SPEAK Break the Silence

Official Dosomething.org Project

The Problem

SPEAK BREAK THE SILENCE was a Global Awareness Education Campaign that occurred over a 6-week period at my high school, St. Mary Academy Bay View in Riverside, RI in April of 2006. Each week was themed and comprised of facts and figures. Week one introduced the pandemic and challenged the Bay View community to SEE the reality of HIV/AIDS around the world. Week two introduced AIDS among women and challenged the young women of Bay View to educate themselves and BE women of empowerment. Week three challenged the Bay View community to HEAR the voices of Youth with HIV and welcomed the elementary and middle school’s help. Week four discussed AIDS on the home front, here in America, and challenged us all to UNITE together in prevention. Week five explained the search for a cure for AIDS and challenged Bay View to EMBRACE the opportunity to learn. Through an informational evening assembly, friends and family of the Bay View community were included in the campaign and its efforts. I am the inspiration of the “SPEAK . . . Break the Silence” global HIV/AIDS awareness education campaign at St. Mary Academy Bay View. The campaign served as my high school's 2006 Lenten Project. I headed all of the committees, held all of the meetings, and served as the link between the administration/staff/faculty and the student body. I wrote letters, invitations, and speeches pertaining to the campaign and ultimately organized the six week project. I wrote the script for the evening presentation of the campaign except for the explanation of funding; which the senior class treasurer wrote. Because however, the campaign was introduced to my school as a “senior class project”, the senior class officers and delegates, members of the Mercy Action club, Peer Ministers, and students of the Advanced Placement Calculus class, all helped with the project. I assigned them tasks, had them research, and publicize the campaign. I believe HIV/AIDS to be an incredibly important issue that young people today must address. As a young woman, I am among the highest percentage of people who contract the virus. HIV/AIDS is a global epidemic that is taking too many lives too rapidly. Sadly, it is cultivating in our very own back yard; the United States of America. I believe that by merely educating young people of HIV/AIDS, a serious wave of prevention can occur. Education is empowerment and, empowerment is prevention.

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