This week on the Momentum Blog for National Stress Awareness Day, I figured I would introduce myself to our readers by providing my own testimonial. I can truly say that Momentum has saved me, as cheesy as that sounds.
When I was 16, I was taking on two AP classes- the rest all Honors- and learning to drive. I also did theatre after school, so I guess you could consider my plate pretty full. I applied to random entry-level jobs at restaurants, Starbucks, and other places. I wasn't really too excited about actually working at any of these places, I just figured I needed a job.
On top of all of that, I was dealing with undiagnosed major depressive disorder. I have never been one not to talk about my mental health- and I want this blog post to encourage parents and teens to have conversations about their mental wellbeing. I hadn't asked for help, and I truly believe that I am still here because of Momentum.
A hiring flyer for Momentum was posted in my honors pre-calculus class, so I took a leap of faith and emailed Michelle, my now manager. We scheduled an interview right away, and I can't tell you how nervous I was for my first ever job interview.
The day quickly arrived, and it was a disaster. My mom got in a minor car accident and was late to pick me up. I had no other ride, and my phone was dying. When my mom finally arrived, I was a total mess- tears and everything. I got home to change my clothes and when I ran downstairs I spilled iced tea down my whole front. I was already running late and had to change my clothes again. I emailed Michelle and asked if I could still come, to which she obliged.
I was shaking the entire interview as Michelle asked me questions. The center wasn't intimidating, but I was still feeling very anxious. I thought I totally messed up my first interview. I cried for a while. (Yes, I'm a total crybaby and proud of it).
Miraculously, a week later Michelle contacted me- I got hired. I was ecstatic. Truly and honestly, I couldn't believe that something so wonderful came out of such a bad and unlucky day. I started training that week and I instantly felt more happy and energetic than I had been in years.
Although I am now taking more steps to better my mental health, I know in my heart that Momentum has brightened my soul immensely. There's no way I could be blue in such a happy, inspirational environment. I've talked to Terri about this, and my hope is that more people find leaders and friends like I've found here. Momentum is the home of my soul, and helping kids learn every day is the best medicine I could have.
Please talk to your middle schoolers and high schoolers about how they are feeling. I can't express how hard it was for me to start that conversation by myself with my friends, family, and doctors. Navigating emotions with your teens might seem uncomfortable, but you could save their lives. Happy National Stress Awareness Day.