#WhyYouMatter campaign heads to Howell HS

Students hang photographs in Howell High School as part of the #WhyYouMatter campaign.

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A campaign to remind students of their importance and celebrate each student’s uniqueness is coming to Howell High School. #WhyYouMatter is a national campaign that seeks to showcase each student in the school.

For several months, students in Howell High School’s leadership classes have been working behind the scenes photographing every student and staff member holding a sign that states what makes that person special and planning an opening gala for the campaign. The Howell High School #WhyYouMatter gala is set for 6-8 p.m. today at the school. During the gala, students, parents and community members are invited to view all of the photographs, enjoy appetizers and hear performances by the school’s band and choir.

“Our students have worked very hard planning every aspect of this campaign. They have checked, and double checked to ensure as many students and staff members have been photographed as possible, putting each photo into the #WhyYouMatter format and printing all 2,500 photos,” said Gabby DiNatale-Park, Howell High School leadership teacher. “The gala will be the first time all of the photos will be hung in the school for everyone to view. It will be a very powerful experience that we hope will help remind students that they are important.”

The #WhyYouMatter campaign began at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, Mich. and has spread across the country. Chelsea High School students and staff launched the campaign after the passing of three students — two to suicide — in a short time frame. Their goal was to create a proactive, meaningful campaign to help build positive self-images within the student body.

To celebrate the completion of the project, Howell High School is hosting a special spirit week, with themes that relate to the campaign. Additionally, following the gala on Thursday, students will send off Chinese Lanterns to honor lost loved ones and classmates.

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