Bergan Behr, senior at Vail Christian High School, has a passion for helping people. Whether it’s through changes as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Castle Peak Senior Center in Eagle or through her new venture, Poetry, Behr seeks to make a difference in the world.
Behr recently self-published a collection of poetry, titled “Her Words Written,” which follows his path to finding self-esteem and overcoming challenges.
“From grade eight to grade one, I suffered a lot from anxiety and actually had an eating disorder. When I left for treatment, one of the only ways I could express my feelings and express what I was trying to say in recovery was to write, ”Behr said.
Inspired by Emily Dickenson and Rupi Kaur, Behr’s collection of poems is divided into four sections – Her Fall, Her Breakdown, Her Healing and Her Becoming – recounting the transformation of a girl into a woman. She hopes this collection will inspire and help other teenage girls.
“I think it can really help them realize that they are not alone in their struggles and that their pain has a purpose,” Behr said. “No matter what you’re going through, there is always something good you can get out of it.”
Vail Christian hosted a book signing for Behr on Wednesday to celebrate his accomplishment. Behr signed the book for the teachers and school staff who received the book as well as for the students who wanted to purchase the book.
Behr first shared his experience and his book of poetry with his peers in a testimonial at school. This is one of the traditions of Vail Christian, where during the senior chapel, students are invited to share their stories. In Behr’s testimony, she spoke about her past challenges and how writing helped her come out on the other side.
“I’m really, really vulnerable, but I’m also excited,” Behr said of sharing her book with her peers. “What I’ve been through is going to help someone else and if I can share that it’s worth being afraid.”
For Behr, the decision to publish her own writing was a way to control her story, put her past in print, and move forward on her next chapter.
“Because this is my first book, it was almost my graduation gift,” she said. “It’s the end of high school, I’ve been through everything I’ve been through and [self publishing] was my way of saying, ‘This is my book, it wasn’t someone else’s.’ “
As for what will be in Behr’s next chapter: She will be participating in the nursing program at Charleston Southern University in the fall on a scholarship. And while she specializes in nursing to help others, she also hopes to continue writing books that will inspire young girls. In fact, she’s already working on her next book – a memory-style self-help book for young girls.
The writing, Behr said, has helped her overcome a lot and she hopes it resonates with others. “[Writing is] a way to put your thoughts and feelings into something visual that you can see, ”she said. “It’s also something that people can relate to. The voice he has and the power he has can inspire others. “
Journalist Ali Longwell can be reached at [email protected]