Lost&Found’s 10-year celebration: VIDEO and TRANSCRIPT
This is a transcript of the 10-year anniversary program. It has been auto-generated, so there might be some transcription errors.
Nathan Hofer 00:44
Hello, everyone, and welcome to our 10-year celebration. Whoops, no one else is here with me yet, but I’m Nathan Hofer. And I’ll be your emcee tonight. And you know what, just you’ve seen enough of me today. So I’m just gonna turn it right over to Dr. Anne Kelly, who is Lost&Found’s board president who’s going to give us a little overview of the night. And welcome to the party.
Anne Kelly 01:08
Thank you, Nathan. I’m happy to be here this evening. I’m Anne Kelly and I have the pleasure of serving as board president. On behalf of Lost&Found I want to welcome you to our 10-year anniversary celebration. We’re excited to have everyone here with us this evening. I’d like to extend a special welcome to our guest speaker Vaney Hariri. And we look forward to hearing about his work tonight. Lost&Found has come a long way. And I am thrilled to be celebrating this with you. We started with a small but bold group of college students determined to put an end to suicide 10 years and more than 450 student leaders later, we now serve five campuses in South Dakota, and our reach is growing quickly. The growth of Lost&Found’s impact continues commensurate with the organizational growth. Although our growth has been rapid, it’s still built upon our core values, compassion, understanding and inclusion. And I think as a group, we really center around these principles. We’re expanding in every direction. As we build resilience and strengthen mental health for adolescents and young adults. We’re truly on the leading edge of serving this particular demographic. And we’re creating a new model of what these kinds of programs will look like. They’re innovative, they’re exciting, and they’re truly new and unique. And I think Lost&Found is poised to take suicide prevention, resilience and mental health in a new direction for adolescents and young adults, and really shape how we think about mental health and how we respond to risk. I’m really excited for you to hear about the direction in which we’re moving and our strong vision for the future tonight. So thank you again for joining us.
Nathan Hofer 03:09
And thank you and and we’re very lucky to have as our board president. So we’ll give a virtual round of applause to Anne and, you know, we wouldn’t be it wouldn’t be fair to go without also saying thank you to all of those folks who helped make this night possible. So we have had so many people who have given to Lost&Found for this event, but also throughout the year and years. So I want to give a special shout out to some of our sponsors tonight. So sponsors who provided matching funds for our 10K for 10 Years campaign are The Diamond Room by Specktor, Vern Eide, First Bank and Trust, American Bank and Trust, and the Astrup Family Foundation. So as we move forward with our 10K for 10 Years campaign, these folks have committed to matching dollar for dollar up to a certain amount in that for 10 years campaign so far as a 4pm. Today, it’s probably changed. I haven’t checked as a 4 pm, today, though we had 55 donations totaling $2300. So we still have a long ways to go. But the night isn’t over, and the campaign is not finished. So some of those donors, some of those people who are giving, are also FOUNDers Club members. And we want to thank all those people who give a recurring donation to Lost&Found every month. That’s our FOUNDers Club. So these donations are very important to the stability of organizations such as our own. And we want to say thank you to all those who have made a one-time donation over the years, whether that’s a large amount or a small amount. Each and every donation is a vote of support that helps keep Lost&Found and our momentum going forward. So we’re so thankful for that. And I’m going to speak for our staff so we on the staff, we want to thank the active board of Lost&Found, which has supported and enabled the Lost&Found chapters’ and association’s growth and innovative thinking in recent years. So, you know, Anne is our board president, she is one of many that have been a part of this. And we do want to thank our partners in the mental health field who have also supported Lost&Found over the years, as well as chapter advisors, leaders and members who are on the ground doing the programming work right now. And those who served Boston pound over the past 10 years, you’ve all left your mark, and we appreciate your work. And I know, so many of our current students are living out that that history of excellence today, and you know, I’m just really, really excited and really thankful for that. And I’d also like to give a special recognition to and this is not just me, this is everyone on our on, our team can say this, but we want to give a special special recognition. And thanks to our current CEO and executive director, Erik Muckey, we’ll hear from him a little later. But his bold vision has been a huge part of our success as an organization up until now, and the potential for us to do big things in the future are all a part of what Erk has brought to the table. So Eric is uh, he hasn’t been with us as much today as he would have liked to. He had a mild health scare. But we’re, he’s he seems to be feeling better. I think he just wanted to get out of all the videos and wanted to make me do it. But I were so thankful that he’s here with us tonight. And we’ll be able to have him speak here, momentarily. But I also want to say that all these contributions, big or small, are driving, Lost&Found closer to our vision of ending suicide among young adults. I keep saying I want to live in a world where my job’s obsolete. So let’s keep working to get me out of a job. So if you want to be a part of this effort, and we hope you do, we invite you to give a donation, consider giving a donation, whether it’s $1, whether it’s more whether it’s, you know, whatever you can give, obviously, we’re, the link is right there bit.ly/10yearsofresilience. And we want to make sure that we are supporting the work that is in our community. And that’s what this funding is going to go towards is funding for supporting the work that are happening within our chapters in our community. So feel free, I will put this in the comments as well. So you can find that link. I’m gonna take it off the screen though. And the next part of the program is one I’m super excited about. I’m really looking forward to it. And we are premiering a video that honors this 10th anniversary milestone for our organization. And we have a friend of mine we got Thad from PINStudios here to introduce this video Thad Giedd, everybody.
