Sixth grader organizes walk for children’s mental health
CLIFTON PARK, NY (NEWS10) – Taking action to highlight the importance of mental health. Dozens of people marched through Shenendehowa High School on Sunday morning for Jayden’s Trauma Track Walk, organized by Acadia Middle School student Jayden Skadra.
Jayden uses personal challenges from her own life in an effort to empower others, “Because I’ve been there and I know how it feels.”
She walked side by side with her classmates, emphasizing her passion for mental health advocacy: “It’s just overwhelming. It’s so satisfying to have your own daughter doing something of this caliber,” Jayden’s father William shared.
Funds raised through this event will directly help other children face their own challenges.
“For her to do something that she can help not just one, but many families and many different children, the more she helps, the happier we are. Words just can’t describe,” her father said.
This direct funding will benefit those who obtain services through the Saratoga Center for the Family. Vicki Braunstein, a therapist there, is blown away by Jayden’s efforts to come up with the idea of the walk and execute it.
“It makes a huge difference because people need to see themselves in the world to say, I can do this too. So that’s what she’s doing, which is an amazing thing. And she’s in sixth grade, she’s 11, she’s beautiful,” she said.
Fundraising efforts like this help ensure that the center can continue to offer help to families and children for free. A significant boost as the impacts of COVID have continued to have a massive effect on the mental health of many people, including children.
“It was really, really devastating for a lot of families. The stressors of COVID have been astronomical,” Braunstein explained.
Jayden’s efforts were also recognized by the New York State Coalition for Child Behavioral Health, who presented him with a certificate of appreciation before the walk. of all his classmates and friends,” said Andrea Smyth, President and CEO of the coalition.