East Aurora High School: Out Of the Darkness Event

by Symone Smith (Junior)

Kevin Hines, author of ” Cracked, Not Broken,” and also the man known for his attempt at suicide by jumping from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge; will be speaking at East Aurora High School on April 28. After surviving this suicide attempt Kevin Hines made it his mission to raise awareness on mental illness, while suffering from Bipolar Disorder himself.

Kevin Hines at a speaking engagement
Kevin Hines at a speaking engagement

Survivor Literature students at the high school who study and read the different stories of people going through trials and tribulations are leading this event. The Literature class studies books along the lines of ” A Long Way” by Ishmael Beah; story that centers around child soldiers and, “All But My Life” by Gerda Klein who details experiences of the Holocaust. Wanting to fight the stigma on mental illness Survivor Literature students enlisted the help of Hines who has first hand knowledge on the topic.

Survivor Literature teacher Shane Gillespie could not be more proud of his students for taking charge with this event, “This was entirely student built – from selecting the topic to deciding to bring Hines to East, ” continuing with, ” they have planned and created all of it.”

Students even handled the challenges that arose when planning this event, “the students take these on and it is cool to see leaders emerge and take ownership so that the challenges all get dealt with.”

Survivor Literature class
Survivor Literature class

The students and Mr. Gillespie hope that the audience gains a lot from this presentation and continue to shatter the glass of the many misconceptions of mental illnesses. Gillespie shares, “I am hoping that someone in the audience – even one person – who is feeling scared or stigmatized – realizes that there are so many others out there and there is so much support and help to be had.

The event is taking place at East Aurora High School at 500 Tomcat Ln, Aurora, IL 60505, this Thursday at 7:00 pm. The school and Kevin Hines hope you attend and most importantly you learn and take something from this event.


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