One year ago, members of the Seneca High School class of 2015 Cailey Talbot, Morgan Lubner and Lauren Bogardus created a psychology club to raise mental health awareness in their school.
Since then, the club has gained a large number of new members from all grade levels and expanded to more than just psychology students.
“The three girls’ ambitions have provided us with a solid backbone in order to continue the effect the club can have on the Seneca family and community,” Club Advisor Sean Kennevan said.
As the AP psychology teacher at the high school, Kennevan seemed like the perfect person to approach with the idea of starting the club.
The intended goal was to bring about the awareness to some serious illnesses and help raise money for families affected by them along the way.
It wasn’t long before Kennevan handed the keys to the three girls and allowed them to run with the idea under his supervision. The psychology club is now run by President Katie Iannotta, Vice President Steve Kaufmann, Secretary Natalie Narkiewicz, Historian Jamie Cesanek, Treasurer Kirsten Jeansson and Communications Directors Gabby Magasic and Mike Miller.
The club meets periodically throughout each semester to hold discussions regarding plans for fundraising opportunities. It held its first big event on May 29, 2015, and was able to raise $1,500 to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
All money was raised through t-shirts the club sold and donations from the Seneca family.
The Glow Run/Walk is a student-driven initiative intended to raise mental health awareness and make a difference in the community. This year, students have had much more time to prepare for the glow run/walk and have made a collaborative effort to enhance the event.
It will take place on May 13 at the high school from 7 to 10 p.m. and will include food and a series of glow games such as KanJam, Cornhole and ring toss with glowing features and runners/walkers decorated with glow-in-the-dark paint, glow bracelets and glow necklaces.
The event will be open to the community this year in an attempt to make a difference and shine some light in the encompassing darkness of those who suffer from mental illness, as Kennevan put it.
This year’s Glow Run/Walk will also play host to a live student band that will play in the football stadium throughout the event.
The psychology club has made it a priority to surpass the amount of donations to NAMI from last year, to raise the level of awareness on the severity of the struggle these individuals face and to break down the stigma and stereotypes associated with mental illness.
“It’s great to have our Seneca family gathered in the stadium with one common goal in mind and to make a difference in our community,” Kennevan said. “We look forward to surpassing our goals from last year and getting more people involved.”
For more information on the Seneca Psychology Club or the Glow Run/Walk, email firstname.lastname@example.org.