Comstock Park Public Schools: Shelby Rogalski

Comstock Park Public Schools: Shelby Rogalski

Our recipient shared with us her struggles with mental health and appropriately titled her essay “The Day I Asked for Help”. In 2021, she was quarantined with COVID and felt like nothing was going right. Once back in school, she felt her seasonal depression coming back. She lost the ability to care about anything. She wrote, “I had piles of schoolwork that were miles high yet was not motivated to even read the directions. I didn’t care about what I was wearing, because I would go right back to bed as soon as I got home. I was never on my phone unless I was selecting a playlist best fit for my mood before I took my daily 5-hour nap.”

She shared her experiences with being on medication and how that made her feel, or ultimately not feel much of anything writing “I felt like the medications were turning me into some type of zombie-like machine just so I would be able to wake up in the morning.”

Then one night, it had all been too much for her to handle. She felt like she had no other options, and she made an impulse decision. Ultimately as soon as she realized what she had done, she knew how bad it was and she needed help immediately. It was 3 in the morning and ran to her parents’ room screaming. She was crying so hard she could barely get a word out, let alone take a breath. This was the first time she had genuinely asked for help.

She ended her essay with this, “It has been just around 2 years since then, and I feel more alive and aware than ever. I get help when I need it. I’m aware of my support system, and I’m overwhelmed with the love around me. I’m proud to say that I’m aware of the bad days, and that I have methods to keep myself going and motivated each day.”

According to the University of Michigan Medicine, 1 in 7 children and teens have at least 1 treatable mental health disorder including depression or anxiety, yet half of these do not end up getting treatment.

We are proud of her for opening up about her journey and allowing us to share it with all of you.

Each year, we select one student as our Student of the Year, this is never an easy choice as so many students have had to overcome difficult obstacles. However, this year, reading this story or perseverance, we knew it was the one. This year we have selected Shelby as our Student of The Year and she will be receiving a $5000 scholarship. Congratulations!