Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Small Steps, Big Goals

Name: Bhanu Prasanna Sahishnavi Pulikonda
From: San Antonio, Texas
Grade: 11th
School: Northside Health Careers High School
Votes: 0

Suicide is a difficult topic to understand and verbalize for some people due
to the stigma that surrounds it. The job of the Teen Suicide
Coalition Board is to spread awareness and inform people at events
what teen suicide is and how serious of a problem it has become. The
board itself is comprised of selected and interviewed teens from all
over Texas that come together on the first Thursday every month to
discuss events that us teens could participate in to help raise
awareness for teen suicide. I have volunteered about a total of 30
hours through this organization by making a stand for our cause in
the community. We have won awards from the mayor for our
presentations, skits, and efforts. My job in this organization is to
present creative ideas in order to get the information across. I have
involved myself in presenting a few times as well as being the
narrator to the skit we have concocted.

My biggest challenge as a volunteer in this organization is being able
to come to terms with my personal struggles and demons regarding this
topic as it is not easy to talk about. The best satisfaction that I
could hope for is knowing that I am doing as much as I can to let
peers and other children know that there is a way to get help and
educating others about being aware that loved ones might be suffering
from this serious issue and how to spot it. From my volunteering
position, I have learned that sometimes education is the best key to
prevention and sometimes a person must face the inevitable facts. I
do not see a direct correlation to my future aspiration or entering
the medical field but I do see that teen suicide could also be caused
by mental illness occasionally.

Peering into the future, I see a world that does not follow such a strong
stigma for suicide that teenagers are afraid to come forth and ask
for help. Peering into the future, I see a world that can openly
discuss suicide and understand its seriousness. I want to foresee my
volunteering to help raise awareness about teen suicide have an
affect on someone
’s life for the good. I do think that my efforts will not have gone to
waste in the future because I have already brought the campaign, the
Teen Suicide Coalition Board started up recently, to schools. From
this point, I believe that the only thing we can do is to expand and
go further and spread awareness even further. I strongly believe that
of all the people that have attended our presentations and skits, at
least one person found a use to it and just one person is all it

Although raising awareness is a small step in eradicating teen suicide and the
stigma of suicide in general, this small step could prevent a death
in the future. This small step is towards a big reachable future

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