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Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, December 27, 2022


First hour: Rochester City School Board Commissioner Willa Powell

Second hour: How to help teens cope with trauma and mental health challenges

The longest-tenured member of the Rochester City School Board is Willa Powell, first elected in 1997. Powell says the board struggles with dysfunction, and she joins us to discuss a number of issues. We talk about the hiring of yet another superintendent; divisions on the board and how they impact students; and more. This is the second in a series of interviews with board members. Our guest:

  • Willa Powell, commissioner with the Rochester City School Board

Then in our second hour, mental health is difficult to measure or quantify, but there is no question that the last two years have been very difficult for teenagers -- particularly those living in cities like Rochester. Isolation, violence, and trauma all contribute to the struggle. Our guests bring their personal stories and their professional background to a conversation about what might actually turn things around. Our guests:

  • Melany J. Silas, M.Div., Ph.D., president and CEO of BreatheDeep, Inc. 
  • Karla Hatley, Ed.D., licensed master social worker, BreatheDeep, Inc.  summer intern coordinator, and social emotional health coordinator for Young Women’s College Prep Charter School 
  • Nyah Wragg, BreatheDeep, Inc. intern, and 9th grader at Roth Junior High School 
  • Amari Caruthers, BreatheDeep, Inc. intern, and 9th grader at Young Women’s College Prep Charter School 
  • Josiah Grantham, BreatheDeep, Inc. intern, and 11th grader at North Star Christian Academy
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.