News
January 11, 2021

Making Sense of Tragedy—A Reminder from MWAH! About Mental Health

Dylan BucknerPhoto credit: DailyHerald.com, Courtesy of Raymond Joyce Photography Students, teachers, and community members are in the process of coping with the Thursday, January 7 death by suicide of Dylan Buckner, football team captain and quarterback at Glenbrook North High School.  The high school is located in Northbrook, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago.  As is often the case in the aftermath of…
News
January 5, 2021

Reaching Out, Seeking Help Essential When Encountering Tough Times

Jennifer Higgins and her late son, Joshua Wilson Feeling down or having a bad day at school, at home, or at work can make anyone’s day a little less pleasant.  Whether it results from performing poorly on a test, missing the game-winning shot, arguing with a sibling, quarreling with a friend, or getting a customer’s order wrong at work, moments…
News
December 30, 2020

The Human Tragedy of COVID-19, A Vaccine Triumph, and New Beginnings in 2021

As winter break begins at schools around the country, it’s natural for students to feel disappointed—maybe even depressed—about what they haven’t been able to do during the past semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Athletes have been benched—not by their coaches, but by a virus—and the timeframe for their return to the playing field is uncertain in many regions of the…
News
December 25, 2020

Holiday Greetings from the MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe

The MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe would like to take a moment to wish you and yours a joyous holiday season.  MWAH! has always been focused on recognizing our common humanity and developing inspiring messages to help young people overcome life’s personal challenges.  While the year 2020 presented more than its share of challenges—the COVID-19 pandemic, social isolation, business failures, school…
News
December 14, 2020

Maintaining Connections to Friends, Family Essential to Mental Health Amid Pandemic

NBC Chicago Channel 5 News recently reported (on December 11, 2020) about the suicide on October 21, 2020 of 18-year-old Trevor Till, a freshman at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. In an interview with reporter Regina Waldroup, Trevor’s mother, Lisa Moore, said the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed her son’s life, and she wanted others to know about both the…
News
November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving: A Time for Gratitude, Appreciation

As Thanksgiving approaches, the MWAH! (Messages Which Are Hopeful) Performing Arts Troupe would like to take a moment to thank Illinois Humanities for its financial support in making the troupe’s work possible. MWAH! was fortunate to receive a $2,500 COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant from Illinois Humanities in order to advance the troupe’s mission of changing lives and saving lives through…
News
November 25, 2020

Chicago Youth Shines Spotlight on Bullying

WGN-TV recently introduced viewers to Jahkil Jackson, a 13-year-old who is driven to serve others and raise awareness about an issue that affects students each day: bullying.  Jahkil wrote I Am, a children’s book that tells the story of a young person who was bullied by his peers.  He based the story in part on his own experiences with bullying…
News
November 19, 2020

NBC News highlights mental-health impact of COVID-19 amid physical distancing, altered routines

Physical distancing and the disruption of normal routines necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have had an unfortunate—and tragic—side effect—an increase in depression, including among young people who are unprepared for the loss of traditional connections.  NBC News recently featured the story of Hayden Hunstable, a 12-year-old who died by suicide.  His parents attribute his untimely death to the social isolation that he…
News
October 30, 2020

Building connections through the visual arts and remembering a beloved canine friend—Bullet the dog

MWAH!’s Wichita base director makes a positive difference through art Steve Brewster brought a smile to a young boy’s face when he created a detailed, airbrushed tribute to a beloved canine friend, Bullet. Small acts of kindness can go a long way toward making the world a be#er place! Steve Brewster, Director of our troupe's Wichita base, was doing air-brushed…