The Let’s Talk podcast series was launched in November 2021 as part of National Runaway Prevention Month. Let’s Talk is aimed at elevating the voices of young people as they share their stories and highlight the complexities and intersections that are witnessed by the 4.2 million young people experiencing homelessness across the United States each year.
CONTENT WARNING: THIS PODCAST FEATURES DISCUSSIONS THAT MAY BE TRIGGERING TO OUR AUDIENCES, COVERING TOPICS THAT INCLUDE SUICIDE, INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, INSTITUTIONALIZATION, GUN VIOLENCE, ADDICTION AND VARIOUS FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION. LISTENER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Ep. 5 Let's Talk: The Trevor Project's 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health
Fresh out of Pride Month we are joined by Dr. Jonah DeChants from The Trevor Project to discuss their 2022 Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. Through the episode we learn about how youth self-identify, access to mental health resources, and how adults can be the person a young person in need can confide in.
From The Trevor Project: “Capturing the experiences of nearly 34,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24 across the United States, with 45% of respondents being LGBTQ youth of color and 48% being transgender or nonbinary, our fourth annual national survey is one of the most diverse surveys of LGBTQ youth ever conducted.”
Ep. 4 Let's Talk: A conversation with FYSB ASsociate Commissioner Kimberly Waller
Featuring Kimberly Waller
In this episode we are thrilled to learn from Kimberly Waller, the Associate Commissioner for the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB). Kimberly goes into great detail about the FYSB’s priorities, what effective community-base outreach looks like, and tips on how you can combat youth homelessness locally.
Ep. 3 Let's Talk: Child Abuse
Featuring Larel Jacobs
For episode 3 we are grateful to have an enlightening conversation with Larel Jacobs (of Childhelp.org) about reporting child abuse, having tough conversations with young people, and why more and more children under the age of 12 are reaching out to crisis service hotlines like Childhelp and National Runaway Safeline.
Childhelp is a US non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse.
Ep. 2 Let's Talk: Fenix Youth Project
Featuring Amber Green
In episode 2, we spotlight the winner of our National Runaway Prevention Month 2021 “Shine a Light” Award, the Fenix Youth Project. Led by Executive Director Amber Green, the organization serves youth in eastern Maryland through their 24h youth drop-in-center, and youth organizing group programs. Through this episode, we learn about the mission of the Fenix Youth Project, how they demonstrate true leadership through their vision of young person-centered advocacy, and how their work aligns with what we do at the National Runaway Safeline.
Ep. 1 Let's Talk: Human Trafficking
Featuring Sophia Eftimiades
In the season 2 premiere episode, Maria Taylor, NRS Prevention and Youth Engagement Coordinator, is joined by Sophia Eftimiades, a Case Response Specialist at Polaris. Throughout this episode, Maria and Sophia discuss definitions and signs of human trafficking, the important work being done throughout Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and how human trafficking intersects with NRS’ work and commitment to serving homeless and runaway youth.
EP 6. Let's Talk: Mental Health, Domestic VIolence & Gun Violence
Featuring Zachary Mallory
Zachary Mallory is a Kansas City native, whose passion is in mental health and suicide prevention. In their community, they provide services through Trauma-Informed Care and by prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout their work both professionally and as a member of the NRS Youth Advisory Board. In this episode, Zachary shares their experiences with homelessness and housing insecurity, as a queer, non-binary person surviving domestic violence and gun violence.
EP 5. Let's Talk: Diagnosis, Disability & the College Experience
Featuring Rachel Litchman
Raised in the Chicago suburbs, Rachel Litchman is a student studying Sociology and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Wisconsin. She is a member of the NRS Youth Advisory Board and the Dane County Youth Action Board. Rachel shares her experiences as a young person navigating the failures of our health care system, and how lack of diagnosis impacted the trajectory of her life.
EP 4. Let's Talk: Indigenous Identity & Foster Care
Featuring Keeley BadWarrior
Keeley BadWarrior is from Rapid City, South Dakota, where she is currently a student at Western Dakota Technical College studying business and technology. Outside of her coursework, Keeley holds multiple jobs and is an active member of both the NRS Youth Advisory Board and the Rapid City Youth Action Board. In this interview, Keeley shares her experiences with homelessness and housing instability following her aging out of the foster care system.
EP 3. Let’s Talk: Homelessness, Disability & Discrimination
Featuring EJ Valez
EJ Valez joins us from Kutztown College. In addition to their ambitious course load, EJ works four part-time jobs, is a member of both the NRS Youth Advisory Board and the Youth Council Advisory Board with the National Network for Youth, and serves as a consultant for Youth Collaboratory. In this interview, EJ describes how they have experienced the intersection of youth homelessness, disability, and discrimination, and discusses their goals for the future.
EP 2. Let’s Talk: Generational Trauma, Immigration and Addiction
Featuring Mariana Aguire Rios
Mariana Aguire Rios is a Denver native and certified Peer Support Specialist who has years of experience in children’s advocacy. Currently working at DenverHealth as a care navigator and serving as a member of the NRS Youth Advisory Board, Mariana shares her experiences as a young person navigating the complexities of homelessness, generational trauma, immigration and addiction, and how that led her to where she is today.
EP 1. Let's Talk: National Runaway prevention Month
Featuring Susan Frankel