Thad Giedd 07:37
Thanks, Nathan. Awesome to be with you. Thanks for having me on the stream here. But at PINStudios, we collaborated with lost and found the organization, the whole team and even past founders to put together a series of videos and the one we are debuting here tonight is the kind of look back in history and throughout the years have lost and found. So it’s called the celebrating 10 years video. And yeah, it’s been an honor, it’s been pleasure to be with you guys and collaborate on these. And we are big fans of Lost&Found organization, especially just the presence in the proximity you guys have on the college campuses, with active students that are the true leaders connecting with the youth in navigating their growth phases. So it’s been a great honor to be with you guys. So without further ado, this is the 10-year The Lost and Found organization video. Thank you.
Erik Muckey 08:48
My friend, DJ had an idea back in 2008. In the age of Facebook groups when they were really sort of at their peak, to bring people together around a topic that simply writing love on your arm wasn’t enough
DJ Smith 09:05
Nothing is going to get accomplished from prayer just words you have no actions, tangible to stopping or reducing suicide ideology and removing the stigma surrounding mental health. But I also thought this was an opportunity for us all be able to do more
Erik Muckey 09:28
in the context at the time was that largely speaking stigma was still very much keeping people from seeking help, and really sort of putting the conversation down at that point in time. But it was slowly because of social media and the ability to communicate with larger communities outside of your own, there was an opportunity to talk about mental health, there’s an opportunity to share information resources like never before. And DJ’s idea really was at the time to focus on sort of what are ways we can pay it forward or, or inspire action to get people involved in a very simple and meaningful way.
We really wanted to help teens and young adults who were suffering from mental health issues and suicide ideologies in the greater communities who are struggling, so much to discuss topics that, at that point in time, and even still now are just incredibly taboo.
At this point, we know that suicide rates are growing at unprecedented rates, it’s, we’re seeing the highest rates of suicide for this age bracket for young adults in South Dakota, and also the surrounding region, to the tune of about 30, or 40% increases over the past 20, 25 years. You have to ask yourself, what are we doing, to ensure that their lives are healthy, that they’re able to pursue their life, but more importantly, keep them here, that’s really what our work is about.
DJ Smith 11:07
We were able to get together, we made a student organization at the University of South Dakota.
Erik Muckey 11:13
It was high energy, kind of fly by the seat of your pants, but really passionate and really engaged in what our work was. At time is probably considered ourselves to be superheroes, you know, we’re gonna, we’re going to save the world, we’re gonna save everybody.
Nathan Hofer 11:30
The stigma around mental health is reducing, people are talking about it more people are seeking resources more, and that’s awesome. But in that space, universities don’t have the resources currently to deal with that. We really focus in on providing that support and that peer to peer support and that network in that connection to resources and training and programming.
DJ Smith 11:51
We always talked about between Erik and I had ideas. And he was the one who really made sure these ideas came into fruition. And as you can see, under his leadership last time has only continued to grow 10 years later.
Anne Kelly 12:05
we’ve grown the number of campuses that we serve. And we’ve grown, the number of students that we serve on those campuses too.
Elliott B 12:12
I think one of the biggest components and strengths the organization has, is the relationship that we have with students, you know, we had those same personal struggles with mental health in in college. And that really makes us relate to the struggles that kids go through.
Anne Kelly 12:32
We’ve also introduced the research piece that allows us to get a better understanding of practices on campuses and of students and how students are doing on campuses, so that we can design better programming to support students and campuses and communities.
Tom Parker 12:49
You know, the funding for Lost and Found is is all from private donations. And as the years have progressed, and Erik has gone out and actively solicited corporate donations, we’ve gotten hooked up with several large-scale donors from the private sector that have really launched what we can do as a as an organization.
Erik Muckey 13:13
That funding source now has created this, this massive movement and ability for us to actually increase that impact and increase our ability to to fund necessary staffing and necessary programs, simply by just giving us the capacity to do so. The reason that we focus on resilience as an organization is to unite people around the idea that we all struggle, we all face challenges, we all navigate difficulties, but the kicker is we can all learn how to navigate.
Elliott B 13:48
Our message and our programming really needs to get out to students in every state.
Erik Muckey 14:02
My vision and the vision shared by our board and staff is to be able to serve every young adult in the United States. The idea that we can spread to every campus that we can share this message of resilience and hope to every campus we can is something that we are united behind. We are compassionate.
