Community Comes Together To Support Each Other After Loss

Students take action after the passing of Janelle Clarke.


Madilyn Destefano

Madilyn Destefano, Writer

Janelle Clarke, 15-year-old Sophomore and student at Lake Nona High left us on Oct. 3, 2018 after she committed suicide.

“[Janelle] was a vibrant, smart, athletic, and sassy soul. She was loved by many and will forever live in the hearts of those she touched one way or another,” family friend and event coordinator, Dianelis Figueora said .

Students are reacting in many ways, some taking it better than others. Sophomores Lizzie Tapia, Kisha Forester, and Kaitlyn Brown have decided to form a club for suicide prevention.

“I want people to feel like they have a safe place to talk where they won’t be judged, somewhere other than the guidance counselor’s office,” cofounder Kaitlyn Brown said.

To some, she was just someone who happened to go to the same school as them. To others, she was a fellow classmate and a friend.

“I didn’t know her but that doesn’t mean anything. If there was something I could’ve done for her, I would’ve done it,” Sophomore Mackenzie Whalen said.

After the tragic news got out, admin walked through each of her class periods to tell her friends and teachers, it was decided that there would be a memorial held on Oct. 11 in the auditorium.

The memorial consisted of all of Janelle’s close family and friends along with all of her classmates who got to know her this year. There were people who didn’t even know her, but still came to show their support. Janelle’s friends from Hunters Creek, where she used to live, showed up as well. The memorial began with Dianelis Figueora, who welcomed those who came. She then introduced author, Melanie Garcia, who had prepared something to say, and then passed the microphone over to her parents who thanked everyone for coming. It was an emotional night for everyone.

A Go-Fund-Me was created on Oct. 7, by Dianelis Figueroa, where money would be raised to ensure her parents would be able to host a funeral for her. In less than a week and they have almost reached their goal of 10,000 dollars.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255