Last Saturday, runners gathered in Centennial Park for a Fun Run hosted by Friendswood High School’s Health Occupations of America (HOSA). For the last three months, four students, Faatima Ovais, Erin Janak, Molly Chen and Huson Nounu have worked tirelessly organizing the event. Inspired by a class project, the four girls decided to develop their idea and get the entire community involved in their cause.
The chosen topic was “Teenage Suicide Prevention,” tragic deaths which often could have been prevented through intervention. With the surge of online bullying in the past few years, social media has only worsened the problem. The HOSA girls provided attendees with pamphlets on the subject and discussed their research findings. In the past few months, the girls have contacted over a hundred local businesses and set up booths at other events such as Nola’s Annual Chili Cookoff.
Through their efforts, they raised over $2000 which will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
However, these four crusaders are still on a mission. Currently, they are looking for signatures for a petition that will help block suicide postings on Tumblr, a popular social media site. “These graphic images, they are contagious and might trigger someone who is depressed or suicidal,” says Senior Molly Chen. “The hundreds of signatures we have collected will hopefully transfer to the online petition on Change.org to make an impact.” The girls will be hosting a bake sale at the Friendswood Farmer’s Market in a few weeks to collect further donations and signatures. Their GoFundMe website and petition are listed below.