“Don’t Give Up”

Terrence Talley Brings a Special Message to Herrin


Photography, Mrs. Goetting

Talley demonstrated the importance of understanding and compassion for the students sand staff of Herrin High.

Article, Jakob Milani, Writer

Mental illness is on the raise in the United States, and it can take a big toll on a person’s life. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, Approximately 24.1 percent of teens aged thirteen to eighteen experience a severe mental disorder at some point in their life. That is a surprisingly high number, and many times, it goes unnoticed. With this statistic in mind, Milwaukee, Wisconsin native Terrence Talley came to speak at Herrin High School and Middle School.


Terrence travels all around the country, speaking to schools about mental illness, and how to deal with them. He told many stories about his personal life and about students that he has talked to in the past. He told the students of Herrin High School a few stories about his brother. His first story was how he was able to beat him in a race because he “never gave up on the race.” The second story was darker, though. Terrence explained that his brother had dropped out of school to care for his family, and eventually went into the military. But when his brother returned home, he suffered from PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And after months of dealing with this, his brother took his own life.


Talking about the assembly, junior Austin Kerley was a little emotional. “It was definitely a really great message and something people should hear. It’s very important for people to know that you will get through these things and that you will see the light on the other side and get through it all. Hearing all the things Terrence has gone through, it’s definitely an inspiring story. Spreading that message through his personal experience is just a great thing.” Austin also had some great ideas on spreading this message. “Just try to spread the positivity, help people not feel so down about their problems, encourage people to get through it all.”


Terrence tries to spread positivity to everyone he meets, using not only his own personal stories, but also students stories, to explain the situation. One of his greatest tactics to help the students and faculty of the school was what he called the “Dad Hug,” a hug that means something to you or the person giving it to you, showing that they love you just the way you are. He asked all of the students to get up, and give all of the faculty members a hug. Students and faculty members both could be seen with tears in their eyes. It was a very magical moment for the school. Not only did the students give the faculty members a hug, but many went up to Terrence to receive the famous “Dad Hug,” and to tell their stories. We at Herrin High School thank Terrence Talley for spreading the message of caring for others and sharing positivity to our school.