mental illness teenage talk
By Shyanne Spencer
My project about teenage depression is meant to let other teens know they are not alone. I want to bring this subject out in the open so other teens can be aware that this is a serious topic to deal with, but they can talk about it. This is my first time doing a project like this, and I want to continue my podcast in an effort to reach out to other teens to begin the conversation in a safe space.
Using a podcast app called Anchor, I created a podcast about teenage depression. I suffered from it myself, so I can relate to other teens who are struggling. The project taught me to think about how I want my audience to receive my message. It was challenging to stay within the time limits, but I was relieved when the podcast came out well in the end.
Meet the Pair
MENTEE SHYANNE SPENCER & MENTOR SHERRILL COLLINS
Shyanne’s Anecdote: My mentor Mrs. Sherrill has helped me a lot. When I struggle with believing in myself, she pushes me to be my best. My writing has become more creative and alive since I’ve been in Girls Write Now. Mrs. Sherrill has spent hours working with me because she says that I am here in the world for a reason and that my voice will touch many one day. If I had to choose who my mentor would be all over again, I would pick her every single time. I’ve grown a strong bond with Mrs. Sherrill. She makes sure I’m okay mentally, physically, and emotionally. I am truly grateful for the amount of time Mrs. Sherrill has put in with me when she didn’t have to. My writing has elevated to a new level because of her. I remember her telling me, “You have some bomb poems, I just need you to make people feel and see every emotion when you read,” and ever since then, I’ve been reading so people can ride the waves of my journey and experience something powerful. I cannot thank you enough for all the hard work and effort Mrs. Sherrill. Thank you.
Sherrill’s Anecdote: When I initially met Shyanne, I wasn’t exactly sure how things would work out. She was not fully trusting the Girls Write Now concept—or me, for that matter—and I, eager to be a mentor, had committed to this young lady in front of me, and was challenged to figure things out. “What do you like to write?” I asked. Sitting, Shyanne said, “I can read a poem that I’ve written, but I have to turn around so you can’t look at me.” Quickly taking control, I said, “Well, that’s not happening, so just stand up, face me, and read. “But Mrs. Sherrill!” She cried. “Begin!” I replied. And as I listened to sixteen-year-old Shyanne read her life, a tear dropped, and my heart adopted her on the spot! Amazing you are sunshine!
Shyanne Spencer is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Brooklyn, NY.