Student-Athlete, Owen Kirk, will be headed to London this summer to study Experimental Psychology at Oxford University.
— Owen Kirk
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, June 2, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Standing at 6’5″, there are few places that this Loyola High School Sophomore can go where he is not asked if he plays basketball. The answer is yes, but there is so much more to his game.
Student-Athlete, Owen Kirk, will be headed to London this summer to study Experimental Psychology at Oxford University. Owen, a native of South LA, wants to tackle mental health wellness with Black male youth.
Inspired by psychotherapists like Dr. Fredrick Edo, a former NCAA Division One collegiate (basketball) athlete, Owen Kirk shares, “I have learned to be comfortable expressing my feelings and making mental health a priority. Knowing that there are very few Black male psychotherapists encouraged me to expand my education so I can make an impact within my community.” According to Zippia, 4% of therapists in America are Black.
Dealing with all of the incidents around Black male safety and justice, especially during the pandemic, had an impact on so many young Black males. Owen volunteered last summer with the Why Can’t We Make A Difference Foundation, led by founder and NBA basketball referee Derek Richardson. The organization increases elementary school students’ academic and emotional interest in school through academic and social enrichment programs in the underserved communities of Los Angeles, California. Many young Black boys in the program looked to Owen as a mentor, and he looks forward to returning this summer to continue his community service.
In conjunction with his research, Owen created Youth Feel to support the rising youth mental health needs in his community. The organization’s initial goal is to get young boys to be comfortable expressing their feelings, build emotional intelligence, and recognize their unique strengths. As Kirk explains, “We will do this through sports and games, using techniques from game therapy, to learn how to better recognize and express our feelings.”
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