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Phoenix-area high school students work to prevent bullying and suicide among classmates

(Kids Who Care Arizona)

PHOENIX — A group of high school students in the Phoenix-area are urging their peers to “Say Something.”

That’s the name of a program taking shape at East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) in Mesa, in a partnership with Kids Who Care, Arizona. Those students are spreading awareness about ways classmates can help their friends and peers who are struggling with bullying, depression or maybe contemplating suicide.

“There’s a bunch of kids our age that are going through it,” said Andrea Fierro, a senior at EVIT. “We know we can connect to someone that has gone through it and we know that if they got through it, then they can help us get through it.”

Fierro said she has had her struggles. When the “Say Something” campaign started at the school, she wasn’t in the right mindset, so she went to a trusted adult.

“It made life a whole lot easier than keeping it all inside,” Fierro said.

She said sometimes, teens who are struggling don’t want to open up to adults, so the group of students are spreading awareness to classmates about the warning signs to look for so they can help a friend or peer who is struggling.

“They don’t realize how many people actually care for them,” Fierro said. “I feel that we should let them know, that we do care.”

She said they have already saved lives at the school. Noah Buot, a senior at EVIT, said he and the other students are doing important work to spread awareness and save lives.

“It’s actually wonderful that you can help someone out so much,” Buot said. “If you can save one life that’s already a lot, cause that one person can mean the world to another.”

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