ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) - High school can prove to be full of trials, and getting through classes, extracurriculars, and college and tech school preparation can be daunting. Beyond that, there are students fighting mental illness and even thoughts of suicide. But a group of students at Wren High School in Anderson is hoping their efforts show they're there for their classmates.
On Monday, the group carried out The Sticky Note Project. Students posted sticky notes on other students that had messages of positivity and inspiration written on them. A video about the project was posted online on Wednesday, and the video has raked in 5,000 views in about 12 hours.
The project was spearheaded by senior Sarah Bolton, who was already familiar with the concept behind the movement.
"I only arrived in Anderson District One at the beginning of last year; before that I went to Huntsville High School, in Huntsville, Alabama," said Bolton. "During my sophomore year a group of kids I knew, led by a girl named Gillian Hall, got together and created a project called The Sticky Note Foundation. When students returned from winter break, we walked in to see the walls covered in colorful notes with positive messages on them, and their purpose was to start the new semester off right."
Bolton was further compelled to bring the project to Wren after a speaker came to her teacher cadet class. The speaker talked about losing his son to suicide and starting a suicide prevention charity, and what Bolton took away from event was a need to serve her new peers at Wren HS.
"I know that for me getting an encouraging compliment or comment about anything in my day always lifts me up, and I try to do the same for the people around me," said Bolton. "When you give a compliment, the action of giving that compliment makes you feel better about yourself in the same way that the person who received your compliment feels better."
Bolton, of course, was not alone in executing The Sticky Note Project. Olivia Rice also contributed to making the movement a reality at the school, and she hopes the idea spreads to other schools in the Upstate and across South Carolina.
"This project is one that can be replicated in many different ways, and our goal is to inspire other people to shine a light on important topics and spread love and positivity in their own community," said Rice. "Our message to other schools is let yourself be inspired by the impact this small act made on our school, and spread that love and kindness to your school through similar projects. We would love nothing more than to see sticky note projects popping up all over the state.”
Seth Young, principal of Wren HS, said all of this was made possible with a dedicated group of students who teamed up with Rice and Bolton to make this special event happen.
The full list of students who made the Sticky Note Challenge happen follows:
- Mackenzie Dupuy
- Sam Binnicker
- Sara Ciplickas
- Denton Carter
- Jenna Mazza
- Mary Riley Van Duinen
- Sabrina Dempsey
- Madison White
- Craten Richardson
- Olivia Panasko
- Sarah Bolton
- Olivia Rice
- Kayla Kallio
- Jacob Bolton
- Jordan Britt
- Noah Britt
- Calleigh Lollis
- Colin Voge
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. If you or someone you love is facing a battle with suicidal thoughts or depression, call 1-800-273-8255 any time to speak with a trained counselor. You can also find resources from the South Carolina Department of Mental Health at this link.