Leave It Behind: Students fight to transcend labels

(Gillette, Wyo.) March is a lot of things: Women's History Month, National Nutrition Month. But for Gillette College, it's Diversity Inclusion and Disability Awareness month. Today they presented "You Are More Than Your Label," an event included a free lunch with catering from Pokey's Barbeque. They prepared for 100 students, but by noon had already seen 75 people drop by. As they passed through, they were asked to write down a negative phrase that had been used to define them in the past, and stick it to a table. Things like "freak," "creep," and "stupid" were spread across the display. Someone wrote down "You will never amount to anything," something they'd heard too many times before. "For students, it's a process of understanding that 'I am better than this,'" said Director of Counseling Susan Serge. "They can leave their label here, and don't need to take it with them any more." The Gillette College chapter of Active Minds -- a club designed to change the perception of mental health -- is only a handful of students right now, but they're hoping to try and work with the community to build their program. Right now one of their focuses is suicide prevention awareness, something that's on everyone's minds. "Part of it is building your confidence through personal positivity," said Active Minds club member Bella, of the "Greater than your label" project. "I've seen people ask 'Someone really told you that?' This is an awakening, it's helping provide awareness," added Serge. #county17 #news