Youth & Campus Ministry Burnout with Matt Wiggins | Podcast Season 05, Episode 01

by Nov 14, 2023Transforming Engagement: the Podcast

Welcome to a brand new season of Transforming Engagement, the Podcast! This time, we’re diving deep into a topic that’s been a long time coming – Youth and Campus Ministry Burnout.

We open this season with a special guest, Matt Wiggins, who sparked our journey into the world of youth and campus ministry burnout. It began when he came across our Clergy Burnout Report during Season 2 and reached out. Matt had an important question: What about the unique challenges faced by leaders working with the younger generation, those often nonordained, part-time, or volunteer youth ministry leaders?

Youth ministry can be a revolving door, with an average staffing turnaround of just 18 months. People step into these leadership roles for various reasons – a stepping stone to their next calling, a deep-seated passion, or sometimes a blend of both.

This season, we’ll be delving into the distinct challenges that leaders in youth and campus ministry encounter. From a professional standpoint, they often find themselves underpaid and overworked. Moreover, they can feel somewhat sidelined from the central church leadership structure. While this may sometimes spare them from certain decisions, it can also mean exclusion from representing the very people they serve in crucial church matters.

And let’s not forget that youth ministry leaders are on the frontlines supporting a generation facing unique challenges like never before. Gen Z youth have been profoundly impacted by the pandemic, experiencing disruptions to their lives and critical development time lost in connecting with peers, schools, and communities.

Your host for this season is Rose Madrid Swetman, the Associate Director of the Center for Transforming Engagement. We’re incredibly thankful to Matt Wiggins for his invitation to explore this pressing topic.

In this exciting season, we’ll be joined by leaders in the youth and campus ministry field from across the United States. Together, we’ll explore a world of insights, engage in meaningful discussions, and dare to dream about innovative ways to support these dedicated leaders and the generations they serve.

As you listen to this season, please let us know what you think. We value your feedback and questions!

About our guest:

There’s a simple reason why Matt Wiggins is still involved in youth ministry two decades after he began volunteering: some incredible adults took the time to invest in him as a teenager and no one has yet to come up with a better way for teenagers to experience a loving God than to be loved by adults who love God.

Originally from Ohio, Matt moved to NC chasing a girl named Lisa and that’s worked out pretty well since they’re married now and parents to Ellie and Jack. Besides spending time with family and at church, he’s currently working on a master’s in clinical psychology through The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and trying to squeeze in riding bikes, fixing bikes, and reading.

In each episode, we ask our guests to highlight an organization that is doing work. Matt brought our attention to Davidson Lifeline, a grassroots organization in Davidson, North Carolina whose mission is to support mental health awareness and suicide prevention in their community.

Listener resources:

Episode Transcript:

Rose: Welcome to Transforming Engagement, the Podcast where we hold conversations about changes that serve the common good and higher good. I’m Rose Madrid Swetman, Associate Director of the Center for Transforming Engagement and your host for Season Five of the podcast. In this season, we’re building on our previous discussions about Clergy Burnout to focus on youth and campus ministry leaders. These leaders are especially prone to burnout because of the nature of their roles. They often work long hours. And they’re dealing with the difficult and unique situations that young people are facing today. So, what kind of support do youth and campus ministers really need? What are the symptoms of burnout we should look for? And how do we prevent it? Whether you are a seasoned youth or campus minister, or just starting out, or if you supervise youth ministers, we believe our conversations will be valuable to you as you seek to maintain a healthy and sustainable student ministry journey. 

Rose: Hi, Matt, welcome to Transforming Engagement: the Podcast. And we’re delighted to have you in our opening episode for Season Five where we’re going to talk about youth pastor leader, campus minister burnout, and you’re the one that sort of brought this to our attention. And so I would love to start out by you just introducing yourself. Tell us a little bit about you, Matt.

Matt: Yeah, thank you, Rose. It is really excited to be on a podcast I’ve been listening to for the last couple of years. So I found the podcast because I’m a second, almost third year student at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, working on a counseling degree almost third year. Really excited about that. But I’ve been in youth ministry for 18 years. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Married, almost have actually a rising sixth grader, which is a little bit weird to say. And yeah, so that’s kind of my existential crisis at the moment, knowing that I have a child who’s going to be in my youth program in the fall. So. Yeah.

Rose: Wow. So you are currently still, you’re a youth pastor. [Matt: Yeah.] You serving in your, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your history serving as a youth pastor? 

