At its regular board meeting, now 8th-grader Jaezelle Darrah was recognized for his efforts in raising awareness about mental health by hosting a Castle Ball Tournament last February at JFS.
Jaezelle wrote and received a grant from MHAST and used the funds for prizes for the winning team as
well as providing lunch for the competitors.
The idea came about when Jaezelle noticed some students were lonely and he wanted to create a group where everyone felt included, called Frenzies. From that came the idea of the tournament. And almost everyone wore purple to raise awareness about mental health.
Now retired JFS principal Tim Lowie said, "He is a model for students, I mean this isn't something a middle school student would do. You see that a lot in high school but he had the forethought to do this." said Lowie.
Lowie, Superintendent Nicole Wolfe, and NYSSBA President Sandra Ruffo presented Jaezelle with a banner and certificate for his efforts.