Local high school senior starts Students Save Lives chalk walk


Poster for suicide prevention, reading, “Students can save lives.”

Brynne Mann Reporter

A local high school senior, Julia Hallgren, hosts the first Students Save Lives chalk walk this Sunday to help raise awareness for suicide prevention. 

The in-person chalk walk was created by Hallgren to allow people to come together as one in downtown Kent. It was inspired by the chalk walk event in June 2020 in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Chalk will be scattered around downtown for people to create art from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.      

The chalk walk was inspired by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s campus walk at Kent State, a virtual walk that people in or out of state can join and walk on their own or donate to the cause. COVID-19 caused the walk to become virtual, but Hallgren wanted to create a safe way people could participate together. 

“People can sign up for the virtual walk, and they can walk when they want and where they want to do their own thing,” Hallgren said. “We have a set date to have a deadline for donations for the virtual walk on the Kent webpage, but our main goal is to spread mental health awareness and suicide prevention.”

Hallgren is a senior at Stow-Munroe Falls High School and college credit plus student at Kent State. She plans to attend Kent State in fall. 

In Hallgren’s sophomore year, her friend took their own life. This started her involvement with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 

“I went through AFSP for that resource to connect with people that have had the same thing happen to them, have lost their children or family members or struggled themselves,” she said. “I latched on to it and wanted to continue to spread awareness wherever I go.”

Hallgren hopes to see people participating and smiling under their masks to help spread positive messages to those who need them most. 

Brynne Mann covers the City of Kent. Contact her at [email protected].