This is My Brave was an inspirational performance that aimed to help all people who struggle with mental illnesses and hardships in their lives. The event was on Nov. 7th between 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in the Hershey Theatre. One of our Downtown Hershey interns participated in the event alongside students from other area high schools. He shares his experience of the event here.
Before the event started, Chocapella performed Brave by Sara Bareilles. The heartening show was run by Jennifer Marshall, who started the event by explaining her story, which included why and how she created the nonprofit. She shed light on the fact that there are a lot of people out there who have a diagnosed mental illness, and gave them a message; it is okay not to be okay, and it is also okay to try and get help. After she spoke, she introduced three women onto the stage. One by one they told their story. The first woman was a mother, Erin Gallagher, who lost her son to suicide. The second woman, Aliyah Green, talked about her story in the form of a poem. The things she said related to people suffering from depression and/or those who have been attacked because of their race. The third woman, Neha Sinha, sang a song for the audience that she wrote as a letter to herself. Altogether the women’s performances were very inspiring and heartfelt. Once they finished their performance, a video was played about Joe Perry, a 16 year old boy from Columbus, Ohio, who wrote and performed two poems in his town’s This is My Brave event.
The next part of the show featured the This Is My Brave’s first ever High School Edition cast. The performers went up on stage one by one to tell their stories. Many of their stories were enlightening. Finally the show ended with the expert panel receiving questions from the audience about mental health issues. Christine Drexler, producer, said, “Working with students from area High Schools as part of the very first This is My Brave High School Edition profoundly impacted my life. their courage was inspiring and has compelled me to stay connected with them so we can champion together for change”. Overall the This Is My Brave High Edition show was powerful, sincere, and most importantly hopeful. This show brought hope for people who suffer from mental health issues.