Draft for Advocacy Project

For this project, I am working with Julia Beerman. We chose to do our project on Mental Illnesses. So far we have these sources to talk about and give examples of mental illnesses:

Advocacy Organization: http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/our-initiatives/ Mental Illnesses


  • Other ted talks

American Horror Story- Season 2

Columbine (Book)

Carrie Fisher’s death

#BellLetsTalk→ creating a stigma free environment around mental illness in Canada (spilled over to the US)

  • Donated 5 cents for every message (tweet, instagram, fb post) and raised $5,472,585.90

NAMI- National alliance on mental illness- http://www.nami.org

Demi Lovato

Relative to people our own age

Under obamacare mental health is covered, trump’s new plan???


  • Background on mental illnesses in America

A lot of people still go to prison when they commit crime bc of mental illness and don’t actually get the help they need

  • Stanford Prison Experiment
  • Kalief Browder


  • Mental Illness Advocate v. Mental Health Advocate

The effect the media and policy have on people’s perception of mental illness.



Ted Talk: Mental Illness From the Inside


Top myths of mental illness:


Be Vocal Collection:

We decided to tackle this advocacy project in the way the media affects the public’s perception of mental illnesses. Media also affects the way that policies on this topic are created and implemented, thus giving us the opportunity to dive in to how the Trump Administration plans to handle it.

We will be doing a Podcast, where we include clips of advocates talking about the issue and tweets which include people’s personal opinions on the topic at hand.

This I Believe- Rough Draft

When I was little, I had this irrational thought that everything in my life would go exactly how I wanted it to. I thought that if I wanted something to happen, it would. I would not have to work for it, it would just come to me and everything would be perfect. As I grew up, to my surprise, nothing went the way I wanted it to. I was not the smartest in my class, I was not the prettiest, and I was not dating Justin Bieber- possibly the most irrational thought of them all. I kept thinking to myself why my life was not perfect, why nothing I dreamed of was coming true. The more bad experiences that I had, the more I realized that everything was working out nicely in the end. Although, at the time, the situations may not have been great, I ended up with a great outcome from the bad. This I Believe: Everything happens for a reason.

I can give numerous examples of experiences that I went through these past eighteen years which proves what I believe. However, I am going to talk about the most relatable experience of them all; College. I was extremely set on attending Northeastern University. I met the requirements and qualifications and thought I would be able to be granted admittance. I fell in love with the school, the environment, and the people. Nothing made me more nervous than getting the e-mail from the school and seeing what my decision would be. When I found out that I was not admitted into the school, my heart shattered. I felt as though it was the worst day of my life and my world came crashing down. Penn State was not necessarily my first choice. I had not visited the school and, because I was so set on Northeastern, I did not really give any other school the time of day. However, upon my rejection, I began looking at other schools more in depth and once I visited Penn State it immediately moved up on my list. Once I began freshman year, I realized that I would not have been happy at Northeastern. At least, not as happy as I am here. This school is exactly what I pictured college to be like and could not have asked for a better school to attend. The heartbreak that I experienced after not getting into my dream school was followed by a huge blessing in my life; Penn State.

Even though things did not work out the way I originally wanted them to, it resulted in something even better- pure happiness. I could not have asked for better friends, a better learning environment, and, I mean, what’s better than Penn State Football? My college decision experience just reaffirms everything that I believe in. Today, I couldn’t be happier to have received a rejection letter, because everything fell into place after. So, to that, I say This I Believe, everything happens for a reason.

This I Believe

I believe that everything happens for a reason.

  • I feel that where you are meant to be, you will end up. You can’t force something to happen if it is not meant to be in your life.
  • For example- choosing the right sorority. I feel that the sorority you receive a bid from, whether it is the sorority you preferred or not, you are meant to be in it. In my own experience, I was not too happy with the sorority I joined at first but now I realized that it is completely where I was meant to end up. I made some extremely close friends and am forever grateful that I ended up in the sorority I did.

I believe that everyone is unique.

  • Everyone has their own special qualities and traits about themselves that makes them stand out from the crowd. Each person is different in their own ways but just as special and unique.
  • People try so hard to fit in nowadays, however, that is not always a good thing. Blending in and being just like everyone around you is not what we should we doing. We should embrace our flaws and our traits and emphasize that we are different. Following our own path instead of a path that someone else had made for us is very important in being ourselves.


For my passion blog, I intend to keep the same theme I had on my blog from RCL 1 only I intend on expanding the blog, in order to keep it from being as repetitive as it was. My theme was Fitness, however, I felt that as the weeks progressed, my blog became more and more similar within each post. I intend to take different classes at the IM Gym and switch up my workout routine each day I go in order to build on to my blog.

