Penticton teen poet addresses suicide and bullying

The latest installment in the Western News series on TEDx speakers is a young poet, Faith Steele

Summerland teen Faith Steele will be speaking at TEDx Penticton on Nov. 25 at the Cleland Theatre.

A young Summerland poet is joining the likes of radio hosts and local entrepreneurs on the TEDx Penticton stage to talk about an issue which almost led to the loss of her friend.

Faith Steele, 16, is set to read her poem on bullying and suicide entitled Words Can Kill, They Have and They Will.

The poem was an assignment for her Grade 10 English class, but it was an expression of a deeper concern for Steele.

“I had a friend, around this time last year, try and take his own life,” Steele said. “It was pretty scary, it was quite an emotional ride watching someone else go through something so strong, so many strong feelings. Overall it was just really scary. It was good to get it down on paper afterwards.”

Her teacher shared the poem, making its way to TEDx organizer Brian Hughes.

The message Steele wants to convey in the poem is that words have real and damaging effects in the world and what we say to others can leave long-lasting impressions.

“I know his attempt had a lot to do with what people were saying about him,” Steele said.

She is nervous about sharing her poem on the TEDx stage, but excited to get her message out to those watching. She was surprised and elated to find she would be sharing her poem, a feeling that still lingers today.

“I was … I just screamed in excitement I thought that was the coolest thing. I’m still astonished,” Steele said.

She is looking to inspire more thought and insight into how people treat each other, especially youth.

“I hope people will learn to think more before they speak. I hope it will make people struggling with mental health issues realize there are more people out there like them. I just hope that I could save a life,” Steele said.

The issue of mental health among youth is catching a lot of attention in Penticton and the South Okanagan. Steele hopes to keep the conversation going.

“I definitely think it does not get talked about as much as it needs to. I think it’s a bigger issue than people think. People try and hide it because it doesn’t get talked about and they don’t know that they can talk about it,” Steele said. “I would like to see that change and I would like to see a lot more people speak up about it and do something to change that and treat it more as they would treat physical health. With the same level of importance,”

TEDx Penticton takes place on Nov. 25 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Cleland Community Theatre.

Ticket information and a full list of presenters is available at tedxpenticton.ca. Read more on other presenters at pentictonwesternnews.com.

Quirks and Quarks coming to TEDx Penticton

Penticton TEDx speaker out of this world

Time has built Okanagan wine industry

Indigenous artist shares her great loves

Taking the wine industry one pore at a time

Kelowna Capital News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna Rockets blow 4-goal lead in overtime loss to Calgary

Captain Nolan Foote made a brief return as Kelowna drops Family Day matinee 6-5

Soccer legend Bob Lenarduzzi to speak about dementia in Kelowna

Lenarduzzi will speak at the inaugural Breakfast to Remember on Mar. 10

Kelowna RCMP arrest alleged impaired driver

The driver is facing potential charges after power pole collision

West Kelowna Warriors host Trail Smoke Eaters

The Warriors are coming from a Saturday loss against the Vernon Vipers

UBCO announces new top boss for Okanagan campus

Lesley Cormack will start in the position this summer

Kelowna’s Family YMCA opens doors on Family Day

The entire day was free for the community

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

South Okanagan woman reflects on prestigious win at Westminster dog show

“Polly” the Scottish deerhound was crowned best in breed and reserve best hound.

RCMP report woman arrested after ramming police cruiser

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Most Read