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'Before I Die...' project inspires Chico State campus

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Sep 10 2013 11:55:24 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 10 2013 11:58:26 PM CDT
'Before I Die...' project inspires Chico State campus

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week and a Chico State group is doing something a little different to help people think about what they have to look forward to in life.

It's called the "Before I Die" project and it's having quite an impact on students and really anyone passing by.

In front of the Student Services Building there's a six foot tall, four sided, makeshift chalk board asking people to think hard about exactly what they want to do before they die.

The chalkboard is covered with the words "Before I die..." with each followed by a blank line upon which anyone can write an important life goal.

The "Before I Die" project has been done hundreds of times in the cities around the world.

UMatter, a new campus organization, erected the wall as their contribution to awareness of National Suicide Prevention Week.

"It's awesome, we've gotten a huge response," says wellness outreach coordinator Sadie Lebriere. "We weren't sure if we were going to have to erase it every day or if people could just add on, and the first day we were like, 'We have to erase it, it's so big.'"

It's a simple idea, think about your biggest dream and then write it down--a sort of bucket list for everyone to see.

Labriere has been impressed by how genuine people have been with their responses.

"I come out here and almost every time I'm like, 'Oh my god, i'm going to cry,'" she says. "It's so good. It's just a lot of very honest feedback about, you know, 'I want to be a good parent. I want to be a good person. I want to help other people.' A lot of 'I want to help other people,' and that's been wonderful to see."

The goals written on the board span the spectrum of life and the meaning derived from reading the board is just as diverse.

"It helps you realize the potential in life and how you can live life to the fullest," says Chico State senior Kelsey Ellis. "And there's so many cool things that you can do with your life. I feel like most of these are achievable."

Sophomore Mackenzie Johnson thinks the wall could be very inspiring for people struggling with life.

"You might be going through a really hard time right now but you could have so much great stuff like this in front of you," Johnson says.

The wall will be up through the end of the week.

Each night it is erased and started anew the next day.

More than 250 "Before I Die" walls have been erected around the world. Click here for a look at some of the others.