Seniors Julianna Bailer and Elayna Kinmartin organized a Seize the Awkward fundraiser and awareness event at Villa Maria in support of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The two seniors have advocated for ASPF this past year in their local communities and brought their advocacy to Villa Maria today. They lined the school hallways with posters from AFSP, and the Villa community wore yellow today in solidarity. Students brought in homemade baked goods to sell and AFSP donated items for sale. Julianna also made beautiful sunflower bracelets for the fundraiser.
“My involvement with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Seize the Awkward started about four months ago when I found the organization through social media,” Julianna said. “I created a team called the Sunflower Brigade to raise money for the organization. I received so much support and together my team has currently raised over $15,000. Members of the team also gathered in Philadelphia for the annual AFSP Out Of The Darkness walk on October 3, 2021.”
“I joined Julianna’s group called “Sunflower Brigade” to help raise money a few months ago and walked for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Seize the Awkward,” said Elayna Kinmartin. “Mental Health, especially suicide, is a hard topic to discuss. Although it is very relevant today, many people do not feel comfortable talking about it or reaching out when they are struggling. We had a presentation in school called “Project LIVE” that helped open the discussion about mental health struggles. Juliana and I felt so much more comfortable reaching out and starting the fundraiser to raise even more awareness to the whole school. We are hoping Seize the Awkward will not only help raise awareness but also help bring a sense of peace to those who have lost someone to mental health and help our school feel comfortable and safe.”