November Coalition Spotlight: John Pagliarulo (Youth Action Coalition)
John Pagliarulo is a current senior at Stoneham High School and a leader of the Youth Action Coalition (YAC). John enjoys participating in the performing arts both at the high school and the Greater Boston Stage Company. Along with the Youth Action Coalition, he is the President of the SHS Drama Club and Student
Council, a Peer Leader, SPARC Leader, Student School Committee Representative, and Vision Team Representative. You may also recognize John from when he sang the National Anthem at the Coalition's Run for Recovery last September. We asked John some questions about his involvement in the Youth Coalition and the Stoneham community:
Q: Tell us little about yourself (family, school, activities, etc) –
A: I am a current senior at Stoneham High School! I've been a Stoneham resident my whole life attending public schools here and enjoying the inclusive spartan community. For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed participating in the performing arts both at the high school and the Greater Boston Stage Company.
Before theatre's abrupt halt, I was last seen at Stoneham's 93rd Annual Carnival Ball bunny-hopping my way through the infamous line dance as Gomez in our sneak peek of our spring musical The Addams Family. When not on stage, I participate in many clubs and activities. Along with the Youth Action Coalition, I am the President of our school's Drama Club and Student Council, a Peer Leader, SPARC Leader, Student School Committee Representative, and Vision Team Representative.
Q: How did you first get involved with the Stoneham Youth Coalition?-
A: I began at the Youth Action Coalition in my sophomore year of high school. I was introduced to the club by my health teacher Mr. Healey. The club was a way to support and promote a positive and healthy life in our school and town community through community outreach, PSAs, and workshops. I knew I wanted to take action and be a part of this movement!
Q: Why do you volunteer as a leader with the Stoneham Youth Coalition?-
A: I volunteered to be a leader for the Youth Action Coalition because I strongly believe in the importance of its message to raise awareness, promote education, and prevent substance and alcohol use. Volunteering with YAC helps make sure school community members are getting the aid and assistance they need, and I can be
an extra set of hands that can help make that positive difference.
Q: What Youth Coalition initiative has been most impactful for you to be involved in, and what would you like to accomplish this year? –
A: Through my participation in YAC, I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with the NAN Project, receiving training in mental health awareness and suicide prevention. With the additional stress and isolation of Covid-19, mental health concerns are on the rise. I hope to use my NAN training in my school community to help normalize the conversation around mental health erasing its stigma and educate the community about the available supports.
Q: What issues do you think are most important to Stoneham youth right now?
A: Stoneham Youth has had a lot thrown at them this year. For many families, their home and school routines are upside down as they try to adjust to the new normal. I think the most important thing the coalition can do is to provide skills on how to cope with these added stresses and make sure through education and awareness that students do not turn to drugs and alcohol but instead find healthy and responsible ways to manage these situations. Remember we are Spartan Strong, and all in this together!