Speaker 1 14:29
We are inclusive.
Speaker 2 14:31
We are responsive.
Nathan Hofer 14:32
And we are here.
Thad Giedd 14:50
Nathan Hofer 14:57
Thad Giedd 14:58
You’re on mute, Nathan.
Nathan Hofer 14:59
I was just telling I’m going to kick you out. So I didn’t want you to be offended when I kick you off of this. See ya, Thad. I do apologize, there was a little lag on the beginning, we will post this video again. So you can see the whole the whole thing en masse. But I’ll tell you what, a lot of feelings there. And I’m I was not part of that the founding crew, and I know that it’s nowhere near the level of impact that that I feel doesn’t even relate to what they feel. So. So thankful and so proud to be a part of this organization. And this organization has really impacted people at a lot of different levels. So we’re about to bring two other folks in here. We have Logan Anderson, who is going to talk about, about that experience as a student and an alumni. And then we also have Jenny Noteboom coming up, who’s going to talk about that experience as a parent and an advisor for Lost&Found. We’re going to start by bringing Logan into the stream. So Logan, why don’t you share your story, I’m going to pull myself out actually.
Logan Anderson 16:01
All right. Hi, everyone. Thank you for being here tonight. Um, yeah, so my name is Logan Anderson, my pronouns are they/them. I was born and raised in Yankton, South Dakota. And then I attended the University of South Dakota, and had received my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology back in 2017. So currently, I’m a medical case manager at Colorado Health Network here in Denver, Colorado. And so this work still, you know, impacts me daily. So I’m really happy to be here tonight. And thank you for joining. So, I was president of Lost&Found for two years. And I felt really lucky to work with Erik, I felt like I learned a lot of leadership values from him. And really, with Lost&Found I also learned how to be a leader, and leadership with empathy, which I was very thankful for. So during my time, as President, I got to see the transition into a 501 c 3 nonprofit. So like the the stages to transition into nonprofit, not just a college organization. And so that really has shown me how resilient organizations and how innovative they can be, and creative they can be. And really the creative process of the reorganization of of an organization, which was really awesome, and I’m thankful for that. And really, I was able to connect with, you know, campus leaders, the counseling Student Counseling Center, and be on a, you know, organization or committees, with students and faculty, and really just be that face for students who were struggling, and they could come to, you know, being trained in QPR at the time, and really just knowing the resources around the region, you know, had students of all types and backgrounds come to me with, you know, suicidal ideation or, you know, mental health questions. And so I felt really trained with Lost&Found to provide those answers and be that support for the community. And so I just, I thank, Lost&Found for being there, and the support and the resources that they have provided for me and my leadership skills, because I use that today as a medical case manager, you know, working with clients living with HIV, who could be experiencing suicidal ideation. So really, the last, you know, being a president of Lost&Found really just taught me the basics of running a group and being a leader. And so I’m very thankful for that opportunity. And so you know, if you can, I really would, you know, appreciate if you would consider donating tonight, because I, I have gained so many lessons and skills from Lost&Found the resiliency, the hope, so many relationships that I’ve built, I’m very thankful for that opportunity. I’m so thank you so much for being here. And Nathan, thank you for having me. Yeah, thank you so much.
Nathan Hofer 19:38
Well, thank you, Logan, for your years of your years of work to and your, your passion that continues to still support this organization. So Logan, thank you so much, from us to you as well. So we’re very blessed to have you in our in our sphere. So you know, next I’m going to bring in Jenny, Jenny. She has an experience as a parent and also she is kind of our kind of our go-to when it comes to a lot of chapter business. And she is a current chapter advisor at Dakota Wesleyan University. So Jenny, I’ll let you just take it away and share your story. And like with Logan, I’m out. Okay.
Jenny Noteboom 20:16
Well, I was unfortunate enough to be introduced to Lost&Found in the way that nobody wants to be introduced to Lost&Found, I received a sympathy card, about seven and a half years ago, after the death of my son Connor to suicide. He was a 19-year-old college student at SDSU at the time, and when we received the thank you card from Lost&Found I hadn’t heard of them before. But we were looking for a place that would matter. That would make an impact that could help people like Connor to donate the memorial money that his friends and family had opened their hearts in their wallets to to help support the cause that was so important to us. And then after that, after the initial donation, and I kind of just kept up, you know, I donated when I could, I helped when I could, and then I just followed their path and their growth, and I watched things change. And then a year ago, I was applying for a new job. And I was sitting in the interview. And the person that would become my supervisor said, “Oh, and by the way, in this position, you’re going to be asked to be the adviser of this new club we’re having on campus. It’s called Lost&Found.” and he proceeded to try to like explain to me what lost and found was, and I was like, “Whoa, no, I got this. You know, I know, I know what it is.” And I knew right then and there that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. And then this was my job. Since I have been able to be involved in Lost&Found isn’t the advisor, I’ve been lucky enough to get to work directly with the passionate student leaders in each of the campuses or especially at DWU, where I am at. When I was introduced to Lost&Found years ago, I was always just like dumbfounded a little bit about how 18, 19, 20, 21 year olds could be so focused and so passionate, and so selfless in spending their time and their energy on on a cause for other people. I was just really impressed. And now I get to see it firsthand. Los&Found is needed now more than ever as as Erik mentioned in the video, it’s just so true. With the, with the pandemic going on, mental health issues are skyrocketing, and mental health issues among young adults are really, really taking a hit. We need we just need it, this world needs more Lost&Found. So if you’re able, please consider donating to Lost&Found so you can help the advisors, the board, the young leaders, all of us reach out and give the young adults the support they so desperately need. Thank you.
