Coffee with a Purpose

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By way of taking action, “Coffee with a Purpose” was created; virtual conversations exploring a range of youth education and employment related topics with guest speakers who share our passion for Michigan’s young people. By giving youth this platform and encouraging them to use their voice for good, these productive conversations will enable us to listen, understand, and take appropriate actions to ensure an equal and great future for all of Michigan’s youth.

College Friends
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It’s essential to encourage youth to use their voice for good. It’s equally essential to have productive conversations where we listen, understand, and take appropriate actions to ensure an equal and great future for all of Michigan’s youth.

- From the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates equality statement

Cup of Coffee

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Phillip Mann, Director of Social and Emotional Program Services at the Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor, and Gretchen Panicucci, Youth Solutions Manager of Innovative Services and a licensed counselor, will co-moderate this discussion which will focus on mental health and the impact of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) on a student’s overall wellness. SEL helps to improve attitudes about self and others while decreasing emotional distress and risky behaviors. Youth panelists will discuss the challenges they face that affect their mental health and emotional well being and what supports need to be made available to help youth.

  • Lydia Fraser, a junior at Westwood High School, attends Marquette-Alger Middle College and is a JMG youth. As a young person who has experienced the effects of depression and anxiety, she has a passion for helping others who may be going through mental health challenges. In December, she participated in a Teen Mental Health First Aid Course.

  • Mani Mesh, a member of the Youth Advisory Council and a JMG alum from Windover High School. Mani wants to be a voice to help others who deal with different types of mental health challenges as he understands how disruptive these challenges can be in everyday life.

  • Hannah Wyman, chair of the Youth Advisory Council and a JMG youth from Muskegon, is an advocate for the mental health community. In 2020, Wyman published an opinion piece about mental health in schools with The 74 Million online. She encourages educational leaders in Michigan to introduce an informative mental health curriculum in every school.

Making Coffee

Recordings of Our Past Events

Youth Discuss Mental Health and the Impact of Social Emotional Learning

May 12, 2022

Change Makers: Empowering YOUth through Civic Engagement

February 16, 2022

Unique Opportunities in Nontraditional Careers:

A Youth Discussion

October 6, 2021

Mental Health Awareness:

A Youth Perspective

May 27, 2021

The Pandemic's Effect on Youth Disengagement from Education and Employment

March 23, 2021

Youth Leadership Development and Civic Engagement

February 8, 2021

Striving for Racial Equity: Youth Call to Action

Part 3 of a 3-Part Webinar Series

November 10, 2020

Striving for Racial Equity: Youth Voice on Education and Employment

Part 2 of a 3-Part Webinar Series

September 30, 2020

Striving for Racial Equity: Youth Perspectives, Concerns, and Calls to Action

Part 1 of a 3-Part Webinar Series

August 13, 2020

COVID-19: The Pandemic's Impact on Michigan Youth

June 24, 2021