Find Our Balance for Teens Interview


Photo courtesy of Andrea Guerra

The Find Our Balance for Teens club provides a good environment for students who want to work on their mental health and achieve a balanced lifestyle.

Bushra Syed

Let’s be honest, high school’s tough. Carrying the workload of six or seven classes might already be difficult enough and you want some time to enjoy your personal life. If college is part of your plan, you have extracurriculars and clubs to think about too. Some of us can handle all that just fine. However, others may be struggling to find a balance within all their responsibilities as students and growing adolescents.

But what if you could join a club that actually pays attention to your mental health and wellbeing, providing a welcoming and healthy environment for you to connect and grow with your peers?

Find Our Balance for Teens is a club offered here at Segerstrom that serves all the aforementioned purposes. The club was founded in 2021 during virtual learning. Meetings are held every Thursday after school. I got the chance to interview the sophomores and club co-presidents, Isabella Novella and Lillian Duran. Here’s what they had to say about their club:

Q: What is the purpose of this club?

A: The purpose is just to get people together and to have a safe space for teens to come. We learn about different topics that we like to show with presentations and we do fun activities throughout the whole thing. We like to give out things that help others, so we have stress balls, [and] destress Jenga. Fun games to bring home to their families, stuff to do together, and skills to use at school and in your personal life. (Isabella)

Q: What goals/plans do you have in regards to the club this year?

A: We like to fundraise before we can do more hands-on activities, but so far we’re doing presentations…in the past, we’ve done healthy coping skills, healthy habits, stuff like that. We also did a 2022 ‘What personal/emotional type of goals do you have for yourself for this next coming year?’ (Lillian)

Q: Describe some of your projects/assignments of this year that you’ve already done?

A: We partnered with Key Club because I am a part of that board also. We made cards for healthcare workers because of the pandemic, [and] we wanted to show our gratitude. It takes time to reflect on things you’re grateful for. We’ve done that, we’ve done Club Rush and we’re still planning to do the health fair with the Mental Health Awareness Club and Rainbow Jags, so we’re gonna be doing that in the coming week. We’re just doing any projects we find that we think our members would be interested in. (Isabella)

Q: What kind of people are you looking for to join your club? Are there certain kinds of traits that you want to find in someone that you think would make them a good fit for this club?

A: I would say it would be anyone that struggles with their mental health and is actually willing to help themselves and put a foot forward to help themselves get better mentally…(Lillian)

And like anyone in general too because we started this as a summer project and now we’re doing this as a club at school, we want it to be open to everybody so they can all come and meet new people that they’ve never met before and for them to make new friends or just have a good time when they want to destress. (Isabella)

Q: What kind of a legacy do you hope to leave for other students when you graduate?

A: The legacy is just wanting to help others. Like that was our main thing because [Lillian] did it because of mental health and I brought in the bullying aspect, and that’s why we came together. We’ve known each other [for a long time] and we’ve always helped one another. I think wanting to help others the way you want to help yourself and reflecting that on the people you want around you. (Isabella)

It’s difficult putting yourself first, so a legacy would be [doing] something to help them further their journey in loving themselves. (Lillian)

It’s been like a year now we’ve done this…We found this fellowship that wanted to create teen leaders, and looking back at it I think doing that fellowship with her has made each other better people and better leaders because we took the opportunity and advantage to do this for others. Now we’re here wanting to lead others [and do] what we just planned as a small thing to make it bigger. Now, having my best friend do it with me, a lot of good has come from it. (Isabella)

I’d say we’re fun people, we’re pretty fun people… I’ve gotten professional help with mental health so I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on stress and really thinking about your thoughts and what they actually mean. I think that with the knowledge that I’ve learned, I can pass it over to other people who are not able to have that same privilege that I’ve been able to get. (Lillian)

Q: Sometimes people have a hard time coming for help for a bunch of different reasons. Maybe they’re worried that it’ll change how people think about them, maybe even their family wouldn’t want them to do it because they don’t think it’s necessary. What would you tell those students who are struggling to find a way to get help, but they can’t?

A: If you have people that you’re comfortable with or that you trust a lot, reach out to them first… if you’re not here one day they text you, or if you hang out with them for a long time and they’re good people to be around, reach out to them because surely they’ll understand. School’s stressful and it can sometimes lead to toxic traits, it can lead to positive traits, it can be back and forth, so surely somebody out there knows the struggle and they’re willing to listen, hopefully, they’re willing to help and be there for you and be that person in your corner cheering you on. (Isabella)

I’d say if you feel like you don’t have any other option always talk to your parents first because they always have the connections…, but if your parents don’t encourage you to go get help, you need to talk to adults at school [because] they’re gonna help you get those connections. There are therapists at school and counselors that can help you, and while that happens you can also talk to your friends that you trust…but I’d say for the real help that you want, you need to reach out to adults to get that. When you’re outside and not talking to the adults at that time, try and talk to the people that you’re close with. It could be your cousins, your friends, literally anyone that you’re able to trust with the information that you’re giving to them. (Lillian)

“Honestly, the girls are so amazing,” says Ms. Guerra, the club’s advisor. “I kinda just give them their space to work in here. They are truly committed to it, and they come up with the presentations that they have set up for whoever’s coming to the meeting. They take over the class and just hang out with the students who participate. They also come up with activities that are all about wellness and mindfulness and sharing and checking in…they talk about future events and plan for them. I kind of feel like I’m just giving them their space to exist in for that once a week after school.”