Friend’s Suicide Inspires Student To Start Positivity Movement At School

PHOENIX – Pupils at a school in Arizona have been working for months to encourage their classmates with uplifting remarks.

Sixth-grader Keely Lotz of Phoenix’s Vista del Sur Accelerated Academy stated she wished her school had more color and inspiration.

“I want to make sure that everybody feels safe here,” she said.

Together with other members of the art club, Keely scoured the school bathrooms for the proper words to write as part of a service project as an ambassador for the Uvalde Foundation for Youth.

“Because I knew that’s where a lot of people went to cry,” she said.

Friend's Suicide Inspires Student To Start Positivity Movement At School

After “Toddlers & Tiaras” actress Kailia Posey committed suicide, the sixth-grader claimed she wanted to write things that could change someone’s life. Posey passed away when she was 16 years old.

“It was heartbreaking and it was all over the pageant community,” Keely said. “We did the Naomi walk in her name.”

Keely claimed that although she doesn’t know what caused her friend to commit suicide, she wanted to ensure that it wouldn’t happen again.

“We all sat around and thought of phrases that might help us and other people,” Keely said.

Phrases like “Always remember you matter, you belong here, you’re doing great and you can do anything,” adorn the school’s walls and stalls.

The words are found in both the boys’ and girls’ facilities, according to eighth grader Megan Garis.

I feel like being able to see positive images like just when you’re going to the bathroom, like it’ll really help kids feel better about themselves,” she said.

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The art initiative has already had an effect, according to Jessica Epacs, principal of Vista del Sur Accelerated Academy.

“The positive self-talk, the positive phrases to be uplifting. It’s happening,” she said. “We get to see it in our kids and that’s been the biggest reward of all.”

Keely hopes the encouraging words continue to replace the unfavorable ones some youngsters might hear every day.

“I just want to make sure that kids know that it’s going to be OK,” she said.

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