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

Just Posted

Cook kicks off byelection campaign in West Kelowna

The campaign office will be open seven days a week in the Westbank Shopping Centre

Kelowna students complete D.A.R.E. program

Students at Heritage Christian School received their certificates Friday

Dual-credit film program approved for Central Okanagan students

The Central Okanagan Public Schools is developing a program with the Vancouver Film School

Kelowna youth wellness centre receives $10,000 donation

The Foundry received a cheque from the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise Friday

Snow warning in effect for the Coquihalla

A snowfall warning is in effect from Hope to Merritt as slush and snow is expected on highways this weekend

Disappointing turnout for Kelowna women’s march

The Kelowna Women’s March on Washington was held Saturday, Jan. 20

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Most Read