Nonprofit organization starts tough conversation for area schools

The organization's goal is to bring awareness on topics topics such as bullying, suicide, sexual exploitation, and sex trafficking.

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI ) – Area schools are starting those tough conversations with students to let them know they are not alone and help is available.

The non-profit organization, ‘Say Something” partnered with the Golden Triangle Dream Center to perform an engaging assembly at Armstrong Junior High in Starkville.

The organization’s goal is to bring awareness on topics topics such as bullying, suicide, sexual exploitation, and sex trafficking.

For some students, it was the start of getting the help they needed and the opportunity to stand up and say something.

The “Say Something ” organization works to be the conversation starter on topics like suicide, bullying, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation.

Students are able to hear personal testimonies and learn about warning signs.

Speaker, Leah Daughdrill is what many would call a survivor, and she hopes sharing her story will let others know they are not alone.

” It was like a tough pill to swallow you know like wow I was a victim of human trafficking and so for me the biggest thing is, is not being a victim but being a victor. I once was but here I am sharing my story and every time it is different. Every time it hits hard I treat it like the first time I have ever told it,” Daughdrill said.

The organization has spread awareness to over 500 hundred schools and close to 40 thousand students.

Speaker Andrew Dawson says that often families get caught up in life and may not realize their children are struggling.

“I think it’s a huge need obviously students are dealing with issues and we just want to be a resource. We’re not trying to fix all the problems but we are going to set up moments for students to feel safe and share,” Dawson said.

Principal Ramon Forbes says it’s important that their students have access to these types of conversations and know they have a support system.

“It’s always great to have people from the outside to come in…your parents say the same things but sometimes you just ignore them and when someone else comes in and says the same thing it brings awareness so that our students can up-standards so they can share if they see something,” Forbes said.

They hope the presentation helps students understand that one choice can affect their lives.

” That moment at the end of the ceremony today or at the end of the assembly I believe was an opportunity for them to release that – some of the things they have been holding in. I think it was a moment where it resonated and was like hey I can do this whether I am going through something tough right now. I think it was also a moment that resonated with them where they were like hey you know what, what I am going through right now doesn’t have to define me,” Forbes said.

By the end of this week, the ‘Say Something ” organization will have been to 20 schools throughout the Golden Triangle and Noxubee County.

The Dream Center was able to receive a 20 thousand-dollar grant from TVA and the 4County Foundation to bring programs like this to the area.

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