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.
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.