Nathan Hofer 23:00
Jenny, thank you again, as well. You know, we don’t, you never want to get connected with an organization because of because of the loss of a loved one. And we’re thankful for your passion and your energy and just the the love you give to our community and to those students at Wessleyan. I mean, who else signs up? has all their students sign up for a class with them at night, you know?
Jenny Noteboom 23:25
Nathan Hofer 23:28
Thank you, Jenny. And Logan. We’re so thankful. One more time, I’ll just toss this up quick before we move on, as they both mentioned donating. It’s in our comments, but bit.ly/10yearsofresilience. You know, we we think what we’re doing is impactful in it, and so do many others. And we’re nonprofit. So this is one of the ways that we can do the things that we do. But we’re gonna move on from that right now. Because we are going to do something new, I’m super pumped about this. And we are going to give our first ever Resilience Award. Yeah, I can tell you’re all clapping out there. Oops, clicked a thing. That’s my bad. But our first ever Resilience Award. So at the core of what we do with lost and found at our programming work is the idea of resilience. So we build resilience in three main areas for young adults, we focus on resilience for self, resilience for others, and resilience for community. So we’re talking about resilience for self. We’re talking about self care and training. So at some point, everyone faces a tough time. I mean, we’re all kind of facing a tough time right now. And at that time, it’s when you really have to look within yourself and find strength to get to the next day. So that strength isn’t a trait that you that isn’t something that you have or someone else has are just born with it. It’s something that can be learned. It’s something that you can develop through skills and talents and you know, experience so what we do, we want to help young adults build those skills and have tangible things that can put into play for when, when we face those hardships. When we look at resilience for others, it’s connecting people with mental health resources and building these networks of peer support, so we can get them connected to the help they need. So the mental health world it honestly, it isn’t easy to navigate. So we train young adults to help their peers find, find their way in that system, and also recognize when someone’s in a state of crisis. And then when we look at our final area of resilience, we look at resilience for community, which means taking a wider, taking the wider community, and making it a better place for achieving mental health. We’re reducing the stigma for seeking help. And we’re advocating for better mental health funding. And I said, I’m really excited for this award. And I’m really excited for our first winner, I’m gonna grab it here, it showed up in the mail today, this thing is slick, I’m gonna be honest with you. But this, this award goes to a person who has also worked tirelessly to build resilience in himself and others and in his community. And it is our keynote speaker Vaney Hariri. So Vaney is the co founder of Think 3D Solutions. He’s a thought leader and activist in Sioux Falls. He understands the importance of building his own resilience, that he has the strength, he needs to face the hard situations without backing down in the face of injustice, or intransigence. He expresses that philosophy in how he lives his life. And I’ve gotten to know Vaney over the last year and hundred percent true the most genuine person you’ll ever meet. He helps others build resilience through leadership training programs, Leaders of Tomorrow (shameless plug), equipping others with the skills they need to do their work of community building with confidence and fortitude. He’s been a strong builder of community resilience for years, but especially this year, as we faced a global pandemic, racial injustice, and unrest, and unrest. And those things led many to turn to him for wisdom, and understanding about how to face this difficult time and find a way for society move forward. In fact, he was one of our very first guests on Voices of Resilience, actually, our first voices of resilience official guest. So he has worked seen that many diverse communities and a common call for justice. And with that, I virtually present this award to Vaney. And I will give it to him physically, tomorrow when we meet. And he will now give this evening’s keynote presentation. So I’d like to bring Vaney into the stream. Thank you, Vani. And thank you for all you do to build resilience in this community in Sioux Falls and beyond. And we’re just, we’re lucky to have you, we’re lucky to know ya.
Vaney Hariri 27:31
man, that’s awesome. Thank you so much. That is, that is beautiful. I’m truly honored and excited to do it, you guys do such great work. Thank you so much for for, for thinking of me for this.
Nathan Hofer 27:51
Well, we’re I said, we’re very thankful for you and I tried scratching your name out, it doesn’t come off. So I couldn’t put my name. I guess we will back out. And I’ll let Vaney let you go into your keynote, thank you again. And like I said, it’s truly an honor to be able to present that award to you, bud.
