18-year-old Natalie Asbury wants to be the voice of her peers who silently struggle with mental health issues.
The high school student from South Hagerstown High School was recently appointed to the Hagerstown Youth Advisory Council, where she plans to keep her focus on mental health and helping teens in pain.
“I think being the voice of young people is very important,” said Natalie. “I want to see what can be implemented in the community, and I want to be that voice.”
Established to broaden youth participation in local government, the primary goal of the Hagerstown Youth Advisory Council is to provide a voice and a public platform for youth in the city.
Selected students work alongside municipal staff and other community partners to address the concerns of today’s youth.
Since the onset of COVID-19, Natalie said, many of her peers have faced social isolation due to restrictions linked to the pandemic.
With the return of Washington County public schools to in-person learning, after months of virtual home education, things have improved, she said.
“There are still teens who can be shut down and go unnoticed,” Natalie said. “They keep within themselves.
Natalie said the youth council wanted to address the issue by hosting events aimed at getting teens to come together and interact with each other.
“We are really discussing how we can help,” she said.
At school, Natalie is part of the Academic Leadership Academy, a South High specialty program that aims to prepare students for college.
With a GPA of 4.32, Natalie is completing an Advanced Placement, or AP, Environmental Sciences, AP US History, AP Literature, AP Statistics, and AP Psychology.
Natalie said she plans to study applied and clinical psychology at university. She hasn’t decided which college she’ll go to yet, but Natalie knows her end goal. She hopes to one day make a career as a therapist or psychologist.
She is a member of the National Honor Society of South High, the Student Government Association and the Spirit Club.
“The Spirit Club engages us in events and activities,” said Natalie. “We excite people for things and activities to come. “
Then the basketball season.
In the fall, Natalie was also the captain of the varsity women’s volleyball team. She also continues to play volleyball at local clubs throughout the year.
Natalie is the daughter of Jeannie and William Asbury. She has an older sister and three cats.
Student Standout is a weekly article that appears every Monday and highlights local students who make an extraordinary contribution to their school or community. To nominate a student, call 301-791-7591 or email [email protected]
Sherry Greenfield is an education reporter covering Washington County Public Schools. Follow Sherry on Twitter at Sheina2018 or Instagram at beckmangreenfield.