Focus on Youth Mental Health

Doing More to Help Students Thrive

ASAS | 25 April 2024

As Mental Health Awareness Month approaches, we want to express our appreciation for the parents, guardians, teachers, and mentors who make strides every day to help young people build strong bonds and relationships in school, at home, and in the community.

The statistics on youth mental health can be daunting: across the U.S., 11.5% of youth (2.7 million young people) are experiencing severe major depression. Mental health problems in youth are often related to other health and behavioral risks like increased risk of drug use, experiencing violence, struggling with grades, and developing adverse health habits that carry over into adult years.

Our free, year-round programs strive to provide positive mentorship and foster healthy habits in safe environments where students feel heard, valued, and supported. This culture begins with our team members, who receive training and resources on key topics like mental health, burnout, and self-care. And it carries into our curriculum, where we incorporate mental wellness practices, social skills development, and emotional support into all aspects of our programs, whether an activity is related to STEM, workforce preparedness, or the arts.

Join us next month as we continue raising awareness and support in empowering youth to become resilient and emotionally intelligent leaders and change-makers of tomorrow.

Going the Extra Mile for our All-Stars

John “Rum” Rumcik, a business owner and realtor in Arlington, Virginia, has been a supporter of After-School All-Stars since 2017. Ahead of our Mental Health Awareness campaign, Rum has set up a personal fundraising page to share his story and encourage members of his community to contribute to All-Stars.

We asked him some questions about his history with the organization and the inspiration behind creating his own fundraiser.

Why did you first become involved with After-School All-Stars?

In 2019, I was given the opportunity to meet with ASAS’ founder—and my personal hero—Arnold Schwarzenegger by winning an online sweepstakes.

I was struck by just how much Arnold talked about ASAS—and by how much pride he had when talking about the students. He referenced their amazing stories to encourage me to overcome the challenges I was facing. Like the All-Stars, I began to dream bigger, set ambitious goals, and work hard to achieve them. Supporting the organization has been a priority for me ever since.

What about the All-Stars mission resonates with you most?

No two students are the same. No two journeys are the same. ASAS provides services that are unique to the needs of each All-Star, including the support of very special and well-qualified mentors. Knowing that my donation helps this work continue and scale is incredibly motivating.

Why did you set up your own fundraiser? What was the process like?

Most people WANT to give to impactful organizations but finding the right one can be overwhelming. After-School All-Stars is changing lives every day, and I’m thrilled to share their impact with the people around me.

Setting up the fundraiser took 10 minutes. I simply followed the prompts, added my personal reason for supporting, and shared it through social media, email, and texts. Trust me—you’ll be amazed by how many people want to support an organization that’s important to you!

Visit our GiveSmart campaign page and simply click “Become a Fundraiser.”

Login to your Facebook account and set up your Facebook fundraiser. Thank you!