Matt: Yeah. It’s kind of a funny story. I was an English major as an undergraduate and people would ask me, so what are you going to do with that, teach? And I said, no, but I’m not quite sure what I was going to do with it. And actually my roommate, my senior year, not a religious person at all, but he says, you’re going to work in a church, right? And I said, I don’t know what you’re talking about, but after I graduated from college, I was at home, I was looking for work and the pastor asked me to breakfast and by the end of the breakfast I was the youth director, at least temporarily, at my home church. And so I realized this is what I was going to do with an English major that I just kind of fell in love with the work. I had done some volunteering while in college, but hadn’t really considered it as a job until that breakfast. And then I said, that’s what I’ve done ever since.

Rose: Amazing. At a breakfast, you were asked and you said yes, and you’ve been doing it ever since. That’s awesome. That’s great.

Matt: Yeah, it’s a funny thing. I know, I think that was the pastor’s plan going into it, but it wasn’t mine, so I was kind of surprised, but talked into it, I guess.

Rose: Okay. Well, it seems like it’s been a good fit for you, but when you emailed us to talk about: Would it be possible to do a series a season on youth pastor, campus ministry burnout–tell us about what you put in that email to us. I was actually very intrigued by the way you reached out to us, if you remember. Yeah,

Matt: I went back and read the email to remember it too, because it feels like it’s been a long time since then, but it’s gone fast. So basically, I just remember listening the podcast and I think I started, the podcast was coming out about the same time that Barna had released their data on Pastor Burnout. And I just realized like, oh, this is telling a really similar story to what I was experiencing and what I know other youth leaders that I knew were experiencing too. And the thing that I noticed though is that all the conversation was about pastors. It was about ordained people. I have served and a lot of youth leaders are, we serve as non-ordained people. And so my question for you guys was basically just: What about us? Burnout has been a huge concern in the youth ministry world since I started. And I was just kind of curious. I recognize what I was hearing among the ordained folks, but I just wondered what is going on with everybody else?

Rose: It almost feels to me because– I pastored for almost 20 years in a local church and I’ve worked,–I’ve overseen many pastors in my nomination and it almost seems like youth pastors– tell me if this is your experience–they do get forgotten. They’re not super-included in all of the staffing and meetings. I mean probably in large churches that have full-time in compensate. We can talk about that a little bit too about the compensation disparities between large churches and small churches, but it does seem like youth pastors are forgotten. And I think in many people’s minds, youth pastors, it almost is like it’s a role in order to get to the next thing. Like you serve in this–But you’ve been doing it for 18 years and it sounds like many, many people that are serving, men and women that have been doing it for years, because it is their purpose. It is the thing that they feel very called to. 

Matt: Yeah, it’s kind of funny. I think you identified kind of both types. There’s a lot of people who start in youth ministry because that’s an easy place to start. And then there are people like me, I’m laughing, I don’t know how to describe us– lifers I guess is the phrase–who want to do it. And so that invisibility that you mentioned, I think I have kind of an ambivalent relationship with it, because in some ways, one of the things I love about youth ministry is that there is an insulation factor from everything else going on in the church when you’re working with teenagers and your focus is on that population of their parents. Like a lot of some of the stuff that is less desirable about working at churches kind of fade into the background. We don’t have to make those decisions, we just have to make sure our kids don’t go into any of the adult rooms and break anything.

So there’s a way, it’s kind nice to be that invisible. But then on the flip side of that, where does the money go in terms of compensation, in terms of your budget? How much money are you given to do the ministry that is on your heart to do and that ministry calls for it. Ministry Architects is an organization have a lot of respect for, and they say kind of the norm is to be spending a thousand dollars per kid in your ministry per year. And I’m sure there’s people who heard that and just gasped, cause that’s not their budget all. Yeah.

Rose: I almost did. 

Matt: But when you think of everything that goes into feeding them and going on trips and staffing and just all those things, so yeah, so there’s times where being invisible is an incredible asset and there’s times where it’s incredibly frustrating, I’d say.

Rose: Yeah. You said to us that an average turnaround for people working in youth ministry is like you said, 18 months.

Matt: Yeah.

Rose: Is that your experience of watching people that work in youth ministry? 

