Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Raising Awareness

Name: Jordan Milliron-Dessert
From: Vancouver, WA
Grade: Freshman
School: Washington State University
Votes: 0

I had chosen to volunteer with the Youth Suicide Prevention Program,
I chose this because I lost my closest friend to suicide. I didn’t
know what the signs for suicide looked like and she slipped between
my fingers without me blinking an eye. I want to make sure everyone
who feels like they don’t deserve to be on this earth know they are
loved and that someone is looking out for them. The goal of the
project was to inform high school students about what some signs of
suicidal behaviors were and too promote awareness of people around
you no matter who they are what they look like and what they do. The
amount of time I volunteered was every week for 3 days, 2.5 hours per
day, for 6 months. My responsibilities were too make sure every
volunteer was briefed on how to talk about and explain suicide, too
make sure kids weren’t getting the idea of us promoting it versus
creating awareness. One of the biggest challenges was getting
teachers in our high school on board with us taking time from there
lectures to let us teach their students about this awareness. A lot
of teachers thought what we were trying to promote and inform about
was common sense and not beneficial enough. Even though the goal is
to raise awareness and get even the kids who know this information to
use it now and forever because suicide is a problem that everybody
faces in one way or another in their lives. The part that satisfied
me the most about this project was seeing the kids in the classrooms
really interact with the activities we gave them. The fact that they
could come up to us afterwards asking us what to do about situations
they are dealing with because they looked up to us. My career goals
are to work as a buyer for an apparel company that promotes troubled
youth in some way. My long term goal is to help clothe the troubled
and homeless youth starting with Portland, OR and move on to Seattle,
WA and so on. To me “Looking Forward” means the next step or
page, I want to slowly reach as many troubled youth as possible but I
cannot do it alone and I know I will find the right people to help me
go farther and farther in this dream. From this experience I learned
how much people actually care about the subject, you wouldn’t have
ever known how oblivious our youth is to the signs until they hear
them out loud, when they become real. I do think my volunteering
changed lives because just me telling one select high school about
suicidal thoughts, they can spread that knowledge as well. Just
knowing the signs can save someone’s child, lover, partner or
friend. I am proud of my 6 month commitment to that project and would
do it again a million times.

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