Students in Shannon Geraghty’s Advanced Placement Government class at Forest Park High School coordinated a Suicide Awareness Walk to raise awareness about mental health issues in the hopes of preventing suicide.
“This involved hours of work inviting guests, organizing supplies, making hundreds of posters, going around the community asking for people to commit to coming to the walk, garnering press publicity, planning speeches, creating a website, and setting up all the tables and balloons ahead of the walk,” senior Daniel Dereberry said.
In addition, each student did their own research on suicide and mental health to become more informed about the issue.
“It’s a very personal issue to me,” senior Nathan Graham shared. “My friends and I have struggled with mental health issues. Supporting the cause is the right thing to do.”
School Board Members attended the event to show their support in bringing attention to this critical issue that has impacted the lives of so many students. Special guest speakers included United States Congressman Gerry Connelly, Virginia Senator Jeremy McPike and Virginia’s Secretary of Education Atif Qarni.
Approximately 1,000 participants walked six miles from Forest Park High School to Hylton High School. The entire Prince William County community was invited to attend.
“It’s more than just the people at Forest Park High School. It’s important to the people who are silently suffering and need an outlet to see that they’re not alone,” said senior Tyler Cardenas.
By Prince William Living