Early yesterday, a member of my high school’s senior class was reported missing. The class valedictorian, he is one of the kindest and most…

Early yesterday, a member of my high school’s senior class was reported missing. The class valedictorian, he is one of the kindest and most intelligent people I’ve ever met, and I’m sure many of my other peers would agree as well. We were all really worried about him and took steps to help find him (posting fliers, informing people around the area, etc.), though it didn’t seem to be enough to help. When someone who is loved suddenly vanishes from your life, you can’t help but think (even occasionally) that more should be done, that you should be more proactive (even if there is nothing more you can do). Fortunately, by the end of the day, he was found safe. At the time of this writing, I’m not really aware of what the details are pertinent to his disappearance, but I’m just really glad he’s safe.   This really hit close to home because as a volunteer for the National Runaway Switchboard, I’ve tried helping callers whose loved ones have gone missing. It is always difficult for friends and family of those who have gone missing to bear with such a situation. Always the worries about the safety of the missing person, their well-being, and their whereabouts arise in times like this. If you are in this type of situation or have been in such, I just want to say that no matter how dire the circumstances may seem, always hold out hope. It’s amazing how much people can unite in a time like this, and I’m really proud of how willing people were to help in our classmate’s search. I’m shaken by what happened, and simultaneously relieved.   -Allyson