Uniting for Youth: Insights From the JED Policy Summit on Student Mental Health
By Rebecca Bauer On October 30, 2023, more than 100 mental health experts, advocates, and allies gathered in Washington, D.C., for the JED Policy Summit: ...
By Lauren Patetta
Thanks to the incredible work and dedication of students, the Clemson University chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG) raised $9,600 for The Jed Foundation (JED) during its annual First Friday fundraising event this September. Each year, the First Friday competition challenges Clemson sorority sisters to raise the most money for their organization’s philanthropy in just 86 hours. After a week of working to spread awareness and field donations, winners are recognized in a parade during Clemson’s first home game of the football season.
This was KKG’s third year in a row winning the First Friday competition, and all proceeds go to JED, the group’s official philanthropy since 2021.
Meryl Henderson, a third-year student at Clemson and the Philanthropy Director for her KKG chapter, felt encouraged watching her sisters continuously break fundraising barriers for JED. “I really think it shows the power of young women and how passionate they are about an organization that means so much to everyone,” she says.
“Our generation talks about mental health a lot more than past generations,” says Molly Jane Anton, a senior at Clemson who was chosen to represent KKG as this year’s Miss First Friday in the parade. “I think now is such an awesome, pivotal time for us to have picked JED as our philanthropy, because girls aren’t afraid to talk about it.”
“So many girls in Kappa either personally struggle with some aspect of mental health—whether it’s suicide, depression, an eating disorder, OCD, or anything of the sort—or they know someone who went through that,” Anton says. “Because it’s something we all know in our lives at some point, it’s a lot easier for people to gain momentum and want to put their best effort forward for JED.” Thank you to all the students at KKG who contributed to the First Friday event on behalf of JED. If you’re interested in learning more about ways to fundraise for JED, check out the Fundraise for JED web page.
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