Ire Adelakun

Ire Adelakun, a senior at Lincoln-Way East High School, is committed to being a voice for students when it comes to mental health. With encouragement from his older brother to get involved with Peer Helpers, he began his journey to support the mental health needs of his friends and classmates. 

According to Ire, Peer Helpers is a place for students to work with their peers on navigating tough situations. He was thankful for the impact he was able to make, but when approached with an opportunity to take that impact a step further, Ire did not hesitate. During his junior year, working with Mrs. Babcock, he became a founding member of the Bring Change 2 Mind (BC2M) club at East. 

BC2M goes beyond helping students navigate difficult situations and strives to remove the stigma and discrimination around mental health. According to Ire, “BC2M is about showing our peers that it is ok to be vulnerable and to talk about mental health.”  

His involvement in BC2M at the school level has opened doors for Ire to make an impact on an even larger scale. He joined the BC2M National Teen Advisory Board, where he provides support for launching the club at other schools across the country, and he was recently selected as one of six students nationally to speak at a mental health conference in Iceland this June.  

“I find that many adults don’t acknowledge that children can have real mental health issues too,” said Ire. “I think it is so important to bring the teen perspective to this conference where professionals in the mental health space will truly take the time to listen to what we have to say.” 

Ire will graduate this May and is looking forward to attending college to study international business, though he will leave behind a legacy. Ire has paved the way for future Griffins, and students across the country, to be advocates for youth mental health.