The voice of the student body

The Dial

The voice of the student body

The Dial

The voice of the student body

The Dial

Club Spotlight: Morgan’s Message

Credit: Alex Schiller
Hackley Girls Varsity Soccer and Field Hockey teams alongside Poly Prep Girls Varsity Soccer team after coming together to learn about Morgan’s Message at a soccer game on Pickert Field.

Morgan Rodgers died by suicide in July of 2019 after struggling, both mentally and physically, through a devastating knee injury that happened before her sophomore lacrosse season at Duke University. Morgan’s family is working to use the tragedy of her death to try to prevent anyone else, including Hackley athletes, from suffering that way through “Morgan’s Message”.

Morgan’s Message is a non-profit organization which spreads awareness and normalizes conversations about mental health in athletics. It was founded in honor of Morgan by her mother, Dona Rodgers, and her twin sister, Aberle Rodgers Bridges.

The organization’s mission is to emphasize the importance of discussions about mental health so that no one suffers alone. There are thousands of Morgan’s Message ambassadors across the country, including students who bring the club to their schools in order to increase conversations about mental health in their own communities.

Senior Alex Schiller brought Morgan’s Message to Hackley last year hoping to educate others about the mental health of student-athletes. The club has been backed by a large number of Hackley student-athletes who have realized the significance of their own mental health and want to spread awareness to their fellow students.

Alex is a key member of the Hackley girls’ varsity soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams and understands firsthand that many athletes undergo feelings of self-doubt and high stress. Her experiences playing those sports made her feel a club like this would be very beneficial.

“I’ve struggled with mental health through sports and I felt like I was struggling to release my anxiety at sports, which is usually a place where I do, and I didn’t want others to struggle alone,” she said.

The club plans to host more games dedicated to the cause where both teams represent Morgan’s Message and members of the club talk about the organization’s mission. The club aims for student-athletes of various teams to join so they can spread Morgan’s Message throughout the Hackley community. Last year, the club hosted a dedication game for both Varsity Girls Soccer and Lacrosse teams.

“In addition to doing what it’s set out to do, in terms of calling awareness, I think it also brings people together,” said Upper School English Teacher, Jenny Leffler. As both the Varsity Field Hockey and Girls Lacrosse head coach, Ms. Leffler believes it is important to foster a community that is sensitive to the struggles of mental health and to spread awareness, especially in the sporting world.

“I joined Morgan’s Message as someone who’s struggled with mental health and thinks one of the best ways to help students is through awareness and advocacy,” said senior Edele Brennan. “As a student-athlete I was excited to be a part of Morgan’s Message and help spread Morgan’s story.”

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