By Paula Ebben


BOSTON (CBS) — Students in Danvers are holding up a mirror to their peers with a simple message: you matter. They’ve taken more than 1000 pictures of students, teachers and staff. Their goal? To help others.

The Why You Matter project has turned into a beautiful display in the halls of the high school.

Why You Matter display in Danvers High School. (WBZ)

“I said, I matter because I have more to accomplish in life,” says Calvin Mansfield, a Danvers High School student.

“I care about others,” adds Julia Ryan.

Ezra Lombardi says, “I’m the only me in the world.”

Just three of more than 1000 messages Danvers High School students and teachers wrote, and they want everyone to see them.

“We wanted to uplift everyone and show some positive words of encouragement,” explains Skaina Pierre, one of the student organizers.

The project was spearheaded by students from three school clubs: Danvers Cares, Students Against Destructive Decisions and Students United for Acceptance.

“I think high school students as a whole kind of have a lack of self confidence, and working to build that up through large photo/voice projects like this will really help that,” says student Clea Mat.

“It’s just a really empowering thing to show everyone that we do care and other people care about them,” adds Vanessa Ellis.

Why You Matter photo display. (WBZ)

The photos and the important messages greeted students when they arrived Thursday, and held their attention as they traveled the halls.

“It was really cool. It kind of brought up the school. Everybody was talking about it,” says Calvin Mansfield.

“I think it gives an insight of everyone being a part of something,” adds Julia Ryan.

And it lets young people know they are not alone. “I hope each student feels connected to other students at Danvers High that they might not talk to but say, oh, that’s why I matter, look, why don’t we start a conversation,” explains Clea Matt.

“I hope they feel inspired. I hope they feel encouraged and loved,” adds Skaina Pierre.

“People need to be reminded that they do matter in this world,” says Vanessa Ellis.

The photos and the heartfelt messages will be on display at Danvers High for the rest of the school year.

Paula Ebben

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