Sierra Hall might appear to be just another teenager who lives miles away from everything in Webbville.
Give her a minute to explain her goals for “The Mountain Youth Council Of Kentucky,” however, and you quickly realize she’s a 16-year-old with a lot going on.
“I know there will be a lot of trials along the way,” she said during a recent visit to The Carter County Post, explaining she first began The Mountain Youth Council Of Kentucky in Lawrence County but the first six members “had lives to live, so I kept going.”
Hall hopes to find people between the age of 14 and 25, along with a few select adult “allies” from Carter, Boyd, Rowan, Lawrence and Greenup County to tackle some of the area’s most pressing concerns, as well as promoting positive alternatives and events. Addiction and mental health concerns will be near the top of the group’s priority list “because of the stigma and depth of both problems,” Hall said, along with organizing things for families to enjoy.
She also hopes to let people know someone cares.
“I’ve been in that spot and felt I didn’t have anybody, when really I did. I want to be that for people,” she said.
Initial meetings for The Mountain Youth Council Of Kentucky members will not be conducted in person, Hall said, explaining transportation barriers will be a challenge for the group.
“We will do a lot of video conferencing and arranging for rides when needed,” she said, noting video chats will be a relatively easy alternative to face-to-face meetings because “Almost every teenager has a phone in front of their face.”
Hall hopes to connect with young people who share certain traits.
“We are looking for outgoing, positive people who are very serious with their work,” she said.
Hall’s mom, Christina, serves as an “ally” and assures other parents all activities will be properly supervised and “good, clean fun” when The Mountain Youth Council Of Kentucky does meet or host an event. Additional adult allies are needed, although “Our big thing at the moment is more youth,” she said.
For more information or to get involved, visit The Mountain Youth Council Of Kentucky’s Facebook page, where Sierra Hall can also be found, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story and Photo by TIM PRESTON