For this week’s Spotlight, We Fight chatted with a driving force behind all we do here — We Fight leadership team member and Social Chair, Stephanie Rorich Slawnik. Stephanie, a founding member of We Fight, runs our weekly Saturday social meet-ups, and spearheads all of the events that make We Fight a community. We’re immensely grateful for Stephanie’s work, and for her encouragement of others to get involved with We Fight.
All organizations and individuals featured in the Spotlight have been nominated by We Fight members who believe in their work and/or have benefited from it. What’s that organization for you? Complete this nomination form to see your favorite organization, or a person who’s doing great work, in the Spotlight.
How would you describe We Fight to a stranger?
We Fight is a community network of people dedicated to supporting our area youth and their mental health. It has a grass roots vibe and there are many many many ways to get involved. Starting with something simple like sharing a favorite stress-reducing app to the Facebook group or something more involved like joining the leadership team to strategize and implement ideas that will benefit and help strengthen our local youth.
What are the primary goals of your work with We Fight?
My priorities are more “upstream”. I want our local youth to know there are caring adults looking out for them before they are in crisis. I believe this can be achieved through multi-aged/multi-generational social events and activities.
How have you contributed towards We Fight and how has We Fight contributed to you?
I have pitched in where I can including researching organizations for the We Fight Spotlight (❤️), running team zooms and helping organize and implement social meet-ups.
What are you most proud of about the work you do at We Fight?
Through We Fight, I’ve learned that our region has a lot of resources that can support a family or youth in need that I was unaware of or misinformed about. Pete’s Place, for example, is a shelter for teens who need a safe place to spend the night. It has availability almost every night. The organization provides support and food and transportation to school or work! Also the QPR training I took through We Fight and CFS was life changing. I learned skills to identify signs of depression and someone in crisis and updated language to talk about suicide. Finally, the countless articles and apps listed by We Fight members on the Facebook group or in our Slack platform or in the newsletters have opened my eyes to local (and beyond) resources and legislation and ways for me to get involved to help better support our area’s youth.
What’s a favorite memory or experience you’ve had so far in your programming?
I love the social meet ups! The youth taco party, the Farm Club meet up and all the local park/beach visits have been great to meet new people with similar goals and strengthen the We Fight community.
How can folks get involved, or support you?
Oh man, I think my list is pretty long on ways to get involved but I’d say for starters to seek out area youth when you’re out and about. Make eye contact, smile at them, hold open a door, compliment their shoes! Adolescents especially need to feel seen. It has a dual purpose of both letting them know you acknowledge their existence but also lets them know to think twice before making a bad decision because a caring adult could be watching. Consider volunteering at your neighborhood school. Sign up to sub. Get involved with Bigs Up North.
Of course, finally, come to one of the We Fight social events! There are usually fun activities, interesting and interested people and sweet treats or prizes! My big picture goal is for these meet ups to eventually have a family reunion picnic atmosphere. (Of a family you look forward to seeing!) all ages, all interests, lots of laughter and fun and also SUPPORT. And LOVE. Knowing that when you look around you’ll find a community willing to FIGHT for each other’s safety. We Fight.❤️