Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Pledge to "Have a Heart"

After the tragic suicide of a local, 15 year old boy this past February, a fellow peer decided that there needed to be something done to raise awareness of social issues, and to let others know that help is available.
I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie, the initiator of the Have a Heart Campaign, today. Although she would never admit it, Stephanie is an awesome human being, who has spent so much time making her classmates, peers, high school staff, and community members aware of very serious social issues.
What started as a pledge to lend a hand to those in need and seek help for one's self if necessary, has grown to an educational program based on spreading awareness and helping others. Because of what Stephanie started, almost 400 students have signed the Have a Heart Campaign pledge. In addition, the entire student body at her high school is now more aware of social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, harassment, and cyber bullying, among other things. These issues are being discussed through posters, pamphlets, and videos made by Stephanie and approximately 17 clubs at the high school.
I was so amazed at how far this campaign has come, but then Stephanie told me more. Not only does the high school plan to continue the Have a Heart Campaign every year, but other high schools are now interested, as well. If just one person can be helped through the awareness that this campaign is spreading, then it's worth it. But if it catches on and spreads to high schools--and perhaps other institutions--all over the country, how awesome would that be?
After I interviewed Stephanie, she asked me if I would like to sign the pledge.
"Of course," I said, and I signed my name inside the paper heart, promising to always remember to have one.
For more information on the Have a Heart Campaign, leave a comment with your e-mail address and I will forward further information.

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