By Brianna Boteler and Kelsey Austin
On Monday, December 3rd Branford High School hosted an event entitled, "If You Really Knew Me" to honor the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.Librarian Media Specialist, Jessica Mularski, organized the the seminar along with school social worker, Suzanne Serviss. The objective of this event was to raise awareness for people who have struggled in life, and have overcame their obstacles. The event also aimed to give empathy to people who have been bullied by others or "tormented by their own demons." Guest speaker Michaela Fryxell, a mother of two, was a victim of bipolar syndrome and said, "I went from being an all-star cheerleader, to dropping out of anything that had meaning to me." Fryxell said she started doing drugs as a senior and her life quickly fell apart, "When I realized I needed help it was too late and I was hospitalized after trying to commit suicide." Adam Christoferson also told his story and left the group with an inspiring quote, "Our weaknesses in our past, will be our strengths in the future." A young woman with disabilities of her own, confined to a wheelchair by the name of Sam Bodes, tells her story of being bullied all through middle school and high school. Bodes was another guest speaker. She also told the struggles that she had with having to be in regular classes that were not designed for people in her situation. However, she has a light-hearted attitude towards life and said, "Once you're out of high school, the world is open and you can do whatever you set your mind to." Jessica Mularski was overall happy about how the seminar went saying, "I'm really excited that the students seemed like they got a lot out of it." The students sat around tables with people they did not know before the seminar. It was a way for students to open up and learn about others around them. A Compassionate Mind is the name of the organization that made these lectures possible. They are looking for artists to sing or draw for their campaigning. Contact Ann Nelson to learn more about the organization or to see how you can get involved. To find out more, go to http://www.acompassionatemind.com/about-ann/ .