Wilton, Westport, and Weston teens are invited to take part in C.O.D.E.S.’ annual Youth Leadership Conference this Saturday, Jan. 30 from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.. This interactive conference brings together youth leaders in the 3-W towns to stop, think, share, and inspire one another to care for themselves and others.

The conference takes place at Wilton’s Trackside Teen Center, 15 Station Rd..

Does stress = success?

Stress, anxiety, and the pressure to excel are the unfortunate reality of teen leaders in Fairfield County. Participants will hear how others are dealing with the pressure and learn strategies to manage stress and recognize the warning signs in others.

At the conference two young adults will share their powerful stories of resilience in the face of mental health challenges which changed the trajectory of their lives.

Riley Blumenfield is a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Fairfield. She is the founder of the first B Stigma-Free Club in the country whose goal is to create an environment where students feel comfortable discussing topics they have felt pressure to avoid. She is passionate about sharing her personal experiences with anxiety, depression and provides a picture of hope and resilience as her family has struggled with mental health issues throughout her life.

Michael Scanlon is the youth advocacy and outreach coordinator for the Now is the Time Healthy Transitions Initiative in CT. At 4-years-old, Scanlong fell and suffered a traumatic brain injury, losing motor function and memory capability. As a result of his injuries, he suffered debilitating anxiety and mood swings which affected him at home, school and in his relationships. In an effort to help heal and regain his motor functioning, Scanlong turned to visual art and media. Through the arts, Michael is able to process his emotions, find healing and offer a creative outlet to those who also suffer from similar issues.

High-school aged teens interested in participating can register online. There are limited spaces available. The cost is $20 per person and includes lunch. For more information contact Rachael Sandler (C.O.D.E.S. advisor) at 203.981.0361 or via email.