Sep 11, 2013 11:36 AM by Steven Albritton

Teenager Raises Money In Memory Of A Friend and Suicide Awareness

One Iota High School teenager is doing her part to make sure a classmate is not forgotten. Two months ago, 14-year-old Taylor Braquet took his own life. He was going into his freshman year at Iota High School.

Mikaela Decuir was a close friend of Braquet, and now she is doing everything she can to not only remember him, but hopefully keep others from following a similar path. She says knew she had to do something in his honor especially when tragedy hit her family in a similar way.

"Two years ago, my grandfather did it (committed suicide) and nobody was there for me to help me and raise money for my grandfather. So, whenever it happened to my best friend I figured that I would do it for him and his family," Decuir said.

She set out to raise money and designed shirts in his honor. On Tuesday, she was able to give $1,000 to the Jacob Crouch Foundation. It's a group that works to raise awareness on suicide.

"I hope that I can go to the Jacob Crouch Foundation and help them if they need any help with anything and just help them with anything that they need to remember Taylor," Decuir said.

Braquet's mother says she is thankful for the support her family has received from the community and especially from Mikaela.

"Just to have his memory still here and you see it around town and people wearing his name. It makes me proud and so grateful to her that she did just do that so we can remember him," Megan Fontenot said.

One life is tragically gone, but Taylor's mother hopes many more can be saved in his memory.

"People are afraid to talk about it, I think. They don't understand it. It's just like a no-no. For that reason, there's not enough awareness for kids, especially the young kids, to even know what's going on in their minds and much less to be feeling how they feel and not have an outlet to reach out to and get help," Fontenot said.

The Crouch Foundation and UL Lafayette's Counselor Education Department will be holding grief support groups for adults who have lost a loved one to suicide. Groups will meet every other Tuesday from 5:30 - 6:45 p.m. at the Picard Center, 200 E Devalcourt St. Lafayette, LA 70506. There is no cost to attend.



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