Looking to get involved with a good cause and have some fun at the same time? Then look no further than the Kyle Hyland Foundation.
The Kyle Hyland Foundation is an organization that was formed in December 2014 in honor of Kyle Hyland, a Benicia High School student that took his own life. This foundation was established to both honor Kyle and to help teens that are in need of somewhere to go or someone to talk to. Their goal is to establish a Teen Center in Benicia to give students somewhere safe and fun to go after school and on the weekends.
This is all being made possible by Barbara Gervase, Kyle’s mother, and the family and friends of Kyle. All together, the foundation has raised over 17,000 dollars towards the Teen Center and everything in it. The Teen Center will consist of mentors for the teens to talk to about anything that troubles them. Currently, the plan is to have trained teen mentors as well as adult mentors. This will allow teens to talk to whomever they’d like for help, giving them a chance to feel as though they belong.
A huge part of the teen center will center around Kyle’s primary passion: music. Music can serve as an outlet for a lot of teens, giving them the ability to express themselves and communicate in a way that they couldn’t before.
There will also be a variety of things to do like games, art, and television. It will be a place where everyone can go with the assurance that they will fit in and find something they’d like to do.
Barbara Gervase gets the point across perfectly when she says, “Benicia is a small town where teens have nowhere to gather and support each other. Teens in trouble have no one to turn to with few school counselors who are overburdened and ill-prepared to support them all. Many teenagers suffer from stress and depression and most go untreated. The stigma of mental illness remains with little to no understanding in the general public. Our goal is to raise awareness and decrease the stigma of mental illness, while providing emotional support to the youth of the City of Benicia.”
An official request has been made for space for the Teen Center, and the more funds the organization raises, the sooner it can become a reality. Recently, the foundation had a yard sale that raised over 2,300 dollars. This is a great leap in the foundation’s endeavor. You can also help out by donating at the foundation’s website.
There will be a dance on October 31st (Halloween) from 8 to 11pm at the clocktower in benefit of the Kyle Hyland Foundation’s teen center. See page (14) for more details.
Written by: Tess Ritter