UMatter Week


On September 7, 2020 Addie Grace Fields took this photo of ProjectU working together to paint the rock.

Last week, FHS ProjectU held UMatter Week, which is a week dedicated to suicide prevention. Each day, there is a theme and a challenge posed to the student body to help spread awareness about suicide and to show support to the rest of the student body.

Trying to promote participation in weeks like this often seemed futile before the new school administration came along last year. Dr. Bartlett has shown that he is a huge promoter of ProjectU and other clubs dedicated to helping brighten up the school environment. With the help of Mrs.Tenry and Dr. Bartlett, ProjectU was able to put on the best UMatter Week yet, according to senior member of ProjectU, Angus Pence.

“This was our best year for sure,” said Pence. “The participation was way up this year, we had a ton of people fill out the ribbons and tie them to the pole out front and we had a lot of people actually join ProjectU this past week.”

As Pence alluded to, one of the challenges from ProjectU to the student body was for people to write what they live for on a sheet of paper and tie it to the pole right in front of the school.

According to junior Gracie Orrico, Co-President of ProjectU, “The ribbon activity was the most meaningful and effective because students got to make it personal to them. It also made each person stop and think of at least one thing in life that brings them true joy.”

These activities being at this scale was a new and exciting turn for the future of ProjectU and UMatter Week. Another good step was that they were also able to use more ways to promote it this year than ever before. They painted the rock with the question, “What do you live for?,” colored in turquoise and purple, the official colors of suicide prevention.

Although UMatter Week was a great success, Orrico thinks there are still ways they can improve going forward, saying, ”Because of COVID we had a super tight schedule so next year I’d really like to start planning sooner. Also since the whole month of September is suicide prevention month I’d like to do small activities each week of September in addition to the UMatter Week of the 10th.”

Moving forward, ProjectU, with the help of administrators like Mrs.Tenry and Dr.Bartlett and continued support from the student body, should be able to grow the outreach and the effectiveness of UMatter Week to unprecedented new levels.