Cooler than bullying: North Hills graduate returns to high school to assist students

One North Hills graduate returned to her school for the first time since graduating to help students dealing with mental health illnesses and bullying.

“All of these other memories of things that I haven’t thought about in 16 years have been popping back in my mind,” said Jordan Corcoran.

Jordan Corcoran walked the halls of North Hills Senior High School more than 15 years ago living with undiagnosed mental health illnesses and bullying.

“I went from being a super outgoing, happy-go-lucky teenager to confrontational, aggressive, angry and sad,” said Corcoran.

In front of current North Hills middle and high school students, Corcoran shared her personal struggles, but she started by breaking the stigma.

“Stigma causes shame,” said Corcoran. “It causes isolation. It causes people to keep things inside and to not seek the help that they deserve.”

Being back, Corcoran says she see the progress.

“They have a chill room,” said Corcoran. “They have substance abuse counselors. They have so many more resources.”

And she hopes she’s adding to that growing list of resources.

“I can always see who I am speaking directly to,” said Corcoran.  “It breaks my heart, but it also gives me comfort knowing they’re feeling seen in that moment and that I have quite literally become who I needed when I was their age.”

“This is a person who has walked these halls before,” said North Hills Senior High School counselor Dr. David Barkovich. “Who has been in their shoes. Who can say they were here and to see them now prospering, getting a message out and saying that there is hope. There is help. This is an incredible opportunity for students at North Hills High School.”

Corcoran also shared her triumphs. Nearly 10 years ago, she created a mental health organization called, “Listen, Lucy.”

“Lucy is a nickname that my mom gave me when I was little,” said Corcoran. “I want kids to see that it does get better that life goes on outside of high school. Outside of your time here. And not only can you endure and overcome your obstacles, but you can thrive.”

Corcoran married her high school sweetheart. They still live in the Pittsburgh area with their two kids.

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