By Audrey Steen, English/Sec. Education Major / McAnulty Academic Internship
Something that I hold very close to my heart is advocacy. I think it is one of the many responsibilities we have to be as civil citizens. I am lucky to do this through the Suicide Prevention and Awareness campaign I started on the English and Theatre Dept. Facebook page. This page is providing helpful information by highlighting authors who struggle(d) with mental health as a writer and including other resources for student-specific issues. General wellness tips are provided to break up some of the heavier information on the topic to create a well-rounded, but not too suggestive, approach to advocacy. I wanted this campaign to be able to be identifiable with not just liberal arts students, but all individuals following the social media page. The variety of information I am learning about campus resources allows me to have information for my everyday life and advocacy, not just through a multi-media platform. Because I feel this is an important responsibility, the opportunity to further knowledge makes me feel the work I am doing applies to not only my professional success in the future but also the success I want to have in being a good person to all.
However, something I have been challenged within in this task is being confronted with really how little I do know about being an advocate. I am learning how to write outside of the academic setting and being pushed to make my writing engaging for a wide audience. It is a skill to make sure the information portrayed is clear, concise, and digestible, which I struggle with. I am finding outside resources and the readings assigned to this vocational work to be helpful in my attempt to create something both myself and the department can be proud of. I have learned so much and am excited to see what I am challenged to do next with all the skills I am learning today.