A 10th grade student’s poem sharing what inspires, worries or matters most to him. Click on the image to read.

Student (requested to remain anonymous)

This letter of encouragement to teenagers was sent to Teen Esteem by a high school student struggling with depression. Click the image on the right to read the letter. Her words are honest, wise and validating.

“If there was any advice I could give someone with depression, it would be to seek help. Telling my parents that I needed a therapist was one of the best decisions that I have ever made.”


Meghan began experimenting with meth at age 14.   She felt unimportant and wanted to belong.  Hear her story, in her own words.

“I look back now and realized one of my biggest issues was feeling unimportant.  I was just trying to feel like I belonged.”  ~ Meghan


Debbie’s daughter Shelby passed away after a night of under-age drinking at a house party.  Hear her story and why it’s so important to equip kids with the tools to make the right decisions when a friend gets into trouble.

“You would think right off the bat you would call for help for another human being…especially someone who is your best friend.” ~ Debbie


Nicole struggled with perfectionism, anorexia, academic pressures and as a result, attempted suicide.  Her story is a cautionary tale with excellent, practical advice for parents.

“Let your kids fail.  Letting kids fail is hard…you don’t want to see them ruin their life…but it’s an important step to make sure your kids understand that they can fail and that it’s going to be OK when they fail.”  ~ Nicole


Idris took a less conventional path after High School.  Hear his success story and how his positive mindset, perseverance and resilience brought him to work at Nasa and attend a prestigious University.

“Be better today than you were yesterday.”  ~ Idris


Kerrie lost her little brother Kyle to prescription drugs at the age of 23.  Now she shares his story with students because she doesn’t want anyone else to have to go through what her family went through.

“We make choices everyday.  And we rely on our experience and knowledge to help us make those choices. Before Kyle died I had no idea how dangerous or deadly prescription drugs could be.”  ~ Kerrie


April’s son Joey died of an accidental overdose in 2009 from a lethal mixture of alcohol and prescription drugs while attending university.  She has since founded the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse to generate nationwide awareness about the dangers of prescription drugs and reduce prescription drug related overdose deaths and addiction.

“How did we get here?  How did this happen?  Know that your choices do not affect just you…please think about the impact you have on those around you.”

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