As a national student body, and a worldwide collective group of youth, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted us and our way of life. The youth of this country have struggled greatly with the closure of our educational system as well as the closure of extracurricular activities. There are, in fact, millions of cases of suicide, depression, or some other form of mental issue since the beginning of the closure. Nearly half of all Americans have and continue to be affected mentally by the pandemic.
What do you believe the United States can do to reduce these high levels of anxiety and depression? How can we, as a youth collective, remain positive and happy when the pandemic is suspending in-person education systems as well as social aspects and opportunities?
In-person school generates an increase in emotional well-being for the youth, but not everyone has the freedom to attend, given our current situation statewide and nationally.
Brooklyn Larsen is a 10th grader at Cedar City High School. This was the winning essay in the grades 9-12 category of a statewide contest sponsored by the Utah Debate Commission.
Editor’s note • In anticipation of Wednesday’s historic vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City, the Utah Debate Commission worked with the Utah State Board of Education and business partner Lucid Software to create a curriculum for all K-12 students and held a statewide essay contest. More than 700 students from kindergarten to college submitted 300-word essays answering the question: “If you could ask the vice presidential candidates one question, what would you ask and why?” The essays were judged by the Utah Debate Commission and volunteers from the University of Utah and teachers throughout the state. They are being published with minimal editing.