Artwork by: Devaleena Mak-Phoeurk
IACS’ Mental Health Showcase – By Students for Students
Written by: My My Tran
This school year, IACS’ Student Government organized a fundraiser, IACS Cares, that would support an organization chosen by the student body.
Dalena Soun, sophomore, was in charge of this committee.
A Google Survey was sent out to the entire school to help determine which organization to focus on. The majority vote won and all proceeds were to go to a Mental Health Organization, called Project Semicolon. This charity is an anti-suicide movement to help share hope and love to people struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury.
There were efforts to raise money such as collecting plastic water bottles and soda cans in designated blue bins. Blue wrist bands and mental health stickers were sold during lunch to further collect proceeds.
An event was planned — We called it the Mental Health Showcase, which took place here, on campus in the auditorium, on Friday, May 3rd, during lunch.
The showcase was run by students, for students, and meant to shine light on mental health. Performances included singing, performing instruments, and sharing personal stories of battles with mental illness. We also received original pieces of artwork.
Dalena shares her planning process.
“I was thinking of what gives me peace when everything’s going wrong; I listen to music when I’m sad or stressed. I wanted to spread awareness on how mental health has deeply affected our generation, by expanding it into artwork and other forms of expression through this showcase.”
Connor Lee and Tyler Donkoh-Halm – Cecily Smith by Will Connolly
Tyler Donkoh-Halm and Andrew Shapiro – 3 AM Animal Crossing: Wild World
Everly Orfanedes – This is Home by Cavetown
Leo Premru – A Letter to my Younger Self by Ambar Lucid
Thea Fennell – This is Gospel by Panic at the Disco
Alexandra Brockman – Speech
Leaders of the Committee:
My My Tran
Photos of the showcase and artwork are available through this Google Drive link.
We received input from audience member Yuliana Lugo on the showcase.
“In my past school, we didn’t have people exactly tell their stories. It was more like a motivational speaker, not an actual student our age going through the same stuff as us. At my old school I didn’t really pay attention, but hearing it from my own peers and community members today helped connect in a different way. I just took away that there are people who do care and understand about mental health. It was good to see how people are willing to put themselves out there and say what they need to say.”
Our school was able to come together as a community, to spread awareness and advocate for what we feel strongly about.