Makin’ It Happen is lucky enough to share an office with the New Hampshire Teen Institute.   The goal of the New Hampshire Teen Institute (TI) is to “empower teens to lead healthy lifestyles and create stronger communities through community-focused prevention and leadership workshops”. 

In non-COVID times NH-TI offers life-changing, experiential camps and workshops empowering a new generation of school and community leaders across New Hampshire and New England.  As we all know most in person meetings are no longer possible so TI has had to adapt their model to still be able to impact the lives of youth in NH and beyond. 

One of the ways that they are doing this is through a monthly Social Justice Book Club.  TI believes that as a youth-serving organization their goal should be to understand and address the myriad of issues that impact youth and the communities in which they live. Part of TI’s commitment to holding themselves accountable to learn and do more is to hold this book club.

The series is a voluntary learning experience open to TI’s Volunteers and Summer Leadership Alumni. The groups are facilitated with group norms and a moderator. The books and documentaries we will explore may contain themes and content that could be sensitive or uncomfortable to some. As a result TI wants all participants to know that there is no obligation to participate and at any point in the process, you can leave the book, documentary, or discussion group without judgment or consequence.

 This months focus is suicide prevention because it’s National Suicide Prevention month. The book they are reading is It’s Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.  Vizzini suffered from mental health issues and as a result was hospitalized in 2004.  The book is based on his experiences.  The book won the 2007 Best Book for Young Adults from the American Library Association.  Sadly, Ned Vizzini lost his mental health battle in 2013 when he passed away from suicide.  The book provides insight into the everyday experiences of those living with mental health issues.   

If you are an alumni or volunteer with TI you can  join them on September 25th at 7pm for a discussion about the book. More details available on the Teen Institute website here!