Emperor of YAAB, you say?

Young Adult Advisory Board Member Profile

Hi, I’m Eva! I love art, baking and theater, and I’m on the Memorial Forensics team. I love being on YAAB mostly because I love the library! I like volunteering and helping there when I can.

Eva is the Young Adult Advisory Board Emperor. She has been a member of YAAB since 2018. 

The Young Adult Advisory Board (YAAB) is open to teens in grades 6 through 12. YAAB currently meets virtually on the 1st Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. to discuss ideas for programs, materials, activities in the Teen Lounge and ways to make the library a better place for teens.

Meet the Young Adult Advisory Board Prez

My name is Bridget McIlquham, I am 15 years old and attend High School here in Eau Claire. I am currently President of YAAB (Young Adult Advisory Board). I have been a member of YAAB for three years. I joined because I wanted to help improve and expand library programs for young adults and teens. I love the library and the library programs. I want there to be programs for everyone to enjoy, it is important to me to be a voice for all teens and their interests, not just mine. I love serving on the board and really enjoy working with the other board members active in YAAB. I hope to someday have a career in library services and want to help promote literacy in the community.

The Young Adult Advisory Board (YAAB) is open to teens in grades 6 through 12. YAAB currently meets virtually on the 1st Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. to discuss ideas for programs, materials, activities in the Teen Lounge and ways to make the library a better place for teens.

You Are Not Alone: Teen Mental Health Resources

Winter in Wisconsin, coronavirus, and quarantine; if that trio is not enough to get you at least a bit down, I don’t know what is. Everyone has struggled (or is still struggling!) with anxiety, depression, or stress at some point over the past year. Teens in our Young Adult Advisory Board just recently shared their thoughts, tips, and experiences regarding mental health, for which I want to give a big shout out. You rock! To cap off their Mental Health Teen to Teen series, I want to chime in with a few additional thoughts and resources.

You are not alone. If you or someone you know is struggling, please please please hear this: your family, your friends, your teachers, your community care about your wellbeing. We want to hear how you truly are. We care and we have resources to help.

As a librarian, my go-to quick way to help are book or e-book suggestions (surprising, I know). With this in mind, I pulled together a booklist of newer nonfiction books on managing anxiety, stress, depression, and more. I also included books with personal accounts of authors/teens and their struggles with mental health. Place a hold, schedule a Park & Pickup appointment, and get reading. Don’t know how Park & Pickup works? Email me or call Youth Services at 715-839-5007 to interact with a kind human.

If you need to talk or text with someone for support right away, please use these 24/7 resources: 

DIY Yummy Gummies

Gummy bears…they’re both delicious AND cute.  And now you can make your own!  One of our Teen Take & Make activities for 6th through 12th grades is a bear mold and set of ingredients to make your own gummy bears.  How “sweet” is that?!  ;)  If you have a hankering for more sweets, check out these e-cookbooks on Hoopla or contact us at the library and we can place some cookbooks on hold for you to pick up through our Park and Pickup service.

Youth Services: 715-839-5007 or ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us.

My Struggle with Anxiety

For most of my life I had lived in Fremont, Nebraska up until I was 10 at the end of 4th grade. Once school ended we moved to Eau Claire and, over the summer, it was just exploring Eau Claire. 

When school was almost about to start, I started experiencing nose twitches and anxiety, and it was pretty minor during my 5th grade school year. Once 6th grade started my nose twitching and anxiety got worse up to the point of me pulling my hair out. It was subtle at first, but got worse and worse. I slowly started pulling more and more a day without even noticing, and it got to a point where I was pulling my hair out in math class just naturally and people were noticing. As it got worse, my parents started noticing a gradual loss of hair on the left side of my head, and they went right to a psychiatrist at Mayo to see what was wrong. 

At the end I got medicine to help. I also started seeing a therapist that helped walk through what causes/caused me pulling out my hair and my anxiety. I slowly stopped with the help and support of family friends and my therapist. I later in life found an “escape” which is video games, and that helps with my anxiety a lot. I still have anxiety, especially since I started high school, but I have found that my dog (my emotional support animal), my medicine, and video games help me remove any stress or anxiety that I have. So I have grown and found good ways to lower my anxiety.

-Liam, Young Adult Advisory Board Vice President

This post is part of a series “Mental Health: Teen to Teen,” written by teens in the library’s Young Adult Advisory Board.

The Young Adult Advisory Board is made up of teen volunteers who desire to help with and be a part of the library’s events and services aimed at middle and high school students. Interested in joining? Fill out an application here.