To be somebody’s somebody could make a difference

Eddie Kilroy

Over the course of this semester, students here have experienced many of the ups and downs of college life. It is sad to say that too many have touched or are stuck on the lows of college life. While others struggle with addiction, some become prone to violence in a wave of emotions, whether it is toward others or on themselves.

As adults, we reflect on the good and the bad that occur around us each day, and we try to take something away from the experiences to learn and to live a better life. And once that is done, we move on in hopes that we live better lives.

But not everybody has the ability to do this. The kids who experience traumatizing situations like we do may not know how to handle situations. They may have fears that are driving them to be anti-social and self-inflicting. There are kids in our local neighborhoods that will experience more problems by the age of 14 than some people will know in a lifetime. They need the guidance, they need the help – they need us.

Starting in the upcoming semester, a new youth support group will begin here at Kent State. “Everybody’s Somebody” is a new outreach program that allows college students to donate their time to support the lives of children and teenagers in the local Akron and Portage County schools. The group’s objective: To make sure that the kids have somebody to fall back on with problems and fears in their own lives. The program also includes friendship building, teamwork exercises, breaking down metaphorical walls, building confidence in themselves and setting goals for a better future.

For a group that will be hitting hard into the lives of troubled kids, I have to say that it would be quite a learning experience to be part of such a supportive organization. I grew up in a good house with a loving family with little to no problems whatsoever. I’ve never been in a situation where I can say that my youth tarnished the way I am today. I can’t say the same for everybody else who reads this column, but having the opportunity to help someone have a good childhood would be pleasing in its own way. Not only do the kids get help where they need it, but a sense of moral can be taken away from each building point we create as mentors.

A world of madness will never end, and a world of pain will never be relieved. Both kids and adults will fall into the darkness of society, and it’s up to us to be their foundation for leading better lives. Everybody does need somebody as his or her foundation, and we owe it to ourselves and those children to take the opportunity that will be lasting.

If you would like more information on the group, Everybody’s Somebody, contact the university advisor Kelly Stillwagon for details on how to contribute.

Eddie Kilroy is a sophomore communication studies major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]