James River students seek to raise awareness of teen suicide

by Ellie Mast and Aaliyah Adkins, Co-Creators of River Jam
Seniors in the Leadership and International Relations Center at JRHS

River Jam Details
Where: In the James River High School senior parking lot
When: Saturday, March 10th, 2018 from 1pm-4pm

As part of our Leadership and International Relations Center curriculum, we were tasked with creating a 60-hour service project that embodies the four cornerstones of leadership: perspectives, communications, ethics, and service. We spent countless hours thinking of what kind of event we should create that would benefit a charity that inspired us. After seeing the devastating toll of mental illnesses in our community, we knew it was time for change.

We created River Jam, a charity music and arts festival, benefitting the Cameron K. Gallagher foundation, that is aimed at starting a conversation about mental health issues in the Chesterfield County community.

More than 3,400 high schoolers attempt suicide every day in America. Our community suffers from this problem; eight students have made an attempt on their lives in the last year alone. River Jam’s beneficiary, the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation, is an active member in our community that builds programs for teenage sufferers of mental illness and provides resources for suicide prevention.

Inspired by CKG’s activism and “Speak Up” mentality, we applied their principles of transparency, optimism, and faith to create an event where all feel free to be their truest selves and de-stigmatize mental illness. River Jam’s mission is to provide a family-friendly environment that fosters connectivity, raise awareness of harmful mental health stigmas, and promote helpful coping mechanisms.

River Jam will be a dynamic event that hosts bands, offer food and games:

  • Bands: 5 Second Rule, School of Rock, The Marquis, and Line In
  • Food:  Cheezilla, Bikini Panini, and Boardwalk
  • Carnival games: Sponsored by James River High School’s clubs

The event will also have informational booths run by the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation and Beacon Tree Foundation that will offer supportive resources and information about mental illnesses.

Thank you

We would like to thank our sponsors and our community for helping us to put on this event and raise awareness for this worthy cause.

For more information, you can visit our website:  and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and our GoFundMe @riverjam2018. We hope to see you on March 10th!

Someone out there is struggling to find their rhythm; Be the beat.

To support River Jam and get tickets click on this link.  The even is nothing without your support and attendance.

river jam

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

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