Student Advocates of the Month: Lizzy Boulous and Brandon Toback


Opening slide of Lizzy and Brandon’s research project

By Amanda Horn, Staff Writer

Juniors at Wayne Hills High School, Lizzy Boulos and Brandon Toback, have been awarded the Student Advocate Award for the month of May. Every month a different student is given this award for their exceptional work helping other students and the school community.

This month the duo was awarded the Advocate award was because of their important research on how well the students felt the school was doing with supporting them with their mental health issues. They started this project in their Human Rights class as a final project and have many different opinions and standpoints included in their presentation. Lizzy Boulous says, “I’m proud of it, I think I didn’t expect it to get this big. I just assumed it was just going to be a project in a class. We got a lot of data from metal health websites and the CDC and we were appalled by the information given to us.”

Brandon Toback and Lizzy Boulous with Mr. Reitter

An anonymous student was quoted by Lizzy Boulous and expressed that “They [the school] did nothing for our mental health.” And on the other side there was a student, anonymous, who said that “The school has a great deal of things that can help us they even have a school psychologist just for our mental health. ” These polar opposite opinions show just how different some students see their mental health resources.

Brandon Toback voiced that “All of the information was very easy to find. There are many articles and statistics from tons of different sources. We even made a survey and asked people around the school from different grades how they felt about mental health education and resources. Our school definitely needs to be better at making these mental health resources more well known and easily accessible. ”

Everyone should know their school’s resources because about every 1 in 6 US youths experience a mental disorder from the age of 6-17. Learning about mental health is only mandatory is three states, Virginia, New York and Florida. Learning about mental illness, the signs and symptoms and how to treat it could help a student get a diagnosis earlier in their life and treat this illness much early than they would without this information.

Congrats to Lizzy and Brandon on their well deserved Student Advocate Award!