Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Khari Bowman (Overton High School)
If you’ve logged on to any social media website during the past few weeks, your newsfeed has probably been “flooded” with videos of people undertaking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. This challenge recently went viral throughout the United States, with people nominating others to face the ice bucket within 24 hours.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. According to the ALS Association, ALS strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70 and as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. The ice bucket challenge was created to generate awareness of the disease and to help raise money to find a cure.
Participants of the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” are asked to record themselves dumping a bucket of ice over their head. They must also nominate another person to complete the challenge. If the person nominated does not accept and complete their challenge within 24 hours, it is recommended that they donate money to the ALS Association in an effort to help fund research to find a cure for the disease.
The New York Times estimated that Facebook users shared more than 1.2 million videos of themselves doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Instagram had even more with 3.7 million videos uploaded with the hashtags #ALSicebucketchallenge and #icebucketchallenge.
Celebrities have also influenced awareness of ALS by participating in the “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Kim Kardashian, Oprah, and LeBron James have gotten in on the action.
Many Memphians have accepted the challenge as well, including Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson.
Destiny Smith, a senior at Overton High, uploaded a video to Instagram of herself participating in the challenge after someone nominated her.
“I knew that participating in the ice bucket challenge would raise awareness,” she said. “It felt good to do something that not only was fun, but was for a great cause.”
Although the Ice Bucket Challenge is mainly for a great cause, many people worry about the amount of water being wasted. Some countries are suffering from drought, while the United States has gone through tons of gallons of water used by participants for the challenge.
Overton High School joined the cause by having the principal, Brett Lawson; the cheer sponsor, Stephanie Jones and the cheer captains, Keinesia Mason, Destiny Smith and Jeremiah Shinault completed the challenge during the football Homecoming Game against White Station High School on Oct. 2.