OLA’s ‘Voices of Youth’ Speaks Truth

A still film from OLA's film "Voices of Youth" by Allura Leggard.

OLA (Organización Latino-Americana) of Eastern Long Island recently commissioned “Voices of Youth” a short film by Sag Harbor resident and college student Allura Leggard on the topic of mental health access for adolescents.

“All quotes are directly from the recent survey we created for 12- to 29-year-olds asking about their middle and high school mental health challenges,” explained OLA Executive Director Minerva Perez. “We were so moved by the honestly and urgency, we wanted to share this in the most compelling way possible.”

Local actors dramatized the anonymous comments and filmed each segment from their own homes while Leggard directed and edited them together. The film, which is in English and Spanish, is seven minutes long and is available on OLA’s YouTube Channel.

“This work is powerful and I’m so proud to be able to be part of this,” said local performer Jessenia Morales.

“OLA is engaged in several initiatives related to emotional health access including serving as East End Provider of Project Help, NY State emotional support offering,” said Perez. “OLA will be introducing a ‘Just Text’ campaign to encourage youth to reach out for support if they feel they have no other alternatives. Our team is trained to support.”