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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Brighter Place shines light on mental health at WA

Provided by Sarah Cuniffe
Brighter Places’ officers (left to right) Emma Boylen, Anya Gesin, and Sarah Cunniffe.

For many high schoolers, mental health is often not prioritized amidst the stress of schoolwork, extracurriculars,  jobs, and more. They can often find themselves struggling and isolated among their peers, searching for a positive outlet. This is what Brighter Place wanted to create.

Founded this year, WA’s new club Brighter Place aims to combat mental health issues faced by those in and outside the school. Led by three juniors, charity coordinator Emma Boylen, club manager Sarah Cuniffe, and student action leader Anya Gesin, as well as their advisor, student support teacher, Jenn Schelin, the club is livening up WA’s atmosphere while also raising money for mental health organizations such as the National Eating Disorder Association and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“My sophomore and freshman year I’d noticed a big decline in the mental health of students at Westford Academy. […] I wanted to actually do something about it because I knew that other students were feeling the same kind of pressure and stress,” Cuniffe said.

In order to make club meetings more accessible, Brighter Place holds their meetings online, via Google Meet.

“A lot of the reason students can’t participate in clubs is because of transportation issues […] and also it’s more anonymous […] (since) it can be kinda personal and where they’re having to talk about their own issues at school,” Cuniffe said.  “By making it remote they’re able to turn off their cameras or even just type in their thoughts in the chat.”

In contrast to many other extracurriculars, Brighter Place fosters a more laid back environment.

“[It’s] an open space for people and just being there is enough. And you don’t have to be doing all this work to be in the club,” Gesin said.

Their relaxed atmosphere does not mean they have not accomplished plenty this school year. Identifying problems and coming up with solutions is Gesin’s favorite part of the club.

One problem the club encountered among the student body was low morale on Mondays, so they organized Music Monday, where songs requested via their Instagram account,, are played over the loudspeaker during passing times every Monday.

To raise awareness and money outside of school, the club has also gotten involved in the community.

“We did trunk or treat recently which was really great as we were able to raise a lot awareness about our club, and we also participated in West Fest, where we were able to raise a lot of money in order to promote our club which was awesome,” Boylen said.

The club has big aspirations for their future as well. Their last event was the Holiday Bazaar where they sold original art made by club members, and the money they raised will improve the atmosphere of the school.

“Our goals are to continue to add items into WA to make it a more welcoming environment such as bean bags and lights and plants, so we’re fundraising for that,” Boylen said.

Schelin finds the energy of the club and the idea of students coming together to make small but impactful changes around the school to be her favorite part of the club.

“I hope that by being out there and by doing these little things […] that the message is getting out there that a lot of us experience stress and anxiety on a daily basis and I kind of wish that it was more normalized and more talked about,” Schelin said.

Brighter Place meets every other Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. on Google Meet. The link to join their Google Classroom can be found on their Instagram.

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About the Contributor
Sachi Rasne
Sachi Rasne, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m Sachi Rasne and I’m a staff writer for the Ghostwriter. I love drawing and painting, hanging out with my friends, and baking. My favorite thing to bake is cookies, and my favorite cookies are chocolate chip cookies. I also love cooking, and watching movies and TV shows. I love to read and write and I’m so excited to write for the Ghostwriter this year!

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