$5000 Biddeford and Mechanics Savings Charitable Foundation
2022 Westbrook High School
“I transformed my silence into a powerful voice.”
Ryan was chosen to be a Natural Helper during his sophomore year. This nationwide peer helping support program trains students to listen and respond to their peers’ concerns. Ryan is available during the school day to any student needing assistance. When peers express feelings of depression or anxiety, Ryan shares ideas for coping with these emotions from his own experiences.
Ryan struggled with his sexual identity in high school. After he came out as gay, he found he could be his authentic self, thanks to a network of supportive friends. He’s transformed his silence into a powerful voice, unabashedly speaking out for what is right. When Ryan hears negative comments about gays, he no longer remains silent. Instead, he starts a dialogue, exploring points of view and sharing his own LGBTQIA+ lens.