ParkTalk Podcast

S24 Episode 01: Kids, Stress and Mental Health

KidsMatter is a local nonprofit working to empower kids to realize their purpose, know their value and find their pathway. Executive Director and CEO Nina Menis describes the community resources available to help youth cope with anxiety and emerge stronger from the pandemic.

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Quote from the episode:

“I think that anxiety is just a natural reaction to what we have all experienced. Part of it for young people is to know that what they are feeling is normal as we're doing a re-entry – getting back with their friends, with the programs they've been involved in. It has been an opportunity to build those resilience muscles during COVID. What I find interesting is that everybody's experience was a little different. So everybody is coming out of it with different needs. Either way, it's normal and KidsMatter is there to partner with the community, the schools, families and youth to help them with this re-entry period.”  - Nina Menis

About Our Guest

Nina Menis, CEO and Executive Director, KidsMatter, bringing over 30 years of experience and a passion for supporting youth in the community.

Read about Nina in this article by Hilary Decent in the Naperville Sun.

About KidsMatter

KidsMatter is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, serving kids in Naperville and beyond. Its mission is to build resilient kids who say "no" to destructive choices and "yes" to their endless possibilities and its vision is to empower kids to realize their purpose, know and understand their value and help them find their pathway.

Here are a few of the vital resources and support for youth that KidsMatter provides:

  • Programs and resources to help kids cope with stress
  • Leadership training
  • Resources for parents

Visit to find a wealth of resources.

Want to help? KidsMatter has volunteer opportunities, a youth board, the Empower Gala on Spetember 17, 2021, and also invites donations of any size.  

KidsMatter partners with Naperville Park District to promote the annual Kite Fly at Frontier Sports Complex to kick off summer and provide a fun event for kids and families.

Naperville Park District provides year-round activities for youth and families. Visit the Park It In Naperville page for the most recent seasonal ideas for fun!