Matt: Yeah. So when I started that was the statistic I’ve heard and it’s had staying power. I don’t know if anybody’s actually verified that. I’ve heard some different things, but the 18 month has some staying power and I think there’s some truth to it. I think what happens is churches and youth leaders kind of get in the cycle of: Hey, we have this church, we want to do something exciting with our teenagers. So there’s a lot of expectations. For the most part, churches are hiring young people, sometimes people who don’t have a family of their own, so they have lots of time they can put into it, who have lots of energy, lots of enthusiasm, and as expectations ramp up and there’s so many things that youth leader can do to build participation and there’s so many things that are out of their hands and out of their control that it can create a very frustrating cycle. As far as my own experience, I’ve been really lucky. My first church, the plan was to be there temporarily. So I was there for 18 months or so before I moved to a different state. And then I was at a church for just under 10 years. And then I’ve been at my current church for 8 years. And so one of the things that you do is you make relationships with that with other youth leaders at churches nearby. And I can see that cycle coming through. Actually it was just a few. I did an event with a church down the street in February and called their youth pastor to ask him a question a couple of weeks later and he said, oh, I’m not there. And with that particular church, I think this is the fourth or fifth youth leader who I’ve gotten to know there, they’ve had multiple staff at times, but they’ve been on this succession of youth leaders. And it’s strange to say it was like, I don’t know if I want to get to know the next one. I don’t know how long that person’s going to be around. So there are some churches or some communities where I think they just kind of work through youth leaders pretty quickly.

Rose: Yeah, we could talk about why that is, but I think what I want to ask you about is you also mentioned that 2021 was a year that you personally were struggling in all your years and so reached out. You were talking to other people that were struggling. I mean, when we think about 2020 and from 2020 on. Even before 2020, we know that youth leaders, just what you said, they can go through different churches from church to church. Sometimes it’s about getting enough experience that they can get hired at a bigger church so they get a full-time salary. And there’s a lot of reasons small churches can’t pay full-time youth pastors. So you mentioned about you and several of your friends were struggling. It was like the hardest year that you’d had. You want to talk a little bit about that because that’s what we’re sort of talking about here is how we grow through struggling and what that’s like when you are struggling.

Matt: Yeah. That’s a great question. I think the pandemic has to be a big part of that. I think 2020, getting through March through May was like everybody’s in the same boat. We’re all pulling together. In some ways, even though that was on paper harder, it was easier in some ways I think, than dealing with the aftermath. And so when we didn’t do much of anything that spring and summer of 2020, but in the fall we tried to bring youth group back and where we are in North Carolina, we actually met outside. We met outside all year and we only had to bring in one time. So incredibly lucky. But it was just like every week through a new curve ball at us. And I think youth ministry is one of the kind of laboratories for the church and reinvention and trying new things happens really well and it happens really easily in youth ministry. But having to do that week after week, just adapting to new regulations, starting to realize that not everybody’s on the same page about how we’re going to keep each other safe and protected from the virus, that just kind of all of a sudden it’s just like, well, when is this going to end? There wasn’t an end in sight and we were going to, it just felt like this cycle of continually adapting. The other thing I noticed too is that there were predictable trends through the school year, pre-2020, I knew what to expect in the fall, and I knew what to expect. We’d get to the end of January and by the end spring and just there was no predictability anymore. So having to constantly adapt and also not having any significant markers of where we are to compare to previous years, I think that was really tough. And then I think the third piece too was just grappling with whether or not we want to call it trauma. The difficulty of the previous year and trying to come back and trying to be on as ministry leaders, trying to encourage our volunteers to show up when a lot of people were kind of pulling back on volunteer responsibilities. And our ministry is very volunteer driven. Trying to do that, trying to just juggle everything, having to go back into quarantine at times, having to take 10 days at home or 14 days depending on when it was if you got sick. And it just added up to being a lot. It was a lot of small things that just added up.  

Rose: It was a lot. And like you said on top of just the pandemic issues where trying to keep people safe, where people had all different ideas about what that meant. And then we had the racial tension with George Floyd, and then we had an election. I mean, it just kind of kept continuing. It’s like the pandemic sort of started this thing and then things just kept rolling. So you talked about there was some resilience material that came through the Center that was helpful for you. Do you want to talk about that for a moment and how was it helpful?

