By Shelby Webb,
SARASOTA – When Sam Schimek was a freshman, a classmate attempted suicide at Pine View.
Schimek, now a 17-year-old Pine View senior, said everyone on campus was in shock. He noticed his classmates were expressing their grief and shock on Facebook.
There were long-winded statuses about mental health. There were page-long comment threads that discussed the social environment at Pine View. There were lots of likes for well worded comments.
That gave a Schimek an idea.
“It was great that kids wanted to talk about this, but they needed a better place,” Schimek said.
For the past four years Schimek has developed the Face-to-Face Foundation, a group that encourages students to have open dialogues about issues they encounter every day.
The Sarasota Community Foundation helped Schimek, who once interned at the nonprofit, set up the organization.
Face-to-Face will host its first countywide event at 5:30 p.m. at the Selby Public Library in downtown Sarasota. Community Youth Development will help sponsor the event.
The Face-to-Face forums already have spread across the county.