City of Southfield and Optimist Club of Southfield-Lathrup Village present Teen Mental Wellness Community Forum & Essay Contest


April 20, 2024

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The city of Southfield, in partnership with the Optimist Club of Southfield-Lathrup Village, Metro Detroit Youth Clubs, the City of Lathrup Village, Southfield Public Schools, and Lawrence Technological University will present a Teen Mental Wellness Community Forum on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 2 p.m. at the Metro Detroit Youth Clubs Field Zone located on the Southfield Municipal Campus at 26000 Evergreen Road in the lower level of the Southfield Pavilion. 

The keynote speaker for the Teen Mental Wellness Community Forum will be Oakland County Deputy Executive Director Madiah Tariq. The Teen Mental Wellness Community Forum will feature a number of panelists addressing the topic of “Nurturing Resilience: Empowering Parents and Youth to Transform Mental Challenges into Possibilities.” The event will feature REAL (Respectful, Engaging, Actionable, Lasting) Talk conversations with students, parents/guardians and Lathrup Village Police Officer Amanda McNeil; Southfield Police Lieutenant Teresa Young and Officer Brandon Walker; Darryl Allen, LPC from Ascension Michigan; and Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee.

As a part of the forum, the Optimist Club is sponsoring a 500-600 word essay contest for middle and high school students with the topic “Nurturing Resilience: Empowering Parents and Youth to Transform Mental Challenges into Possibilities. The essays should each consider and address the following: 

  • What action can you take to make a lasting difference?
  • What cues cause you to perform well?
  • What cues cause you to underperform?
  • How are you using and developing insights and knowledge from your parenting environment for self-parenting skills? 

The essay contest is open to all 6th-12th grade students who live, attend school or are a member of a youth mentoring program in Southfield or Lathrup Village. All entries must include three separate documents (application, essay cover page, and essay) emailed to slvoptimist@gmail.com by Monday, April 22. The first, second and third place winners will receive cash awards and recognitions. Lawrence Technological University will also offer two LTU Blue Devil Scholarships worth $20,000 a year for four years or a maximum award for a bachelor’s degree of $80,000 for eight semesters to the first and second place winner. Each winner will receive this scholarship award to attend Lawrence Technological University.

Additional application details and contest rules can be found online at https://www.southfield-lathrupvillageoptimists.org/ 

The Optimist Club of Southfield-Lathrup Village is made up of local volunteers and community leaders and has serviced the communities of Southfield and Lathrup Village since May 8, 1979. With the motto “Friend of Youth” and a mission to provide hope and positive vision to bring out the best in the community, particularly local youth, the Club promotes special programs and activities throughout the year.

Founded in 1958, the Metro Detroit Youth Clubs serves over 2,200 Club members in locations throughout metro Detroit and is dedicated to empowering youth to reach their full potential through safe, accessible, and inclusive experiences that open doors to a bright future. In 2011, the Southfield community partnered with Metro Detroit Youth Clubs and established the Metro Detroit Youth Clubs Field Zone, creating safe and enriching experiences for youth grades 6 through 12 in the Southfield community.