The 17-year-old is on the cross-country team at the high school and uses running as a form of therapy.By Kym Gable

PETERS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Peters Township High School student is lifting others and giving back as he raises funding and awareness for mental health initiatives.

KDKA’s Kym Gable met Jake Bode and his mother, Suzie, on the Montour Trail in Peters, where Jake enjoys walking and running to boost his mood and give him clarity. The 17-year-old senior is on the cross-country team and uses running as a form of therapy.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“It’s been kind of rough for me and I also know people who’ve gone through that, and it was really important for me to spread that message that it’s OK to struggle and it’s OK to go through it. It’s just super important to reach out and get help,” said Jake.

Jake created the Destination Wellness 5K, a virtual event that raised money for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Nearly 200 people participated, donating nearly $2,000 to the charitable organization.

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His mom couldn’t be more proud.

“Your struggles, your weaknesses become your superpower. It’s going to take you to amazing places to be able to do that and help other people,” Suzie said.

“I’ll definitely be an advocate for this, and I will definitely continue to raise support and awareness for people that are struggling,” said Jake.

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