In loving memory

By Megan Maughan
Executive Features Editor
On Jan. 6, Prospect suffered the loss of sophomore Steven Taylor to suicide.  In an effort to keep his memory alive and help other students who may be dealing with feelings of depression and anxiety, Steven’s family has set up a Steven P. Memorial Fund at First Midwest Bank.
Steven’s mother, Alison Taylor, said that though the family hasn’t decided exactly which organizations they will donate the money to, their main goal is to “reach out to students in their greatest moments of pain.”
0taylorTaylor feels that one reason teenagers may feel they are in a hopeless situation is because of the immense pressures of schoolwork and grades.
“School and grade, they are important, but they’re not the most important thing,” Taylor said. “I wish that Steven hadn’t gotten so upset about that.”
She said that programs like LINK that have upperclassmen reaching out to incoming freshmen can really help curb many student’s fears of being in high school, because for some people, the change can be very overwhelming.
“It shouldn’t be so scary,” Taylor said. “It shouldn’t be so bad.”
Taylor thinks that the only way to prevent suicide in teenagers is for “more awareness in general” and more open communication about the topic within families.
“Don’t be afraid to ask them if they’re thinking about it,” Taylor said. “It’s hard to bring up, but you just never want [suicide] to become an option.”
Senior Colleen Melone found out about Steven’s death while on a Theater Fest field trip.  After asking her mom to look up Steven’s name, she realized that Steven’s older brother, Simon, was friend’s with her own brother, Michael, who committed suicide in October of this year.
“I used to joke that the way I could tell [Steven and  his twin brother Peter] apart was that Steven was the one that would wave back to me in the hallways,” Melone said. “I just felt so upset and angry and was just like, ‘How could this all happen?  I just lost my brother; I can’t lose anyone else.'”
Taylor also said that they may plant a tree in Steven’s name, because they wanted “something that recognizes that there’s more to life than school and that Steven really loved the outdoors.”
“He was a strong, healthy boy, and he had a lot of options of what he could have been, but he can’t be any of those now,” Taylor said. “He realized that people would be upset, but I don’t know what made him make that final decision.
“Suicide shouldn’t have been the only thing left that he had to do.”