Vaney Hariri 27:59
Yeah. Ah, thank you all, all of the Lost&Found family for for participating tonight. And, and having me here. You know, this is a big thing that you all are doing. You know, so many young people are out in the world that are left to feel like they’re facing it alone, and are in that dark place and don’t necessarily have someone to reach a hand in. And so organizations like this are close to my heart. Because mental health is something that’s close to my heart. A person’s ability to really be able to acknowledge their own value, to be able to see what they offer the world and the reasons why they are supposed to be here. Not that they’re lucky to be here that there is some type of true and honest connection to the reasons why they are walking this earth. And organizations like this help people find that. So I want to talk about a few things today to help you get in the right mindset as we go out there and try to affect all of those people who may be hurting, who may be in pain. The first thing that I want to tell you is this is that often times when people do the work of taking care of others, they generally do less of a job of taking care of themselves. And so that’s the first thing that I want to challenge you all to think about when we think about mental health, and more importantly, when we think about being able to assist people with mental health, it’s important that we’re thoughtful about what we do for ourselves. Because the one thing that I want you all to know, is that a better you is better for everyone. So where the work starts is within yourselves, because the road to be able to help others is through yourself. So the number one thing that I want you all to be thinking about is are you taking care of yourself? Are you being thoughtful about where you’re at emotionally? Are you leaning on this team that you have, this organization that you have, to make sure that you are in a space to be able to help people? One of the things that people don’t talk about enough that is the key to happiness and success is capacity. You can know the right thing to do. But if you don’t have the capacity to do it, to take advantage of it, then it’s not an opportunity at all. It’s not something that you can actually execute. And so one of the first things that we have to do is make sure that we have capacity, because if your cup is full, it makes it very difficult for you to give to others. So make sure you’re taking care of yourself, make sure you’re not apologizing for the time and energy you put into your own mental and physical health. Be mindful about where you’re at. And make sure you lean on the team that you have. And that you can example the courage necessary to lift yourself out of those moments, by exampling that courage, and being able to raise your hand and say that I’m not my best self today that I need help today, that I need strength today, that I need someone to support me today. So I would ask you to remember that a better you is better for everyone. And again, the road to helping others is through yourself. So I want you to make sure that you all are being good stewards of your own health. The other thing that I really want you all to know is that many are lost. Many are lost out there. And the temptation is to go find all of those lost people and shelter them and hold them. But we’re dealing with a group of individuals who have trained themselves to obscure their pain who have trained themselves to put up a veneer or a mask or something along those lines. And so one thing that I want to share with you as well is that oftentimes, you are more likely to find what you’re looking for, by being open to it, than actually looking for it. And so what I would ask for you to be thoughtful of is versus thinking that we’re going to just find all those people out there in pain, make sure that we’re open to make sure that your heart is open, make sure that your posture is open for people to be able to share and to connect with you. The thing about being able to truly connect with folks, particularly those who are having, having challenging situations, is seeing them. What we understand is this: is that people can deal with being loved, people can deal with being hated. The thing that people can’t deal with is being ignored. They can’t deal with apathy. They can’t deal with with with walking past someone and feeling like that person doesn’t see them. So one of the key things that we have to be able to do is see people, is to be open. So whether you’re at the coffee shop, whether you’re in the commons, or whether you’re just walking the path, make sure you remain open and you see people. You see their body language, you see their gestures, you listen for their tone and their feeling. And you give them the sense that you are open to hear what they have to say. I want you to think about the reasons why most people don’t share their problems. And if you think about it, the reason why most people don’t share their problems is because they don’t think anyone wants to listen. And so if you’re open, if you lead with your heart, if you give the right posture, the body language that says I am a person that wants to be available to you, I am a person who cares. I’m a person who is not going to judge you, who is not going to condemn you, who is not going to cast you out. I’m a person that is going to listen to you and entertain what you have to say I promise you people will share. l promise you in a crowd of thousands, they will seek you out because they know the feeling of someone who truly wants to understand their circumstance, who truly wants to understand their situation. And truly has a caring heart and wants to share it. So make sure you are being open. And the last thing that that I want to leave you with. And I want to leave you with a couple of these things. And these are takeaways that I want you to really to focus on. And that’s why I want to limit it to just a couple. But