On Wednesday, Nov. 4 Hines visited East, along with other SMSD schools to tell his story of survival, and help kids understand the seriousness of suicide.
“All I wanted someone to say to me was, ‘Are you ok?’ Hines said.
Standing in the middle of the gym one Wednesday morning during seminar, he told about his miraculous survival after jumping 245 ft. and landing in the icy San Francisco bay. Gasping for air, his lungs felt like balloons leaking air, but something held him up. Hines later discovered that a sea lion was beneath him, which he believes is the reason he lives today.
Hines concluded the assembly with opening up the floor to anyone who wanted to come share their struggles in life or things they have overcome. Eyes
widened as a number of kids raised their hands.
Three students stood up and shared their stories in front of the whole school.
Freshman Ray Matson was the first student to speak. She felt she needed to share her struggles and challenges she was facing. By doing this, she thought it was give others courage to share their stories.
“I put my hand up and he instantly looked at me,” Matson said. “I have no clue how I had the courage to do that.”
She stood in the middle of the gym with six bleachers full of students and teachers listening to her. Her eyes glossed over as she looked at the crowd. She shared her story of neglect, and feeling invisible to her whole world.
“I had everything set up to hang myself.” Matson said.“I put clothes together and hung them from my ceiling fan.”
What stopped her was the voice in her head saying that she was better than that and people truly loved and cared for her – which was what Kevin Hines’ message was all about.
Sophomore Alya Roberts walked down from the sophomore section and told of her struggles with her mom being in an abusive relationship and trying to balance everything going on in her life.
“I used to cut myself to the point where it would be really deep,” Roberts said.“ When I woke up after passing out I was disappointed in myself because it didn’t work, and then I thought some more about it and it made me realize a lot.”
The last person to come and speak was sophomore Jon Meade. He told of how he moved schools because of bullying, and he continued to get bullied at the schools he moved to. He just wanted to say a simple thank you to the people that had helped him along the way.
“I think Kevin coming helped a lot for me because it let other people know what was going, and I had the chance to tell my friends who cared for me thank you,” Meade said.
Hine’s wanted students and staff to know that no matter what you are going through someone cares, and you will find a way to overcome your tough situations. Each of the students who spoke all related to Kevin’s message all found the courage to share their stories with others.