Matt: Yeah, among my classmates, there’s a few of us in ministry and we, I’m not sure how the conversation started or how it went, but at some point we just all said, yeah, this really sucks. This is really hard and I just don’t know when it’s going to get better. I remember hearing the phrase: “Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re going to love it.” And that felt just so even more true than usual. I think that might be from Friends or something, but that’s one of those things where it’s just like, is that balance of, it’s hard, but there are good things, but that balance just felt out of whack.

And so finding the resource from Center for Transforming Engagement just really gave us a language for understanding what’s it going to take to get through this. We weren’t the first, yes, we’re the first people to go through this particular pandemic, but we weren’t the first people to face something hard and to know that we don’t have to make that up. There are a lot of things that we have to make up and come up with new things like week after week, but this, how we not just survive, but how we move forward and find resilience. That’s not something we have to create. I don’t think resilience is just bouncing back. I think it’s perseverance with an intention to find thriving at some point in the future. And the idea of people and practices of those things were really helpful in just saying, well, what’s going to be important? What do we need to focus on? And being able to say all those different things. Here’s kind of five things that we need to take a look at. That made a big impact.

Rose: I’m so grateful to hear that because a lot of times when people hear the word resilience, they think just what you said, oh, you just got to pursue and get through it and move on. Where we, in the research that we’ve done, resilience is more about no, people are going to suffer. People are going to go through hard times, but they have to go through it. And how do they get through it? So when they come out the other side, it isn’t just about bearing down and grit. It’s about I’ve come through, I’ve actually come through it, and there’s a part of me that grew through that experience that now I have a gift to offer others. And so I appreciate the fact that that was helpful for you all because we found that very helpful. I’m wondering about the signs of burnout. Can you tell me, in struggling, when I think about burnout and when we did the clergy burnout season, we talked about there’s symptoms such as exhaustion, getting cynical, losing focus, losing energy, no motivation, physical symptoms, headaches, digestive problems, fatigue, muscle aches, people’s necks being out, just the whole physical symptoms, withdrawal. Sometimes as you’re getting near burnout, you just sort of withdraw. You just don’t have the motivation anymore. And I would imagine for youth leaders and campus ministry leaders, it could be even a bit more, I’d like you to talk to that because it seems like many youth pastors, campus ministers are a) either volunteers or they’re not paid high salaries, but they have huge expectations both from the ministry and from parents. You get it from both sides. You want to talk a bit about that? 

Matt: Yeah. I remember being on vacation the summer of 2020, and I remember the moment being in the kitchen of the rental house and realizing I hadn’t checked my email. It’d been a long vacation. There were no summer trips with the kids that summer, but just feeling like, oh, I’m not going to relax into this, am I. There’s just something that is knotted up and it’s just not coming undone. So for me, that was just kind of the first sign of what was going to be a difficult season. And like I said, that was at that point where the major crisis had ended and now we are in this indeterminate period. As far as other things, I think that experience, especially the end of 2021, beginning of 2022, I think, just there was this hopelessness, that this new normal, this is how it’s going to be. I don’t want to stay in this. And again, you think about Barna, they’re saying that 50 or 40% of senior pastors wanted to get out at that point. And for me, I’ve never really imagined doing anything else other than youth ministry. And all of a sudden it’s starting to wonder. There’s actually a youth ministry guru named Doug Fields, and he talks about when he was in youth ministry, driving past McDonald’s on the way home and seeing that and just thinking like, oh, wouldn’t it be nice to work at McDonald’s? That sounds so great. And so that story was running through my mind as I started thinking. Anything else sounds like it would be a relief, a release in the way. Yeah, so just not, I think, for me, the big thing is just we’re on this. We were in a race. It’s like you join a race and you’re like, how far is this a marathon, a half marathon? You can pace yourself if you know the distance. And I remember at just one point, I was just like, we’re on this race and no one’s told us the distance. We don’t know if we’re at the halfway point. How do you pace yourself for that? And it seems like at that point, I just couldn’t go slow enough to feel like I could run without being exhausted, if that makes sense.

Rose: No, it does. So now that we’re in, here we are in May 2023, what’s it like now? How are you feeling now? How are your peers that you are in relationship with? What are the main things that you guys are working through now post-2020?

