differing points of views has truly been widened. 

Would you recommend empowerYOUTH to your younger peers?

Absolutely! empowerYOUTH has offered a home away from home, a safe place to discuss, listen, and invoke change!

What are your imparting words of wisdom?

Always listen to the little voice in the back of your head, the one that pushes you to do amazing things and warns you of danger that might come your way. It truly is the most valuable tool at this time in your life. 

How do you wish to be remembered by the work that you did- your legacy?

As someone who worked specifically around suicide prevention and mental heath awareness, I just want people to know that it is okay to not be okay and that asking for help is the most important and bravest thing you can do for yourself. 

 What are your plans past high school?

I will be attending New York University in the fall! My program is that of the Liberal Studies Core and due to this my first year will be abroad in Florence, Italy! I am beyond excited for the adventure that awaits!  

Who were the people that influenced you so far?

Truly it was my peers of the podcast and Ms. Mary. V, Aron, and Quincy have been incredible people to work with and have inspired me to be my best self. Ms. Mary is an absolute role model and works harder than anyone I have ever met. 

Congratulations Olivia!  We are so proud of all of your accomplishments thus far.  Remember anything is possible – all you have to do is believe in yourself. Wishing you all the best in what lies ahead and good luck.