On February 20, 2014, my friend Channing died by suicide as a result of bullying. Consumed with grief and numb from shock, I didn’t need the help of a removed adult; I needed that of the peers who were bearing the same burden. After three more student deaths at SHHS, the pain and frustration of the student body multiplied.

With the assistance of those who saw the same desperate need for healing, I created the Peer Initiative-Leaders of Tomorrow (PILOT).  As a club, we promote positivity in every aspect, particularly anti-bullying and suicide awareness. In one year, PILOT became the largest club on campus and transformed the SHHS and community atmospheres.

In addition, twelve critically screened and trained students known as the Peer Support Team meet confidentially with students struggling with bullying, stress, grief, abuse, etc. As a PST myself, I can listen, love, and lead my clients to the care they need.  Through this Challenge, I have exchanged my pain for humanity’s rising.