West Islip teenager Brooke DiPalmer develops P.S. I Love You Day to combat suicide, depression
A West Islip teenager is spreading a message of tolerance and love this Valentine's Day in tribute to her late father.
The last words Brooke DiPalmer shared with her father before he committed suicide in 2010 were "I love you."
Following her tragedy, she made a YouTube video to spread awareness about suicide, depression and bullying. She also started P.S. I Love You Day at West Islip High School - a day where students wear purple and share messages of love with one another. This is the fourth year of P.S. I Love You Day - celebrated the second Friday in February.
"When you share the words 'P.S. I love you' or just a simple kind message, it completely turns a person's life around," says DiPalmer.
DiPalmer's message has spread to other Long Island schools and across the country, including Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming.
Farmingdale High School senior Molly Retinger describes herself as a suicide survivor and was inspired to bring P.S. I Love You Day to her school.
"I saw her YouTube video and I was like, 'I can do this, I can make a difference,'" says Retinger.
DiPalmer hopes to continue growing P.S. I Love You Day when she heads to college next year.
"To be able to come to a new campus and have an ambition and share it with my fellow freshman ... I cannot wait to show them," she says. "I can't wait for it to succeed and save so many more lives."