SPOTLIGHT ON: Kristen Fitzpatrick, Fontbonne Senior
by Jenna Borrelli '16
On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the entire Fontbonne community gathered together to listen to senior student, Kristen Fitzpatrick, share her personal insight on mental illness and how it related to the KIND assembly.
To wrap up the presentation, Fitzpatrick delivered a tear jerking speech that warmed the hearts of the audience. She began by sharing her personal experience of losing her father last April to suicide because of mental illness. She also mentioned her constant struggle with anxiety.
At this point during the assembly, almost every person was searching for tissues, even the teachers. Instead of focusing on the grief, Fitzpatrick tied in the lesson that everyone must value their lives and the lives of others. She brought forth the idea of being kind to one another because everyone is struggling with their own battle.
For those who struggle with mental illness, or any illness at all, seeking help is the best thing to do.
Fitzpatrick mentioned, “I’ll tell you one thing, every single one of us in this room can benefit from going to therapy; whether it be for a specific issue or just to work on bettering yourself.”
Whether a student deals with family issues, exceedingly high stress levels, anxiety, or even depression, it is important to not be afraid to ask for help. Some people may feel that their problems aren't as serious or life threatening, but a small issue can easily transform into a larger one. This explains why Fitzpatrick stressed the idea of seeking help and finding kindness within.
Another important lesson Fitzpatrick included, was one that she learned from her father. James Fitzpatrick said, “Life is just a drop in the bucket, once we have fulfilled our life’s purpose, we are taken home to God.”
After sharing her father’s words, Fitzpatrick left us all with a question to ponder. “My question to you is, what are you going to do with your one precious life, what will your drop in the bucket be?” said Fitzpatrick.
Following her powerful last words, Fitzpatrick received a standing ovation and a roaring applause. From the looks of the staff, faculty and students facial expressions, her speech hit home and touched the lives of many.
SPOTLIGHT ON: Melody Tobin, Fontbonne sophomore
by Melody Tobin '18
It all began in elementary school in my first grade classroom. I remember that my school, P.S. 102, had placed a great emphasis on encouraging reading and writing skills. I sat on the scratchy, colorful classroom carpet, gazing at the books on the wooden shelves surrounding me. During library time, we would be allowed to choose books that we wanted to read from the shelves.
Every day I would kneel down by the bookcase, scanning and searching for any kind of pet or animal related story to read. At the time, I had a fascination with animals- specifically dogs, they always captivated my interest since I had one as a pet at home. I would choose any book that had an animal on it; a cat, dog, mouse, or even a horse. I remember sitting down on a little purple beanbag chair in the corner of the classroom by the window and just peacefully reading the stories. I would read them for hours, and wouldn’t stop until I was completely done with whatever I was reading. I would read until I came up with creative inspiration for my own stories.
Later on I began to develop an interest in writing. I began by constructing short stories about two or three pages long on pieces of wrinkled looseleaf paper. Two or three pages was considered pretty advanced for an elementary school student, however I was passionate and dedicated towards conveying all the stories that my little head could fathom. I would write all the time, at home, during classes, and even during subjects where we weren’t supposed to be writing at all. After school, once I finished my stories, I would wait until to stay behind and proudly showcase my work to my teachers for approval. They were always very praising and supportive of me- which I greatly thank them for. The more praise I collected, the more motivated I felt to create every idea for a tale into a work of literature. My fellow students were always impressed with my stories, my teachers, and my parents were very supportive as well. My fascination with writing went hand-in-hand with my reading enjoyment, which fueled my inspiration and creativity.
To this day, I am proud of my writing ability and find it to be an efficient creative outlet to record my ideas and imagination, and perhaps to inspire others. Overall, my reading experience was quite positive, due to the imagination that it allowed me to harness and create into original stories. Hopefully somewhere in the future I am able to publish my own books, which will serve as my legacy to inspire generations after me.