this other one is one that’s big to me and it’s close to my heart and that is: Good has to go on offense. I want to share this message with you because right now the world feels so dark. It feels like we are in this civil war in every aspect of everything that we do. It seems like people are leaving us. It seems like people are frustrated and angry and all they do is argue and bicker and fight. But what I will tell you is this: Any space that is not occupied by light will ultimately be occupied by darkness. Light wins 100% of the time. All it has to do is be there, be available. We have to be there. We have to occupy the spaces. And too many times good people have occupied the spaces to darkness because they didn’t feel like it was their place, because they didn’t feel like they had the right words, because they weren’t “there yet.” Let me be clear, there is no “there.” There is only journey. And you don’t have to know how to get someone from here to there. You only need to know how to get someone from there to here. You are experts in your journey, you know how to get through what you got through. And the fact that you are here shows that you survived everything that the world is thrown at you. All of those moments where you thought you would crumble. All of those times that you thought you would fold. All of those life ending circumstances that you went through–you survived them all. And here you are. And that energy, that confidence, knowing that you have been able to endure the worst that life has been able to throw at you, should give you the confidence, to go out into that darkness and spread your light. Good has to go on offense. Be prepared to take your light in every room that you’re into. Smile, shine, be graceful, be giving, be caring–all of those things that allow people to attract to you that lighten and brighten up their days, I want everyone to know that you have the ability to do that. And both for the folks who are doing the work for the folks who are supporting them and the people who contribute to this mission, you are all part of putting good back on offense and changing this world and owning it and saying that this is a moment where we don’t have to hide from wanting the best for each other. But we don’t have to obscure our passion and our drive for wanting to be healthy, and happy and whole. It is something that every person deserves and every person should have. And I’m proud to be a part of a team that is moving towards the mission of bringing that to them. And that’s where I’m most excited to be coming to you all tonight. Remember this, that when we talk about resilience, it resilience, it is the capacity and the ability to respond, to react to recover to difficulties. It is not the absence of difficulties. They will come. They are a guarantee. But you have the ability, you have the strength, you have the know how and you have the support to bounce back from them. And if you go out into that world with your life, if you challenge that darkness, if you take up that space, you will make it available for other people as well. And so with that, I thank you so much for all the work that you all do. I’m so proud that you are willing to take this step that you are willing to go on this journey that you are willing to commit your time, energy, and efforts to help save the lives of people who need you most. So thank you, again, thank you to Nate, the entire team, we appreciate you so much. And Think 3D, we are here for you. We want to support you in every way that we can give me a ring, give me a call if ever you need me, I want to do whatever I can to support this mission. We appreciate you. And thank you for having me. And also thank you for your award.
Nathan Hofer 37:38
Well, it’s well deserved. And anyone watching right now I just want to let you know the frustrating thing about Vaney is that that kind of conversation is normal. He always says stuff that makes you think and you’re like, Oh, I’m motivated. Terribly frustrating. Yeah, well, you do it well. And like I said, I’m so thankful for you, Vaney. And thank you for your time. And like I said, very well deserved for this award. And like I’ll deliver it tomorrow hand delivered.
Vaney Hariri 38:04
Awesome. Well, I appreciate you, thank you all so much. Have a great rest of the session. And thank you all for all the work that you guys are doing. You are saving lives and doing great things. Never forget that.
Nathan Hofer 38:14
Thanks, Vaney. Yeah, we were blessed to have great people in our community that follow along with our mission that connect to we’re moving forward, and Vaney is one of several. And like I said, we are so so blessed to have folks like that in this community. And so thank you again, Vaney for your keynote and your service to the Sioux Falls community and beyond, but also with our within our organization. And I’d be remiss if we didn’t also say a big thank you for our and a big welcome to our CEO and executive director, Erik Muckey. Erik, I’m gonna bring you into the stream here, but I’m going to be very honest with you. Nothing makes me feel a little a little old than seeing like several people who are leading this organization who I, who I had as students, and Erik is one of those and, you know, it’s it’s just incredible to see your mission and vision and the passion you’ve had for Lost&Found lived out and, and come to fruition and created this thing that you know, we have so many people behind and it’s so it’s so amazing and exciting. And, you know, I know you have a great vision for the future, and you’re gonna share that with us here. So I’ll back out but I just want to say thank you and everyone give Erik a virtual hand. Also looks like we’re wearing the same quarter zip. That’s embarrassing.
Erik Muckey 39:30
I wonder why it’s great. It’s like we’re part of the same team or something. Who knows
Nathan Hofer 39:34
Weird. Weird. Eric Muckey, everyone. I’m excited to hear from you, bud.
