On Feb. 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook and changed the way the world interacts. Opinions on the social media service may vary based on age, social activity, sex, economic status, and other factors, but often times it is how the medium is used that affects the way that it is perceived.
Six Springfield College students pursuing their Master of Social Work decided to use it for good to raise awareness recently.
Carissa Mierzejewski, Kaylee Zembko, Joanna Fornwalt, Daniella Budnick, Maggie Hentey, and Laure Nylic created an AIDS/HIV awareness page to spread information about a cause that they feel is very important.
Many people may not know that National HIV Testing Day is June 27. The goal of the students’ social action project is to raise awareness about HIV and dissipate fears about getting tested. The page they have created is open to everyone and will be posting information, such as video clips, testing sites and statistics every Wednesday until the end of the semester.
The project is also collaborating with SC’s AmeriCorps program by attending their monthly meetings and raising awareness about the page. On the page itself there are virtual pledges for members to sign stating that they plan to get tested. The joint AmeriCorps meetings have a focus on encouraging people to join the page and sign up to get tested.
“The six of us have either already been tested or are planning to get tested so we can write about our own experiences with the process,” explained Mierzejewski.
The main purpose of the social work project centers around awareness and knowledge of the topic. Mierzejewski explained that the topic of HIV and all that goes with it is somewhat taboo in our society today. The six project members hope that this project can alleviate some of the stigmas that go along with getting tested.
Information on the condition itself and how to go about getting tested are on the page, which currently has 113 committed attendees.
To join or learn more, visit their Facebook page.