Matt: Well, I think the biggest thing is, and again, this comes back to the research, is just realizing how much the teenagers we work with are struggling. Gen Z, Springtide Research did a study towards the end of last year, and they released that and said, 50% of 13 to 25 year olds say that they’re extremely or moderately stressed, depressed, anxious, and lonely. And that’s risen to the forefront for me of what we’re trying to do. I mean, we could have the greatest ministry, but if kids are showing up, but they’re not showing up, I mean, that’s part of it too. I think at this point, the number of kids who are participating is smaller, and there’s anxiety about being in crowds. There’s anxiety about just leaving the house. There is this need for connection that everybody is just trying to fill in ways that just isn’t fulfilling. And so I think for me, that’s the thing that has been hardest is that we’re trying to do good work, but in some ways there’s so many other things that needs to be addressed alongside or even before youth ministry that feels a little bit like throwing pebbles in a pond and instead of making what feels like a bigger difference.

Rose: Yeah, you named that so well, because also the Surgeon General just recently released a report of the mental health crisis for youth, and I don’t have it now in front of me, but we’ll put it in the notes for this episode. There was an article released where youth pastors are the first responders in that crisis, and many of the first responders in that crisis, just what you’re saying. And so that’s a whole other sort of pressure weight that it seems like youth leaders, youth pastors, and campus ministers are carrying these days, the after effect of it all now, right?

Matt: Yeah.

Rose: So how do you hold that?

Matt: Well, I mean, it’s probably not surprising I’m at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. That’s kind of a draw that I started to feel before the pandemic. But once we kind got into it and realized the toll that this was going to take on people that suddenly became much more urgent. And so how do we deal with that? I think that’s a great question. I think the first responders, I think the first responder analogy is a good one. One of the things, we have a very volunteer-driven youth ministry. In the spring, we met as a group of small group leaders, and that was one of the questions, what do I say to the kid who is telling us about these anxious thoughts? Who is revealing that just leaving the house is overwhelming? The idea of going to school is terrifying and coming to church for an hour is sometimes more that they can deal with. So for me, there’s a danger for me in that I think that because I’m in school for this, all of a sudden that’s the lens through which I’m seeing the world, but I’m also don’t know if, well, maybe that’s the right lens for right now, and how do we adjust what we’re doing to be responsive to that? I think I love the ampersand and the school’s name of “Theology & Psychology” and how that implies relationship between the two. And that’s really what I’ve been trying to lean into. I don’t want us to be a mental health club for teenagers, and I think God desires wholeness for us, and I want that to come through in our ministry and that there is hope and that there is healing from all these things that want to stand in the way of our flourishing. And so how do we do ministry like that? Yeah, I don’t know. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. And I’m making a lot of mistakes and doing lots of weird things, trying to come to a conclusion on that.

Rose: Yeah, it seems like to me, being in the role of first responder as a youth leader, you are in a counseling program, but how many youth leaders are not in a counseling program? That’s a lot to ask of people to be able to minister in that way. So I think a couple of things you hit on that really struck me was it’s about relationships. It always comes down to we talk about that the work that we do is transforms us, our relationship with God in order to be a good neighbor to others. And so that seems like important work right now that youth leaders, pastors, campus ministry leaders, would have those people that are working with them in order to create a space for youth pastors to be able to hold all that they’re holding right now, if that makes sense to you. It comes back to those research, the streams of resilience. Who are the people who are your peers? Maybe it’s a spiritual director, maybe it’s a therapist. Who are–another pastor, who are the people, your friends, all the different people that help us in order to hold and be able to be resilient in these times of kind of discontinuous change, even though we’re sort of back to a normal, I don’t think we went back to normal. It is what it is now. Everyone’s trying to figure it out. And then we’re hearing all these reports of the mental health crisis for youth, and so that’s got a weigh on youth pastors, ministry leaders. And so it just seems like there’s this, you don’t want to view it all through that lens, but it seems like that’s the reality right now. And of course, being at The Seattle School, it’s not all about just that lens entails other things, the streams of resilience, and then of course Sabbath and play and all of that works into these days as well.

Matt: Actually, what you said about working with a team of people, you really helped me put my finger on that, what is happening in our team of volunteers. We have, I think 18 small group leaders in our ministry, and there are, I think three times in the last school year I had to come out here to Seattle and they were able to run the show while I was away. And they’ve been really, really supportive of me in this degree and to the point, I’m going to be on sabbatical in the fall, so for three months I won’t be at work, and they’re willing to take that on. I don’t know. I’ve been aware of that and I’ve been grateful for that, but I also realizing, oh, this is a way that we’re working together and supporting each other. I’m able to go and get these skills because these leaders are willing, they’re so bought in, and they care for me as teenagers so much that we’re kind of working where our skills allow to build those skills and hopefully it’s mutually beneficial.

