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Life Lessons: Aevidum-The fatal truth

Published On: Jun 04 2013 05:31:56 AM EDT   Updated On: Jun 04 2013 07:28:31 AM EDT

Life lessons fatal truth

Teenagers face a host of challenges as they navigate through the high school years.

Now, there's a new movement using social media aimed at helping teenagers feel better about themselves and their world.

It's an initiative that began after the suicide of a high school boy. Parents, teachers and kids are using a new word and the internet to try to prevent someone else from making that awful decision.


They call the movement "Aevidum."

You've probably never heard this word before. And you won't find it in any dictionary. That's because aevidum was created by students at Cocalico High School in Lancaster, Pa.

Senior Ben Porter says, "It means I've got your back. It's basically saying I'm looking out for you, I'm there for you."

One aspiring teacher and a former student at the school hope this word will save lives.

Penn State student Maggie Cardin's own personal tragedy inspired it.

"My brother, Philip, was an athlete. When he was 15, he took his life and it was devastating for our whole family," Maggie says.

Joe Vulopas was Philip's last teacher. Joe is now executive director of Aevidum. He remembers the last time he spoke to Philip.

"Philip, what are you going to do this weekend, and he looked at me and he gave me that response that most teens will say if a teacher asks them, 'I don't know Mr. Vulopas.'"

The group is now spreading the word throughout schools in Pennsylvania, helping teens through depression and thoughts of suicide.

The Centers for Disease Control reports suicide is on the rise in teenagers. Studies show one in six high schoolers has seriously contemplated suicide.

One in twelve has tried to take their own life. The goal of aevidum is to educate kids and their teachers.

Forty schools in Pennsylvania have already signed up to be part of the movement.

They hope to get the message across through video, t-shirts, even songs produced by students themselves.

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