Lake City High School: Cayden Stone’s experiences led him to help set up a Mental Health Week at school

From the moment Cayden Stone walked through the doors of Lake City High School, he displayed tremendous school spirit that would inspire his peers for the next four years.

Stone, president of the Lake City Associated Student Body, made meaningful connections with students, faculty, and staff throughout his time in high school.

“He’s always been a go-getter. He’s always had the school spirit you want to see in a freshman, which you don’t always get to see. He was very active and very involved, very quick. He adapted to the environment and could got along well with the upperclassmen. He was in touch with everyone,” said Katalina Chacon, Stone’s school counselor.

Joining the student council in his second year as a class representative opened Stone’s eyes to the impact he could have as a student leader, and this marked the turning point in his leadership. Jacob Baker was the ASB president during Stone’s sophomore year and was a huge inspiration to him.

“(Baker) was probably one of the biggest influences in my life,” Stone said. “He took me under his wing. He taught me so much about not only student council and leadership, but also about having a good reputation for your school and treating people with respect.”

Stone said it was very important to him to do more with mental health awareness at LCHS to fulfill the role of ASB president. Stone was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and depression. He said it was a struggle that allowed him to connect with people with similar experiences and inspired him to create a Mental Health Awareness Week at LCHS.

“He is the definition of someone who has weathered a storm and grown strong. I’m extremely proud that he is able to make something positive out of something that was difficult to go through and just be able to help others,” said Leslie Misuik-Stone, Stone’s mother.

In creating Mental Health Awareness Week, the goal was to raise awareness and break the stigma surrounding talking about mental health. Under Stone’s leadership, the LCHS ASB teamed up with Coeur d’Alene High School in the week leading up to their rival football game.

Community experts were brought to schools to talk about mental health and student resources, and the two schools gathered on match day for a Mental Health Awareness Barbecue. Stone said hosting this week was the biggest achievement he was most proud of.

Stone’s enthusiasm also extends beyond the student council. Stone’s passions include politics, public service, history, sports, going to school events, being outdoors, hanging out with his friends and being a die-hard “Star Wars” fan.

“I love going out and watching our sports teams in Lake City and all of our gigs that we have at school, be it band, cheer or drama,” Stone said. “I just enjoy spending time with people and seeing all the great things students are doing here.”

Stone said he has so much love for his school, the community and the family. As he leaves for Boise State University in the fall to study political science, Stone looks back on his time at LCHS with appreciation and pride.

“Cayden is an outstanding leader who cares about his school, his classmates, the school culture and the climate,” Chacon said. “I’ve just watched him grow from those rowdy freshmen to this leader that others look up to with a very, very caring personality. He leads with integrity, from the heart.”

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