Sanford walks for suicide awareness

Jobs for Maine's Graduates students at the Out of the Darkness walk in Sanford.
Sanford Jobs for Maine’s Graduates instructor Melissa Small (in blue) took three of her students to participate in the Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention. Students, from left, in red: Leighana Muise, Cassidy Bennett and Brooke Cote.

Thanks to Jobs for Maine’s Graduates for sharing the following article with the Maine DOE for publication.

Melissa Small, the Jobs for Maine’s Graduates specialist at Sanford High School, and three of her students participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk in Gowen Park in Sanford on Sept. 29. The event raised $1,197 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“The Out of the Darkness walk was open to the Sanford community,” Small said. “When I mentioned it to my class, a few students felt strongly about participating because they’ve lost friends to suicide. The walk is an annual event and is organized by a woman in the community who has lost her child. My students and I showed up prior to the walk to assist with the set up. We handed out T-shirts, sold raffle tickets and spoke with participants. It was a quick and easy way for the students to volunteer, and it was nice having them help at a non-JMG-sponsored event.”

Out of the Darkness Community Walks are three- to five-mile walks that took place in over 250 communities across the country in 2012. In Maine, walks were held in Brunswick, Fort Kent, Orono, Portland, Sanford and Waterville. A total of $26,079 was raised by the participants of all the Maine walks.

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