Nonprofit offers free mental wellness event for local teens

The Saturday gathering at EvCC, sponsored by Leadership Launch, is for teens in eighth grade through college.


EVERETT — May is Mental Health Awareness month, and Leadership Launch, a nonprofit that mentors high school students, is offering a free mental wellness event aimed at teens and young adults.

The event logo? An adhesive bandage on top of a heart.

“Emotion Commotion: Connecting and Leading Through Mental Wellness and Self Expression,” will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Everett Community College in the Henry M. Jackson Center at 2000 Tower St. in Everett.

Teens from eighth grade to college are welcome to register and attend.

The half-day event will feature keynote speakers and workshops that focus on mental wellness through movement, art, leadership and community service.

“The pandemic has stunted mental wellness growth for most students, so we created this event to give them a chance to recover lost time while giving service to those in need,” said Glenda Wabaluku, a Kamiak High School senior and Leadership Launch student. “It’s important for teens to work toward a future with a stable mental and emotional well-being,” Wabaluku said.

Alexa Marcelo, a Kamiak High School freshman and Leadership launch member, said that planning the event opened her eyes to “how much teens go through. The activities we have planned are a good way to show them how to help themselves, and those around them, on their mental wellness journeys.”

Mukilteo resident Rachel Kittle founded Leadership Launch in 2014 as an informal mentoring group helping five at-risk kids.

There are now 20 members and many alumni.

Each year, the group plans and executes a “launch project,” a student-led service project to benefit the community.

This year, mental health was high on the list of mentions, said Rilee Louangphakdy, Leadership Launch spokesperson.

Workshops will focus on activities for both introverted and extroverted students, ranging from yoga and martial arts to poetry and a nature walk.

To learn more go to or

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097;; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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