With the increasing levels of harassment, stress, and violence contemporary adolescent face, it is not surprising that many struggle to maintain their individuality and self-esteem. Youth today have a difficult time trying to figure out how to become adults when they are presented with a myriad of mixed messages: be pretty, but don’t be promiscuous; be smart, but not too much; be yourself, but look like everyone on TV.

As youth enter and move through adolescence, many suffer from a severe drop in self-esteem and self-confidence, reduced interest and achievement in school, and an increase in both depression rates and eating disorders. It is imperative to help youth understand the mixed messages they receive from our culture, develop positive feelings about themselves and their futures, make connections with others, and feel free to be true to themselves.

Youth Talk United is designed to give adolescents an opportunity to feel empowered, gain self- awareness, and express their thoughts and feelings about everyday issues.