As precautions are still in effect against COVID-19, many switch to new platforms such as Zoom, and Skype to communicate in group conversations. Local group IQ Squad, a movement for women of color, curated a virtual event with youth-serving organizations, adult allies, and elected officials. The listening session’s topics consisted of access to virtual youth programs, distance learning, mental health, and a survey provided called SPEAKYOMIND916.

The survey gathered information from the majority of youth ages 17 – 24 years old from all across Sacramento, with issues such as seeking employment and getting more support with distance learning.

“I’m very nervous because becoming a first time freshman college student in the fall will be difficult; being that everything will be online and it will be on me to self teach. It has made me unmotivated and down as if I have nothing to look forward to,” said an anonymous participant in the survey.

Mental health resources are critical for people seeking support to cope with anxiety and depression. COVID-19 has made a great impact on people lifes, many of the questions from the youth related to anxiety in continuing their education.

“How will incoming freshmen receive support if continued teaching is in virtual format for distance learning? What will be the process in response to COVID-19 guidelines, and where can we access this information? ” asked youth host Chalea Wright.

IQ Squad in partnership with The Hub, Blue Ribbon Commision and Youth Forward, created a safe space for youth to be heard. The IQ team is currently working on compiling a list of resources for homeless youth, LGBT, special needs youth, and everything in between. If you can provide additional information please contact : iqsquad411@gmail.com