According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 1 in 20 children ages 6 to 17 years, suffer from anxiety or depression. Inspired by a childhood experience, Jasmin Rhia, founder of Know Your Worth Musical Workshop, is passionate about helping children discover their true personal value through music.
As in every generation, self-worth from the eyes of a child is often defined by looks, popularity and status symbols. Add to that today’s obsession with “likes” and instant feedback and it’s no wonder anxiety and depression are on the rise for kids.
Rhia explains that children who suffer from low self-esteem are at risk for social anxiety, clinical depression, anger management issues, self-harm, addiction and even suicide. These issues don’t pick favorites. Regardless of your age, financial situation, looks or gender, negative self-speak can rapidly turn into internal self-shrieks of self-hate. In Rhia’s childhood experience, no matter how hard she tried to convince her friend of her beautiful worth, the mean self-mantra repeating in her friend’s head always won the battle.
“I started to think how powerful it would be for people to learn about self-worth as a child,” she says.
Her idea led to full-fledged research on how to effectively achieve a high self-esteem. Harmonizing her research with her love for music, this Dr. Phillips High School graduate, along with her niece Jiselle, created a curriculum using the power of music as a tool.
“When I present my workshop, I explain the importance of speaking kind and powerful statements to oneself in a song format,” Rhia says. “I create a fun beat with the kids live from scratch using my violin, drum pads, guitar and synths.”
As a substitute teacher by day and a restaurant employee by night, Rhia struggles to find enough hours to raise the funds needed to make her dream a full-time reality. Although there is a hill to climb, Rhia knows the valley of the nearly 105 Americans who commit suicide each day is deeper. This drives her to continue the climb with gusto.
Rhia marvels at how many children tell her that they never knew the dangers of thinking or saying negative things to themselves.
“One girl told me she thought being sad and feeling bad all the time was normal,” she says, sharing that getting hugs from kids thanking her for making them feel good about themselves absolutely warms her heart. “I’ve seen kids enter the workshop in full melancholy and leave with pure excitement for a better tomorrow.”
Seeking peace and happiness is often difficult to achieve. Yet, Know Your Worth is committed to reinforcing with children their true value.
“In order for a child to succeed at handling all of life’s trials and tribulations, they must be taught early on how to love and respect themselves,” Rhia says.
Her vision is to one day present her Know Your Worth workshops online where millions of kids are engaged daily, strengthening their mindset to know that they are a valuable creation in this world.