The Tranquil Teens Project helped teens find ways to prevent stress and anxiety often associated with school, work, family, social media and peer pressure.
"We learned that by just looking around our community, we could identify a problem and then work together to solve it. But we have to take the time to really learn about an issue from the people that are affected and not just assume things."
- Student Reflection
Building on Personal Experience
During the FEEL stage, students were compelled to research issues of mental health in youth. Students learned about the causes and the effects of issues of mental health. They focused, too, on stereotypes that surround issues of mental health, shared personal stories and also conducted interviews to better identify the climate around mental health in their community in Los Angeles.
Aligning to Their Target Audience
After conducting surveys and interviews, during the IMAGINE stage, students collaborated with a student team from New York City to compare results. This collaboration catalyzed the brainstorming process. Students engaged in a “Blue Sky Brainstorm” in which they noted any and all ideas they could. They narrowed the list of ideas, then, by evaluating the options for the feasibility of the idea and the boldness of the potential impact. In order to align their work to the issues that surfaced during interviews and to ensure access to their target audience – teenagers – students decided to focus on an awareness campaign. They circled back to brainstorm ideas that are specifically relevant to teens – social media platforms, phone access, online resources, etc.
Developing a Range of Resources
After a deep dive into the underlying factors of mental health as well as coping mechanisms, students developed a #TranquilTeens campaign. They created an Instagram and Facebook account to educate around issues of mental health and tips for coping. Upon receiving feedback, they also created a Pinterest Board to house resources and created a Spotify account to include a playlist to combat stress teens often feel. Their work then expanded to creating physical mindfulness resources (i.e. a mindfulness jar) and posters to hang up in community meeting spaces as well as their school.
Sharing to Continuously Increase Awareness
Students shared their work in their school community. Students from across their school engaged and have carried out the work. Students shared their work with thousands of people through the In a Perfect World network. They also shared their project with fellow ambassadors in Washington, D.C. and Toronto – who are now doing the work in their communities. They were also asked to present at Kid's Peace Festival in Los Angeles and at In a Perfect World's "Perfect Day" Wellness Summit. Students are inspired to continue sharing and note, “We want to keep our project going by taking our campaign to other schools and classrooms, so that other teens can be inspired and help share the message for us. It should spread from teen to teen so that everyone can have access to the tools!”