School District Of The City Of York
Read STEAM student’s winning community essay
A STEAM student recently received an award for winning the Community Service Essay Contest held by Rep. Carol Hill-Evan’s office.
The prompt was a two-page essay on a community service project the student would like to see enacted. Israa-Abdul-Rashid, a 6th-grader at STEAM, took the winning prize. Take a look at her essay below.
By: Israa Abdul-Rashid, 6th Grade
School: Edgar Fahs Smith STEAM Academy
Introduction: Hi my name is Israa, and I will be talking about my project which I call: P.P.C, Project. Peer. Counseling.
Community service is a big deal to me, because it can help so many people in the process. I call my project, “Project Peer Counseling.” Many people would benefit from this, especially students. This program would take place year round and be most effective for middle and high school students. I care about myself, I care about my siblings, and I care about my friends. I know “Project Peer Counseling” could be a big success. This is why it would be a success.
Many students believe they have major problems going on in their lives. Even though they may be small to some, they can be huge to students. As a student, I feel that I can relate, student to a student. My peers may feel more comfortable talking with me about a situation and how to handle their problem, than an adult.
Many adults don’t see it as a big deal when their children come home seeming a little depressed or emotional. Some parents don’t understand it can be more than just an emotion. It can be a trigger for depression. Once a parent finds out about it, a lot of the time it can be too late. Adults may feel concerned, confused, and filled with many questions. For example, “Why didn’t they come to me?” or “This doesn’t make any sense.” or “I never thought this could have happened.” The Peer Counseling Program allows students to connect with other students that may be going through similar experiences. It gives students a safe outlet to have their concerns heard.
Did you know that an estimated 34,000 people with depression commit suicide a year? According to the World Health Organization, by the year 2030, depression will outpace cancer, stroke, war, and accidents as the world’s leading cause of disability and death. Depression is universal. It can happen to anyone, including celebrities like the late actor and stand-up comedian, Robin Williams, who lost his life to the disease. Depression is a big deal that affects all classes and statuses. My middle school and high school peers are not exempt. Many students act out when they feel there is nowhere to go for help. This program could reduce behavior problems in school and at home.
In my own opinion, I think that this is ridiculous that more action is not taking place. We need to do something about it before the severe state of depression takes more lives of our loved ones. Everyday it will get worse until we dig deep into this, which I believe “is!” a sickness that needs to be treated just like any other sickness.
People with lack of understanding might think to themselves, “Well this isn’t affecting me in any way so, “What’s the point?” Well, the point is this might affect you in the future. Everyone goes through a tough time. It is important to know you can make it through yours. If you don’t know bitter, how would you know sweet? You will never experience what people are going through unless you are going through it yourself.
Project Peer Counseling Program gives students a chance to connect with others and know that they are not alone. It can teach students positive ways to cope with problems and potentially save lives. I feel that my project could have a great outcome and could help many people. Thank you for your time.