Erik Muckey 39:39
Thanks, Nathan. No, it’s it’s it’s really, truly a blessing to be here tonight. I did not expect to be here. This has been a very emotional week for many of us who were involved the very beginning, but to I would be remiss in saying that to get to 10 years as an organization for anyone at any stage or any, any work that you do is a huge accomplishment. Just imagining back in time, the number of obstacles that we’ve overcome to help others overcome obstacles really can’t be understated. I really can’t say enough for that. I can’t say enough for our team. You’ve heard our story. You’ve heard our stories of our impact. And you heard from one of the most resilient leaders you could ever find in our community. And I again, can’t stress enough 10 years is an incredible milestone. Doesn’t matter the work that you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what organization how big or how small, 10 years means something. But there is something inevitable about a celebration like this. And I want to capture a moment here that’s really important. In a celebration like this, we go on, we live our lives, we keep stumbling forward, we keep finding new things to engage with. And we always ask ourselves sort of what’s next. what’s what’s the catch. I’m proud to say that the best part of the celebration with our friends or family or colleagues, and our partners in mental health is at the 10-year celebration is really just the beginning. And in fact, it feels more like a beginning than anything else. I wish I could really spend hours with you going through the financials, the model, the things that we do day-to-day to show impact and hear more stories, even more than what we’ve been able to share tonight. This model of resilience and this focus really only is about two to three years old. But the passion, the drive behind what we do, that’s what we’re celebrating tonight. Today Los&Found of is a facilitator of proactive, data-driven public health approaches to suicide prevention for young adults ages 14 to 35. We partner with student leaders, faculty, staff and administrators on five campuses in eastern South Dakota to increase personal resilience skills, equip young adults with the skills to provide direct peer-to-peer mental health support, and research and advocate for mental health needs in our community so we can inform how systems work for the better now and in the long term. And all of these efforts are focused on the one thing that we are celebrating tonight, I want you to take away: We are here to put an end to suicide for young adults ages 14 to 35 in our state, our region and our country. The comprehensive approach we take to suicide prevention takes time, investment and partnership, deeply so deeply embedded in our community, and deeply, deeply personal. This work is unique. And it’s not just because of our approach with resilience and being proactive and being a unifier. The fact is, we have a decade of lessons learned about how grassroots advocacy student needs, and a lot of learning and analysis and research and mental health all sort of comes together, Lost&Found as a partner with a purpose. We are a public health organization with a personal connection. And we are a research institution focused on action. So tonight is a celebration of a decade. What does the next decade bring? What it means in the year ahead anyway, is growth. Lost&Found is growing its chapter presence and resources, doubling the number of skill resource partnerships that we’re providing to the current campuses. We serve the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, Dakota Wesleyan University, University of Sioux Falls and Augstanta University. But it also means this year anyway, is even in the midst of COVID, we are moving to new campuses and I’m excited to share that we are entering new partnerships with a tribal college in South Dakota. We are entering the Black Hills region. And we’re also, as of this past week, entering the Twin Cities metro for the first time. Lost&Found is also piloting new research programs focusing its efforts on creating a Community Mental Health Score. This tool provides administrators on college campuses with a simple diagnostic view of their policies, programs and personnel needs to help them prioritize how to invest in mental health to increase impact and change over time. Lost&Found is also piloting new, customized training and skill development offerings to community organizations and businesses in Sioux Falls and the Twin Cities, names of which will be very familiar to you once we’re able to share more information, but just know that in this year ahead, there’s a lot of change happening. Now what about the next nine years after that? What we said in the 10 year anniversary video is true. Lost&Found is focusing on reaching every single young adult it can between the ages of 14 to 35. And what that means is that we’re not abandoning our current model in any way, shape or form. In fact, we’re embracing it even further and saying, we are deepening our commitment to current campuses while developing a network that spans multiple states around the region and country. I say states plural. That’s an important point to make. But campuses are so important to us knowing that that age demographic, that group that range between 17 to 24 is really a moment in time where people are developing and finding their mental health needs often for the first time, and to abandon that ever is something that we’re simply never going to do. And I’m proud, I’m proud to share that we are focused fully on college campuses. But let me also pull something to you in the next 10 years too: Fourteen to 35 means we’re not just serving college campuses, right. And so what we’re looking ahead to doing is, we will begin supporting efforts to partner with current mental health resource providers in the region to begin support in K-12 education systems. We’ll provide a variety of custom training and skill workshops to employers that augment Employer Assistance Programs and conduct assessments of organizational mental health. We’ll continue to provide an increase our offerings to provide resources, training, and professional support to community organizations serving young adults to ensure mental health is prioritized. And I think what’s really awesome about where we’re heading in the next decade is we’re putting more attention on serving the populations that are most vulnerable among us, particularly rural and tribal communities where we are rooted. We are rooted in South Dakota and we are rooted in Sioux Falls. We’re affirming our commitment to Sioux Falls, and we continue to build our team around our South Dakota presence while recognizing that we’re not here to play small. We’re here to support any young adult we can we can serve. And that means thinking about new geographies and new places to go. Our vision is bold, and requires, as I mentioned, a fair amount of time, energy, and partnership building. Our vision requires an ability to hold true to our core values of compassion, inclusion, and responsiveness and into our history as a campus-focused organization. Where our