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Samantha Wettje


Samantha Wettje is the Co-Founder and President of 16 Strong Project, a non-profit organization that takes a proactive approach to combating the youth mental health crisis by providing resources and support for young people impacted by adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Growing up, Samantha experienced firsthand the impact of living with a parent with mental illness and addiction, but she did not have the language to explain her feelings or situation, so she often felt alone. Luckily, she did have a strong support system and athletics as an outlet to cope with the stress of an unstable home life. As she grew older, she realized how support systems and positive coping skills helped her achieve positive outcomes as a young person facing adversity.

For the last five years, alongside her mother, Samantha has made it her mission to ensure that young people understand what ACEs are, their connection to mental health, and to equip them with the tools, skills, and resources needed to navigate the challenges that come with facing adversity. Samantha is proud to oversee the organization and to train youth leaders across the country.

16 Strong Project empowers youth to take control of their own narrative by providing them with the language they need to recognize their situation, positive coping skills, and a trusted person or people to confide in. Its free educational materials and resources have reached middle school, high school, and college students across the country. The organization has grown to reach over 200,000 young people in over 25 states.

Support the organization via donation

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