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Amare Outreach reaches out

Preston+Mayo+speaks+during+the+first+Amare+Outreach+meeting+during+PIT.
Preston Mayo speaks during the first Amare Outreach meeting during PIT.

Preston Mayo speaks during the first Amare Outreach meeting during PIT.

Preston Mayo speaks during the first Amare Outreach meeting during PIT.

Caitlin McKeand, Staff Reporter

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Amare Outreach is a student-led non profit organization that advocates for survivors of abuse and mental illness. During PIT on Wednesday, March 8th the organization held an event where people could share their stories in a safe environment and empower others. People can also submit anonymous stories on the organization’s website.

“I think that every story shared with us gives me a sense of victory – that our group is actually beginning to open people’s minds and sense of awareness,” co-founder and senior Jared Bouloy said. “This is special to me because abuse and mental illness are issues that have indirectly impacted my life, so it gives me a sense of hope that these issues will someday be handled in better ways.”

Bouloy started the organization with the intention to fight the statistic stating only 12% of people will ever share their personal stories by providing an anonymous story-telling organization.

“Abuse thrives in silence,” Bouloy said. “We aim to help people in three ways: encouragement, education, and empowerment. We encourage people to start to take the first steps in their journey, by inspiring them through the stories of others.”

Preston Mayo, who was one of the co-founders, soon became heavily involved after starting the organization.

“This all started as just an idea,” Mayo said. “Amare outreach just started as a simple idea in the head of a few high school teenagers. Anything that’s ever had an impact on the world, anything that’s ever made a difference on the planet in a positive way, all started as an idea.”

Mayo states he can relate to the people that submit their stories on the organization’s website.

“I have been impacted in such a big way, because I’ve been through a situation similar to a lot of the people who come through Amare outreach,” Mayo said. “I had been through a difficult situation after one of my best friends passed away my junior year, and to be able to help others through difficult things like I went through is a very good feeling.”

Mayo believes the most important thing is letting others know that they are not alone.

“People that go through traumatic things, or just feel alone in whatever they are going through, we are here to reach out to those people and let them know that they aren’t alone,” Mayo said. “Hopefully [we can] inspire them.”

Natalie Root, an Amare ambassador, learned of the organization through Mayo, social media and another ambassador.

“Amare has taught me how important it is to be kind and always lend a helping hand when you can,” Root said. “You never know what someone is going through.”

The organization hopes to help anyone who feels that they have no one to help or relate.

“Everyone has the ability to make an impact on the world that we live in today,” Mayo said. “So if you ever have an ‘idea’ or find something that lights off a little spark inside of you, don’t let that spark die out. Don’t let that idea drift away. The world needs more people who are willing to act on their own ideas and goals and dreams.”

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The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School
Amare Outreach reaches out