Rose: Well, it sounds like you have a great team. As we go through this season on different episodes, we’re going to have a panel that has youth pastor, a campus ministry pastor, a couple of youth pastors and a campus ministry leader, because it is interesting, I brought up the 2023 Youth Pastor Compensation Report, and we’ll put that link in the episode notes as well if people want to read through the report. But I was very struck by the disparity, first of all in what youth pastors make if you’re in a small church to the very large churches, I mean there is, and then how many people are on your team. If you’re in a small church of 40 to 60 adults, which they’re saying now is the average church size of the American church is 40 to 60 adults. That church doesn’t have money to pay a full-time youth pastor. So then what are those youth leaders carrying and how do they get support is very interesting to me. But another interesting thing I wanted to say to you that I found in this report in 2022, more men received raises: a massive disparity in outcomes still exist between male and female youth pastors, and I found that very, very sad. I know we can’t probably get into the why’s of that, but do you know many female youth pastors?

Matt: Yeah, that’s a great question. Thinking through, I feel like it’s usually been a pretty even mix of male and female youth workers, youth leaders, youth directors, whatever you want to call it. Yeah. So that’s an amazing, in a bad way, an amazing statistic that we still have that discrepancy.

Rose: There’s an 18.1% gap within two years of youth, whether you’re a male or a female youth pastor being hired. The first year there’s a 6.6% gap, and by the next year, it’s very interesting if people are interested in those statistics to go read that report. I just found it. That’s a very sad commentary on the church again. So

Matt: That makes me think that Barna report about pastor burnout, I know that the pastor burnout level is higher for female pastors, and so that gap between one year and two years, that 18 months, I wonder how many people are leaving and are men staying at a higher percentage. I don’t know. That’s just speculation. But yeah, I can totally see where that difference is exacerbated by that. How do you stay when in those really tough situations.

Rose: Yeah. Well, is there anything, any final words of wisdom that you have that you want to offer before we wind down? Yeah,

Matt:  Yeah. I’d say the last thing that I think is, I know I’m reaching my shelf life for being a youth director, but Forbes, not too long ago, so just the number one job or I think there’s multiple number ones, but being a youth leader was the number one job, and there are times where that’s definitely true. There’s times where it doesn’t feel very true at all, but I think for anybody who is thinking about youth mystery, there’s a lot of gifts that come with being willing to stick around and to do that. This year, actually right now, this spring, the students who were sixth graders when I started have just graduated. And that’s such an amazing thing to be able to say I was their only youth leader, which doesn’t always happen, but to have those relationships every seven years has been an incredible gift.

Rose: What a gift. What a gift to the students, honestly. I mean, I’m sure it’s a huge gift to you, but what a gift for the students, especially in times like these, to have that sort of steady person, especially through the transitions that all youth go through from middle school to high school, and then the transition out. So what a gift for your students, Matt. And I am so grateful that you reached out to us because we’re going to continue this season. We’re going to have conversations with experienced youth and campus ministry leaders who’ve dedicated their lives to serving the next generation. We’re going to have a conversation with a mental health worker and the work that they are doing with the mental health crisis that’s before us. And so yeah, we’re so grateful that you put us onto this, so thank you.

Matt: Yeah, I look forward to learning from you guys. I’m excited.

Rose: Well, in ending, one of the things that we like to do is in thank you for your time is to offer, we will make a donation to an organization that you’ve seen doing very good work, and we’ll make a donation to them and we’ll encourage our listeners to do the same. So is there an organization you wanted to name?

Matt: Yeah. Thank you so much. I’d like to name Davidson Lifeline. They’re a grassroots mental health organization in the town where my church is. That was started after several high school students died by suicide and parents wanted to do something about it. And so they’ve been growing and they’ve been more and more active every year to the point where they have representatives in school teaching QPR. They’re teaching sources of strength. They’re very visible in our community, and some of their volunteers are also my volunteers at church and just extremely grateful for them.

Rose: Wow, that sounds amazing. Thank you. We look forward to making that donation and hope many of our listeners will as well. So thank you, Matt. Thank you for your good work in and just best wishes to you as you finish out school.

Matt: Thank you, Rose.

Rose: Thanks for joining us for this episode of Transforming Engagement, the Podcast.