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Strategies to Support Mental Wellbeing: How to Create SafER Spaces for Disadvantaged Youth

Monday, November 29, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST

Strategies to Support Mental Wellbeing: How to Create Safer Spaces for Disadvantaged Youth

Presented by Jellisa Westney, Team Canada Athlete and Educator; and Kieran Block, Team Canada Alumni and Educator
Moderated by Darri Stephens, Former Award-Winning Classroom Teacher, Founder of Darrow Ink, Learning Designer, Author, and Speaker

Hosted by Classroom Champions
Sponsored by ClassLink

Watch the Recording Listen to the PodcastRead the Article

Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation. Get a CE Certificate for this edLeader Panel Learn more

In this edLeader Panel, we welcome Jellisa Westney, Team Canada athlete and educator, and Kieran Block, the first Black sledge hockey player in Canada and now an educator, whose passions both revolve around supporting students’ mental health. They share strategies for creating safe spaces for learning. Jellisa discusses the role of grit and poverty, exasperated by the pandemic, and the implications for disadvantaged youth. Kieran speaks to developing a foundational understanding of the mental health implications and possible interventions for our youth. Both draw from personal experiences they had as children and as professional athletes, and how they share these lessons in their classrooms on a daily basis.

This recorded edLeader Panel is of interest to K-12 and higher education teachers, librarians, counselors, and school and district leaders. 


Jellisa WestneyAbout the Presenters

As a Team Canada athlete in Track and Field, Pan American Games Bronze medalist in the 4×100-metre, and an aspiring teacher, Jellisa Westney is passionate about empowering youth toward reaching their goals and lifelong learning. Her career in athletics has taught her the invaluable role of mental health and wellness on the journey to success. Her diverse experiences, the highs and lows of elite sport, and her passion for education will inspire others to pursue their dreams and build resilience on the way up.


Kieran BlockKieran Block, now an educator, is the first Black sledge hockey player in Canada, having had a successful hockey career winning a World Championship with Team Canada in 2013. Kieran understands the importance of diversity and inclusion in sports. He shares his story of inspiration with his students. He shares messages of acceptance and the valuable lessons in mental health that he learned after overcoming a near-fatal cliff-jumping accident. His passion for integrative sports is sure to inspire others to overcome their challenges and push through their adversities.


Darri StephensAbout the Moderator

Darri Stephens is a former member of Teach For America and a seasoned educator, with more than 10 years of experience in Los Angeles and New York City public schools. She’s a published author who has also worked for education-focused media companies including Nickelodeon, IMAX, EdSurge, and Discovery Education. With master’s degrees in education from both Harvard and Stanford, she’s passionate about creative curriculum development that pushes boundaries, especially considering the influx of today’s technologies. Her most recent positions as Senior Director of Content at Common Sense and Director of Education at Wonder Workshop underscore her love of instructional design, writing, and the ever-changing edtech world—so much so that she has now founded her own content consulting agency, Darrow Ink.


Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

Join the School Health & Safety community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, and receive invitations to upcoming edLeader Panels.

Classroom ChampionsClassroom Champions is a non-profit and registered charity that connects volunteer Olympians, Paralympians, and Professional Athletes to classrooms through a K-8 social and emotional-based curriculum and mentorship experience.


ClassLink empowers your students and teachers with instant access to their learning resources. ClassLink® LaunchPad includes a library of over 6,000 single sign-on apps and instant links to file folders at school and on Google, Office 365, Dropbox, and Box cloud drives. ClassLink Roster Server easily and securely delivers class rosters to any publisher using open technology standards. ClassLink Analytics gives decision makers the usage data they need. ClassLink is ideal for 1 to1 and BYOD initiatives.




Monday, November 29, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST
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