AUSTIN (KXAN) — As part of our “Save Our Students” project addressing school safety and mental health, KXAN reporters who have been working on the associated stories for months were asked about their own challenging experiences growing up and people who made an impact on their mental wellness as teenagers.

Scroll down to watch their interview clips.

Erin Cargile

As an athlete in school, KXAN Investigator Erin Cargile leaned on her coaches to navigate mental wellness.

Arezow Doost

KXAN Investigator Arezow Doost immigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan at an early age with her family, creating challenges she was able to overcome with some very dedicated teachers.

Alyssa Goard

As a child, KXAN’s Alyssa Goard says she struggled with mental illnesses, especially in the classroom. Her mother and some key teachers made sure she got the therapy and the extra academic support she needed to help her succeed in the future.

Josh Hinkle

Growing up in a small Oklahoma town, KXAN Investigator Josh Hinkle found refuge in the music room at school with likeminded students and the investment of the longtime band director and his wife.

Steffi Lee

Attending a very competitive high school, KXAN’s Steffi Lee understands the importance of breaking past the stigma surrounding mental health and finding someone to talk to about problems in life.

Tom Miller

KXAN Education Reporter Tom Miller leaned on his family during challenging times growing up and understands why school districts today emphasize that type of involvement in students lives.

Phil Prazan

KXAN Political Reporter Phil Prazan says he valued teachers and counselors speaking to him as if he was an adult during high school. He appreciates the way students are being brought into conversations with state leaders looking to address mental health in school.