Anti-bullying efforts help GCHS student become a finalist for humanitarian award
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
May 22, 2014 | 561 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Henderson
Henderson
slideshow
Grand County High School student body president Brendon Henderson was one of 10 finalists for the Utah Young Humanitarian Award, which is sponsored by the service leadership nonprofit Youthlinc and is the largest service-based scholarship in Utah.

Although Henderson, a senior, did not win the $5,000 scholarship, which was awarded at a banquet May 17, he was commended for his service and volunteerism by Youthlinc officials.

According to Youthlinc, Henderson was one of just two high school students who made the top 10 out of this year’s pool of 117 applicants.

Henderson said he applied for the award after finding out about it at the GCHS counseling center. Later, he was invited to Salt Lake City for a follow-up interview. He and his mother, Sarah Henderson, attended the interview, even though it meant he had to miss the Moab April Action Car Show, where he was supposed to host a sock hop.

Henderson said the interview went well.

“There were about 12 other judges in the room,” he said. “They were all so sweet and genuinely interested as well.”

A main focus of Henderson’s application was the anti-bullying campaign called “Rise Above It,” which he helped spearhead at GCHS last year. The campaign’s goal was to help stop bullying and to curb suicidal thoughts among teens. Many students confided in Henderson, sharing similar feelings after he and others told their personal accounts in a school-wide assembly, he said.

“‘Rise Above It’ truly taught me that it is possible to make an impact and achieve a goal if you’re determined and have a great group of people who all share the same interest for the greater good,” Henderson said.

Henderson said he hopes his fellow students will continue in their efforts after he graduates.

“I just really want the school to realize that you don’t always have to put yourself first in order to be happy,” he said. “It seems like there are times in school where we get so wrapped up in ourselves and what we are doing that we forget about the people who surround us as well as how they might be feeling. Instead of spending so much time spreading negativity and hate, try spreading some comments of positivity and kindness. Every single person possesses good, it just takes the special people to spread it.”

“There are so many great people in this school and all of them are capable of making incredible differences in our school and our community,” Henderson added. “I can’t wait to come back next year and see what they have done!”

Henderson’s post-high school plans are to attend Utah State University in Logan, where he plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in the USU Theater program.

“I hope to hone my craft there and accomplish all I can before setting off for Los Angeles to follow my dream of becoming a working actor,” he said.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.