campus efforts go, so will we. But our next 10 years really, truly bottom line will be dictated by this: We are a resilience organization. And we are an organization in our state, region and country that is fully focused on young adults ages 14 to 35. There are so many organizations that try to focus on just one specific component of that age group, whether it’s K-12, or campuses or employers or so on. But we know that life goes on. Once you leave high school, you go to college, you might go into the workforce instead. You might find yourself volunteering or serving in a community organization, whether it’s faith community, a volunteer community, a sports community, whatever that is. To be effective in the space you have to think about the whole lifespan of a person and to do so means thinking bigger about models, and thinking about models that have never been shown before. When you think of Lost&Found, think of that. Think of an organization that connects young adults with the skills and community for lifelong resilience, no matter what their circumstances might be. Think of us as community leaders, researchers, connectors, public health marketing professionals, fundraisers, whatever function we serve with a single purpose to end suicide for young adults ages 14 to 35 and ensure that their life is not defined by their mental health, but enhanced by it. Tonight, I want to leave you with a brief story. A family Lost&Found recently began partnership with in the Sioux Falls Metro is the Ben Longley family. Ben died by suicide a matter of weeks ago and his family reached out to us to discuss many of the same things that Jenny Noteboom shared earlier in our call. We’ve begun to partner with them. And they also shared a really poignant thought that I want to be sure is amplified tonight: “We are losing our next generation to suicide needlessly.” Needlessly. They could not be more right in their assessment. And it couldn’t be better said. We have a problem with suicide and mental health needs addressing to simply keep young adults here, let alone happy, healthy and fulfilled. In that statement is another action that we can do more to ensure we prevent suicide and ensure we all have access to the mental health support we need. And tonight, I implore you to take action. Talk to your friends, talk to your family, talk to your co workers, talk to those who are in your circle that you can trust having this conversation with to talk about what mental health looks like to you and what you struggle with. And if you are struggling tonight, speak to someone about it. And please take action. Take action also by sharing it suicide is the second leading cause of death for young adults ages 14 to 35 in South Dakota and the United States. And we need to ensure that we have an entire generation of behavioral health professionals and community members trained to support one another, and that includes you and I just in our average daily conversation. Take action also by donating to Lost&Found. You probably heard that broken record the night more than once, but any amount, literally, helps us reach thousands of young adults with mental health resources, stories and connection necessary to put an end to suicide. And also take action to support other mental health orgs like us. There is a whole spectrum of mental health and suicide prevention orgs out there for a reason, and they meet different needs. And they need your support just as much as we need your support. Think about what that means and talk to them about what they do specifically to better understand how the mental health ecosystem works. But also find the best ways to connect and support with the cause that you care about. We are only able to address the scourge of suicide when we work together. We need your help tonight and every day to make this work possible. Donate, share your story, and use your voice to make life better for the young adults in your life and in our community. You really will never know until it happens when your investment of time and energy and funding may come back to support you when you are meeting life’s challenges. Thank you all to those who joined us tonight. It’s It’s truly a pleasure to lead this organization. It’s truly a pleasure to have been with the organization for its full decade. There are so many people in my life that I wish I could think right now face to face. But to end it simply, I’m only here but for the support that you’ve given me. Lost&Found has a bright future because of you. Happy Lost&Found Day to everybody. Thank you for joining. And Nathan, thank you for sharing the space here for me to speak. Thanks, everybody.
Nathan Hofer 51:32
Really, it’s your space, Erik. You know, I want to say thank you again to you, Erik. It’s been it’s been exciting to see the vision lived out. And you have an uncanny ability to take, and Anna mentioned it today earlier, to take something that seems so outrageous and outlandish, and it comes to be. And you know, we to be in that space with you now regularly. And it’s and it’s definitely something we’re very happy to have you as our executive director. So thank you, Erik, thank you for sharing that vision. And once again, yeah, just you said, you’re leading us into our next phase. And I’m, I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be. I know I’m not gonna sleep very much, but I can’t wait to see.
Well, hopefully I’m just getting ample amounts of sleep. Yes. But no, it’s it’s a pleasure to be with you. And pleasure to have you on the team, Nathan. Thanks for thanks for taking the leap with us.
Nathan Hofer 52:31
Oh, thank you, I’ll send that $20 for that nice compliment. Well, that ends our night here, everyone I want to send say a couple things quick. Like Erik said, we don’t want to sound like a broken record. But our work is as it were a nonprofit, our work is dependent on donors and funding outside of ourselves. So we want to offer what we do to as many people as possible, and we want to create change in the biggest ways we can. So any donation you can provide, we would be so grateful for that. Also, like as I mentioned earlier, I know, I know, that we had a little bit of a lag with that video first. But Heidi, our wonderful marketing guru has uploaded it to our website. So if you go to resilienttoday.org/10yearsofresilience, you’ll be able to watch that video in full and it’s a good one. I’ve watched it several times and I get emotional, it’s fine. But you’ll also get to see a little bit more about what our last 10 years have looked like and what we see moving forward. And then, you know, on top of that, I just want to give another quick shout out here just to our team. I’m thankful for the people we work with and thankful for those who have supported us with funding and their time and their energy over the years. And if you want to connect with us, feel free to check us out on Instagram and Facebook at @Resilienttoday. And then our website is resilienttoday.org. Thank you all for being here with us. And we’ll see you for the next 10-year anniversary for 20. That’ll be right around the corner. So thank you all and feel free to reach out and we are here.