Two civic issues I want to focus on:

  • Global warming
  • The education system


Final thoughts on The Circle

After finishing the novel, The Circle, I noticed a message that truly resonated within myself; the idea that privacy is not a bad thing. Mae was completely entranced when it came to the use of technology and sharing posts on social media. I can heavily relate to this, as social media is what this day and age is all about. I realized that I do not want to live my life behind a phone or computer screen, simply posting about what it is that I am doing at that very moment. I want to be able to fully enjoy whatever activity I am involved in. It does not matter if my friends see what I’m up to on Snapchat. What matters is that, in 30 years, I want to be able to look back on these times in my life and think about how great they were. I don’t want to look back and remember how many likes I received on an Instagram post. The Circle has helped me to see the world around me through my own eyes, rather than through a camera lens. After all, these are going to be the best four years of our lives, we might as well live them.

Palmer Art Museum Paradigm Shift


Upon entering the Palmer Art Museum, I noticed that the first two rooms  consisted of a majority of paintings and portraits from the 1500s. As I walked through the other rooms, the works of art changed from paintings to sculptures and pottery, mostly made years later than the first two rooms. Making my way upstairs, I began to get a more modern sense of art work. Rather than seeing naked women and paintings of Jesus carrying the cross, I was looking at pictures of the modern working man in the 1950’s, paintings of farm houses, forests, and even mothers and their children. That is when I realized the excessive amount of paradigm shifts that have occurred in art work throughout the ages.

The first picture depicts Jesus, carrying the cross, leading up to his crucifixion. This picture by Francesco Fracanzano was made in 1647, a time where Religion played a major part in the every day life of citizens. The second picture, by Giovanni Baglione in 1601, depicts an Angel healing a man who had been shot by an arrow. Once again, Religion is the main motive for this picture. Both of these were found in the second room on the first floor of the museum, consisting of Religious pictures and medieval portraits. However, as I went upstairs, the third picture attached, caught my eye. Instead of seeing a picture involving religion, I saw a picture involving magic. The Sorceress, by Arthur B. Davies, painted in 1862, depicts some type of witch, essentially casting a spell on the man in front of her. The paradigm shift between these centuries shows how the people of the times went from believing Jesus and God were the almighty powers surrounding them, to believing that there were supernatural forces and powers that people could possess. The paintings varied greatly in not only their messages but also the beliefs behind them. Perhaps the questions at the time were, Was God the only supernatural being or did people around us possess those powers too? This shift shows us that Religion began to decline from being the biggest focus, and people started to open their minds to other things within their world.

Mae.. Boring??

In today’s society, nothing can go by without it being documented on some type of social media. Whether it be Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook, any slightly interesting event that occurs is posted about. One of my good friends is an example of one of these people. Anything he sees, he will take a picture or video of and add it on to his snapchat story- whether it be a picture of his dinner, a football game, or even just a video of a stranger dancing in New York City. Quite frankly, I have become very annoyed with this social media craze. I have said something to my friend to “stop snapchatting his every move.” Social media, in my opinion, has taken over today’s youth and caused them to only see the world through a phone screen. When Kanye West performed at the Bryce Jordan Center, I looked around the arena, and all I saw were phones in the air, recording the show. Some people were not even watching Kanye perform live, rather than watching him through their Snapchat screen. Why would you rather see him through a screen, as one normally would, when you have the opportunity to look directly at him in person? It made no sense to me.

Today’s youth is not so different from Mae, in The Circle. Everyday, she lives behind a screen, whether it be her computer at her office, or her phone out in public. Rather than enjoying the events she attends, she is on her phone talking about them. It’s as if she is only able to enjoy the moments life brings her if she shares them with those on social media. I believe Mercer to be right in this situation. If Mae is only sharing her experiences instead of actually living them, how is that suppose to be fun? It is boring. It is bland. It is not a healthy way to live your life. Mae is not alone in this situation. Every person who lives behind their phone, sharing every event in their lives, is a boring person. They have become so invested in what other people think about the events they attend, rather than what they personally think of the experience. In this day and age, who really cares if YOU went to a concert or met the President, if they weren’t there to experience it as well? It may bring about some jealousy seeing these posts, but it won’t take away from the fact that you are the one living in this moment. None of your Twitter followers will be able to say they had the same experience as you, and that is what brings about one’s uniqueness.

