Students participate in “Love Yourself, Love Others” project

Published 1:00 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

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Polk County Schools students and staff participated in the “Love Yourself, Love Others” project during February and early March. Tanisha Akinloye, a former Polk County student who is now the Founder/CEO of Empowering Through Beauty, created and funded this project.  

“Having been a former student in Polk County middle and high schools, I desired for the ‘Love Yourself, Love Others’ project to specifically cater to these students,” said Akinloye. “I remember struggling with self-love and understanding how to show love to others during my time in those schools. However, through my life’s work, I realized that love can enhance the beauty of life for everyone.”

Students and staff have added positive messages to the “Love Cans,” which will be dispersed throughout the county to encourage others. School counselors and social workers will receive cans filled with uplifting messages to share with students and staff who may need a ray of hope on difficult days. The remaining messages, notes and drawings created by Polk County students and staff will be shared with Steps to Hope, Thermal Belt Outreach, Meals on Wheels and Veterans Affairs as a way to spread love and kindness throughout the county. 

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Grant funding from Polk County Community Foundation allowed school counselors and social workers to meet with community leaders, such as Tanisha Akinloye, and plan special activities like this one to support students’ mental well-being.  


Submitted by Ronnette Dill