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Youth advocate Collin Kartchner will speak at area schools and the Sherwood Center for the Arts on Jan. 21-22.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Collin Kartchner will speak on what so-called screen time is doing to young people and how he used social media for helping people in need.  A renowned internet crusader and youth advocate is coming to Sherwood in January for discussions on how to inspire youth to rise about the harmful effects of social media and screen addiction.

Collin Kartchner, who created #savethekids and runs the website savethekids.us, will be making appearances on Jan. 21 and 22, sponsored by the Sherwood Education Foundation.

"Too many teens suffer silently from anxiety, depression and 'suicideality' stemming from 24/7 access to peer culture, social media comparison, cyberbullying, and loss of real connection," according to Kartchner's website. "If we can help unhook them from their phone addiction and live in real life, happiness and real meaning return."

In 2017, Kartchner created an Instagram account that focusing on the harmful effects of social media on young people's self-esteem. He then used social media to raise $100,000 for hurricane victims, kids fighting cancer and orphanages throughout the world.

Sean Reyes, Utah's attorney general, has called Kartchner "a warrior for our children."

Marie Boatsman, a Sherwood Education Foundation board member, said she saw Kartchner's presentation when he appeared at a West Linn School District forum in October 2018.

"I went to that and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, we need someone like that to come to the Sherwood School District,'" said Boatsman. "We're very excited."

Boatsman said what impressed her about Kartchner was how he connected with adults as well as students.

Although appearances by Kartchner are booked through April 2021, Boatsman said was able to get him to come to the district.

Kartchner will speak to parents at the Sherwood Center for the Arts on Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. While tickets are free, residents must have a ticket to enter. Go to savethekids-sherwood.eventbrite.com. Kartchner will talk with the school district's fifth-graders and Sherwood and Laurel Ridge middle-schoolers on Jan. 22.

Also joining Kartchner will be three panelists: Terra A. Mattson, an author, speaker and co-founder of Living Wholehearted and Courageous Girls; Clackamas County Sheriff's Det. Erin Schweitzer, who specializes in internet crimes against children; and Dr. Todd Ellingson, medical director for the Department of Emergency Medicine at OHSU/Tuality Community Hospital.


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