Release date: February 5, 2024
Speak Up Stand Up Save a Life is an annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona, that aims to empower middle school students to organize and be changemakers at their home campuses. This year, the conference focused on identifying and overcoming the barriers that prevent kids from accessing mental health or suicide prevention services for themselves or their friends. As one of the conference organizers, I chose to interview Nagasriya Ramisetty and Kaylee Woods. When Nagasriya and Kaylee were high school students, each started movements at their schools that continue to improve the mental health of students and community members. Our conversation was recorded in front of the live audience at the conference. More information about Nagasriya, Kaylee, and the Speak Up Stand Up Save a Life conference are below.
Biography of Nagasriya Ramisetty
Nagasriya (she/her) is a freshman Flinn Scholar at the W.A. Franke Honors College at the University of Arizona. She is currently double majoring in Physiology and Applied Humanities with a concentration in Public Health, and she is a research student at the BIO5 Institute and the Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation. Her work in mental health advocacy started in high school after the COVID-19 pandemic when she recognized there was a clear need for professional mental health resources for her peers. Her work led to the establishment of a professional counselor on campus and the institution of social-emotional curriculum for younger students, and her school's efforts are continuing to grow under new student leadership. Now, Nagasriya hopes to further her impact during her time at the University of Arizona as she studies the improvement of health equity in Arizonian communities.
Biography of Kaylee Woods
Kaylee Woods is a current ASU student and Flinn Scholar studying Nonprofit Leadership and Management. Originally from Yuma Arizona, if she is not found volunteering in her community in some way, she is on air as a Blaze radio DJ. Kaylee’s past work in mental health includes creating her school’s first mental health club and being a part of the making and distributing of a mental health club toolkit to schools across Arizona.
Speak Up Stand Up Save a Life