Healing Hearts at Marist
On February 25, 2011 Seventeen /magazine highlight an organization that was founded by one of our very own Marist students. In “Take a stand against teen dating abuse!” reporter Leanna Brittis explains that February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. In honor of that, Seventeen Magazine discussed h<3rt1 which is the non profit organization that Danielle DeZao founded only one year ago. Her goal is “to heal a heart, remove the 1” since about 1/3 of teenagers are involved in physically or emotionally abusive relationships.
I find this article particularly important to college students because we need to be more aware that this abuse is happening around us. We can continue to ignore it, or we can look for the signs and try to help our peers. It is also important to note that one of our fellow students has had the courage to step forward and change her own life. But she didn’t stop there. It is inspiring enough that she was able to end her abusive relationship (which happened here on campus, by the way), but then she started this organization to offer people in similar situations help and support.
This is not just a club where people get together and cry about their feelings. This organization has earned nation-wide attention in the short year that it has been existence for. At a benefit concert two weekends ago, DeZao’s mother emotionally expressed her thanks, saying that whether or not we realized it- the concert could have literally saved someone’s life.
This article proves to me two things.
1. Everyone should familiarize themselves with the symptoms and warning signs of abusive relationships. People need to speak up when they see something.
2. If you are passionate about something, you can do anything. Age and lack of experience are not good excuses. Danielle DeZao has proved that anything is possible, and frankly, it is inspiring.