For the sake of others
Guilt. Sorrow. Mind-blowing pain. Loved ones often feel all of these emotions after they lose someone to suicide. In the years after, many of them are able to redefine their lives and even grow from the tragedy. They become people who want to help others avoid all of that pain.
School: Soroco High School
Q. Why did you join It Takes Courage?
A. For leadership class each year, we are assigned a grass-roots project that benefits the community. Last year, my project consisted of fundraising and a presentation. My partner, Alex Bryant, and I hosted a bake sale at our school for two weeks and raised more than $300 for It Takes Courage. We also had Heather and her team come to Soroco High School and give her presentation.
Q. What is it like to be part of this grass-roots organization?
A. Being part of It Takes Courage is absolutely amazing. I feel as if I am changing lives for the better. It feels great knowing that I am making a positive impact on people. My friend didn’t join Heather’s team; however, she tries to be a positive influence on people who interact with her.
Q. How do you see yourself helping to prevent bullying in your school?
A. I am continuously trying to be extra nice to people along with trying to make people feel included.
Q. Do you have a story about being bullied or bullying someone else that you tell to your fellow students? Why do you tell it, and what is the lesson of the story?
A. I have never been considered skinny. I’ve accepted that. In elementary school, I didn’t have many friends. On off days, I would be alone while the friends I had would laugh at me for everything I did. After elementary school, I moved to Colorado. In sixth grade, I had so many friends I didn’t know what to do with them all. But in seventh grade, I wasn’t the shiny, new kid anymore. I was the ugly, fat kid, and kids started calling me names. Once the names started, they wouldn’t stop. During lunchtime, they would all make pig noises around me. During meals at home, I would replay the names they would call me, and it would make me feel awful about myself. At the end of my eighth-grade year, I stopped eating. The moral is words hurt, so watch what you say.
On the surface, I am a smart, loving, energetic teenage girl; however, beneath the surface, I am a terrified girl who is learning how to cope. In my free time, I play volleyball for Soroco High School and the Whiteout Volleyball Club. I love to spend time with my family of six, including my mom, Shara; my dad, Dusty; and my three sisters, Courtney, Ashley and Lindsey. My best friends mean the world to me. I have no idea what I would do without them. In the future, I want to attend Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., and become an electrical engineer. My grandfather, who has impacted my life greatly, was an electrical engineer, and when he would talk about work, I would be so intrigued.