RCL- Marathon Reads

I did not know what to expect out of the Marathon Reads event. I thought it would be composed of people who were extremely excited to read and those who were good at public speaking. However, as I sat listening to various people read, I noticed that most were either not as willing to read in front of the crowd or very nervous. Some people’s voices were shaky and quiet and others very monotone and unconfident. On the other hand there were a good amount of people who were upbeat and truly acting out the story. I listened to a number of people read The Hunger Games. I have read this book myself and seen the movie. Most people did not read with enthusiasm, and that was okay. They were facing their fears and getting up to read in front of a crowd, which I assume they do not do much. I condone them for their bravery and self-motivation. I did not read solely because I hate speaking in front of a crowd of people that I do not know. But seeing each shy person get up and read really made me think, “If they can do it so can I.” However, I had a class that I had to get to and was unable to read while I was there. I was going to sign up to read but my fear got in the way. I even heard a girl after she read say, “That wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.” That statement really made me want to sign up, but being in the rush that I was, I did not. I now know, however, that if Marathon Reads ever happens again, I am going to motivate myself to read and face my fear.

RCL Blog- The Arboretum

img_4083The Arboretum is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful spots on campus. While wandering around, I felt a sense of peace. This spot can be used to foster civic interaction and exploration. Students of Penn State as well as citizens of State College can come and witness the beauty of the Arboretum. img_4084Within it is a child’s area, called Childhood’s Gate. In my opinion, this area truly brings about a way to foster civic interaction. Kids of all ages come with their parents to play and gaze at the sights that lie before them. When you first walk in, there is a green sign which describes the area. One line stood out to me. “Be inspired to become a steward of our world to every generation”. img_4085Be one who keeps order and peace within our world. This statement can help to inspire kids to make a difference in the world we live in and to be who they were made to be.

As you enter Childhood’s Gate there is a glass “house” which contained boxes of snake skin, birds eggs, etc., in which you could touch and feel for yourself. A sign outside of this read that vegetables and herbs grown at the Children’s garden are donated to the College Food Bank. This is another way in which the Arboretum fosters civic involvement- by helping those around them and inspiring other kids to donate and help. Also in this area is a “cave” in which kids can play in and and statue of a giant caterpillar for people to take pictures on or with.


The Arboretum helps define our identity as a University Campus by giving us a place in which we can remember and encourage people to come and visit from all over. The arboretum also allows Penn State Alumni to hold their weddings here. This allows Penn Staters to gather together and celebrate one of the best days of their lives together. Everyone on campus knows what the Arboretum is and the beauty that comes with it.

Representations and understandings of nature can contribute to civic life. It does so by bringing together a community of people to a common place. Each person may be different and the community will consist of a large range of ages, but everyone is brought to the same place for the same reason- to admire nature’s beauty. Although very different, each person witnesses the same thing and everyone gets a sense of peace when gazing at the sights which lie before them.

RCL Blog #1- The Circle

The Circle, being the “most influential company in the world”, and Penn State, being a “world renowned University”, have many similarities. Coming to Penn State as a Freshman, much like Mae, I was very overwhelmed and somewhat terrified to begin this new chapter in my life. One of the most influential characters towards Mae was Annie. She stated that Mae should learn to “..foster the community. In fact, it must be a community” (Eggers, 47) The company puts up signs which state that “Humans work here”. It is a reminder that, yes, the company contains some of the best minds in the country, but it is not a sweatshop full of robots. Much like The Circle, Penn State has some of the best minds in the country as well. Students every where on campus are striving to make a difference in the world and possibly discover something new, but they do this all while having the time of their lives. Penn State and The Circle stress the fact that it is important to go out and have fun. You cannot hole up in your room (or office). You must go out and introduce yourself to people. Another similarity is that, on Mae’s first day at The Circle, many people came up to her and introduced themselves right away. I personally connected with this part, as on my first day, many people introduced themselves and truly made me feel welcome. I had not even been at Penn State for a full twenty-four hours and it already felt like home. Just like Mae, I was experiencing new things and meeting new people. I was surrounded by people of all different backgrounds, but somehow, we all were united by a common thing- being a Penn Stater- just as Mae and her coworkers did- being a Circler.

Learning Image Metaphor

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 8.02.03 PM

The image shown above has a significant meaning as to what my idea of learning incorporates. The picture depicts a baby, with piercing blue eyes, staring into this new world in front of him. He seems fascinated by this new perception of life and the amazing objects appearing before him. To me, I don’t just see a baby staring at the new world around him. This photo represents what my idea of learning consists of. The baby is seeing the world through his own eyes and no one else’s. No one is telling him what lens to look through, rather, he is experiencing the world with a very optimistic perception of it. The same goes with learning- no one can mold the way you think or experience things. You must learn with a very open-minded view. If you begin to learn and gain experience in activities as a close-minded person, you will not fully grasp the ideas and theories of which are in front of you. Seeing the world and learning through your own lens is what will establish a personal connection between what you experience and discover.