First Lady Biden visits Westfield High School


First Lady Jill Biden visited Westfield High School Aug. 30 and praised the school’s effort to create a culture that embraces the importance of mental wellness.

Biden met with WHS administrators and students for a roundtable discussion about the importance of mental health. Members of the student-led organization Robbie’s Hope Club gave her a private presentation on its mission to prevent teen suicide.

The roundtable discussion, which was closed to the public, began after a presentation that was also closed to the public.

Biden, who teaches at Northern Virginia Community College, opened the discussion with her observations about student mental health after the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020-21 ended, according to students who attended the discussion.

First Lady Speaks at WHS about mental health photo 1
Founders of Robbie’s Hope Club at Westfield High School Analiece Emigh, Nora Flickinger, Zoe Milewski and Ava Solberg present the club’s mission to First Lady Jill Biden and Vice Admiral of the U.S Public Health Service Commission Corps, Dr. Vivek Murthy. (Photo by Edward Redd)

The Robbie’s Hope Club is committed to raising awareness and removing stigmas about teen mental health, according to co-founder Nora Flickinger, a student at WHS. The program has created events such as the Save a Life Walk.

“I feel like our school really values our well-being with the creation of the Wellbeing Coalition and as much as they do to support our club as well,” Flickinger said.

The Wellbeing Coalition Westfield is an organization with a mission to create a thriving community, according to its website.  It supports nonprofits that support similar causes, such as mental health advocacy.

 WHS assistant principal Kurt Fredrick said the Robbie’s Hope Club has made a big impact inside and outside the school.

“I’m very confident together we can empower our youth to engage, advocate for change and break down barriers,” Fredrick said.