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MLaw Students Featured in Google's "It Gets Better" Ad

May 4, 2011
Contact: John Masson, 734.647.7352, jpmasson@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Four Michigan Law students are featured in the new Google-produced "It Gets Better" commercial, which debuted during this week's episode of FOX's hit high school musical dramedy Glee.

The It Gets Better Project was created in September 2010 by author and columnist Dan Savage, in the wake of several suicides around the country of youth who were bullied over their sexuality. Savage and his partner, recognizing that some LGBT youth have trouble imagining what life will be like as adults, taped a simple message to help remind them that even though life can be difficult, it gets better with age.

A movement was born.

People from all over the world—including, last October, students from Michigan Law—posted more than 10,000 supportive videos to YouTube as part of the project. Images from the law students' video were selected to become part of the commercial created by Google and first aired during the May 3 episode of Glee.

Michigan Law students Daniella Schmidt, Kaitlin Jackson, Kylee Sunderlin, and Sarah Palmer all appear in Google's ad, which is available here. The full-length MLaw video was shot by David Gutt and edited by Michael Wagner. Adrian Ohmer, a first-year student, organized the project. But the ad isn't the only work being done by the It Gets Better Project. In March, the book It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living hit bookstores around the country. An It Gets Better website also is up and running. And more information and the full-length video shot by MLaw students is available on the Michigan Law Outlaws website.

"I was really stunned when, back in early November, I was sent a link to the finished video by a 1L who I might have guessed would have been busily angsting about outlines and case briefs," said Michigan Law's Assistant Dean for Admissions, Sarah Zearfoss. "The inspiration that led such a large group, from across every class year of the student body, to work together in order to quickly produce something so beautiful and powerful has, in turn, been inspiring to me. It gave me yet one more reason to think, 'I love our students.' "

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