Bella Wall Art Scholarship a commendable program

By the Advocate Editorial Board
July 13, 2017 at 10:28 p.m.
Updated July 14, 2017 at 6 a.m.

When a youth decides to end all his or her hopes and dreams in an instant, it's a tragedy that affects the entire community.

Mental health experts explain the reasons for suicide are complicated, and they agree the strategies to prevent suicide are equally complex.

But there is evidence that shows support services that allow pressured youth a chance to express their feelings freely can help.

The Bella Wall Art Scholarship is designed to allow young people to express themselves artistically.

The scholarship was established in memory of Isabelle "Bella" Wall, 14, who died by suicide earlier this year after struggling with depression and grief.

Her death and the death of her friend, Trinity Berger, 12, were heartbreaking.

Bella's family and friends have since endeavored to channel their grief into ways of helping other young people in the Crossroads.

They understand the unbearable pain of losing a loved one to suicide. And they are working to spread important messages that no youth stands alone and that all hope is not lost.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10- to 14-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is also the second leading cause of death for teens and young adults.

We commend Bella's mother, Melissa Jimenez, as well as her relatives and friends for creating Bella's Awareness Project, which established the Bella Wall Art Scholarship.

This scholarship alleviates the cost for young people to attend art classes taught by instructor Sierra Wilson at the Victoria Art League.

Wilson, who was Bella's art teacher, and the art league also deserve the community's appreciation for their part in organizing and managing the scholarship program.

Bella was passionate about art, and she loved learning about art.

"So many kids love art and have the same passion," said Bella's cousin, Rebecca Sevier. "I think this is something great to do to honor her memory. This is a way to keep kids motivated."

The value of this scholarship program is beyond measure, considering the positive messages it is conveying to Crossroads youth.

Too often we hear or read about tragedies in our community and ask ourselves - What can we do?

This program is an answer.

This program is a step toward helping young people understand that their hopes and dreams are worthwhile.

We urge residents to support the Bella Wall Art Scholarship as much as possible.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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