For the sake of others: Kayla Guettich

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Kayla Guettich, Steamboat Springs Teen Council

For the sake of others

Guilt. Sorrow. Mind-blowing pain. Loved ones often feel all of these emotions after they lose someone to suicide. In the years after, many of them are able to redefine their lives and even grow from the tragedy. They become people who want to help others avoid all of that pain.

Name: Kayla Guettich

Age: 18

School: Steamboat Springs Teen Council

Why did you join It Takes Courage?

I was working towards starting my own anti-bullying and suicide prevention campaign, when coincidentally Heather walked into my life. Things simply fell into place. I am very passionate about stopping the increase of adolescent suicide in our community, as it has been very prevalent in my personal life. I knew that Heather’s big heart and beautiful message was exactly where I needed to be.

What's it like being a part of this grassroots organization?

Proud. That is all I can say to describe this feeling. Like a mother watching her child blossom, I am proud to be apart of It Take Courage. From the very beginning I saw all the potential that this up-and-coming organization had, but seeing how much it has transformed and the lives that have been changed is a beautiful day-to-day adventure. I am so blessed to have such amazing opportunities such as this.

How do you see yourself helping to prevent bullying in your schools?

It is very challenging to prevent bullying. I think that the easiest way is to do you best to be nice and friendly. Making people feel important and welcome in the high school is something I work towards more and more everyday.

In 300 words or less, describe yourself. (Hobbies, sports, background, college/career aspirations, etc.)

I am involved in the theatre productions at my high school, speech team, Teen Council, and interact. I love being outdoors and on adventures. I am a very busy bee but manage to find to time to spend good laughs with my AMAZING group of friends. I have lived in Steamboat the vast majority of my life. I have a beautiful Mother and an incredible father who have both supported me in everything that I do. Their support has been impeccable on my life and I am very lucky to have them. I’ve lived a very blessed life in the steamboat valley, but have encountered some bullying growing up, which later led to partnering up with Heather. In my lifetime I have had 5 people close to my heart attempt suicide. I am not alone on this. Suicide is common and society puts any truth in that statement under a rug to never be talked about. Finally, after a very specific event, I decided to speak up and demand a change.

I know… “People kill themselves because they feel depressed and alone, but we are not alone and suicide is preventable.” In the presentations I talk about how the kids in our community must speak up if they are noticing any changes in their friend or themselves. I emphasize that we are not alone in the battle of suicide and bullying. Hopefully I give a message of hope.

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