Share Your Story
Your testimony, Someone Else's Breakthrough
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
Instagram: @thebrycemooreofficial, @mentalbootcamp4u
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Start-Up (first few activities have happened)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
When I was younger, I was severely bullied. From the way that I walked to the way that I talked, so many kids bullied me because I didn’t come off in the way that society expects a boy to act. I wouldn’t ever say anything back to kids when they bullied me. Over the years as I grew up, the bullying continued. One negative comment would make me feel so bad that it would affect my entire day. I soon fell into a depression by the time I reached middle school. It lasted for a good while, but I was thankfully able to overcome it by the time I reached high school. I’ve been a writer for many years. Recently, I’ve begun to really reflect on the theme of “Writing with a Purpose,” this notion of going beyond stereotypical writing about love, heartbreak, and finding yourself, and focus more on writing that speaks to everyday struggles and real-life events. From that, Share Your Story was born. The
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
There are so many millions of people in this world who go through unimaginable pain, struggles, and obstacles. From the outside, we would never realize it. And often times, knowingly and unknowingly, we rush to make judgments that can be extremely detrimental. With this project, people are telling their struggles with things like depression, anxiety, parents’ divorce, domestic abuse, death, etc and using it as a testimony to help other people.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
The goal behind Share Your Story is to help other people reveal their secret struggles in order help other people struggling with a similar thing and help the world to understand the people behind the mask. Our goal is to use people’s story and turn it into art-poetry. We are taking something painful and hidden (a person’s story about a silent struggle) and using it to inspire others. This helps an untold amount of people. It helps the person telling the story because it is often times the first opportunity that they really have to share their story with the public. They will often find it very therapeutic. This also helps others struggling with a similar struggle. Finally, this helps an untold amount of people realize the struggles that they didn’t even know that others around them go through.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
A person decides that they would like to share their story so they either DM us on Instagram (currently, we are working on creating an Instagram for the project) or send it via the anonymous website Sarahah (sarahah.com). Once we receive a story, we come together to review it, do research if necessary, and then begin writing it. This process could take anywhere from 1-3 weeks as we are dedicated to telling someone’s story as accurately and as artfully as we can. Once we are satisfied, we inform the writer (if it isn’t anonymous) and ask their permission to tag them. Then, we post it, inviting others to comment on our page with similar testimonies and comment on their feelings. Over the course of a week, we film ourselves doing the poem as spoken word and then post it on our Youtube page (which we plan to create.) Then, the person can feel free to share the video on their social media.
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Share Your Story is unique because it not only inspires others reading the story, but it empowers the storyteller to feel confident to go out in the world and tell their story without fear of judgment or condemnation. It’s helping others to realize the value in their story. And that through their testimony lies someone else’s breakthrough. It’s something that you can’t get by simply listening to a video or watching TV. We have had so many people say that it is like therapy telling their story. This project is also unique because it isn’t confined to a city, state, or region.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
Our project is definitely in the early stages. So far, we have had about 10 people reach out to us, with interest in our project which we are pleased with as we just began this project not even a week ago. We have had such great feedback though. Everyone who reaches out to us just loves the mission and the goal of our project. We have yet to receive any negative feedback from it, actually. Everyone's favorite part of this project is that it is uncovering the secret struggles that everyday people go through, things like depression, anxiety, death, bullying, discrimination, etc, and begins a conversation. That is exactly what we want to happen.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
We certainly have some big plans coming up. Our goal is to build and then expand. We want to create our own Instagram & Facebook pages. Then, we want to create our own website where people can learn more about the project, donate, and learn more about our project. We also want to partner with other writers online so that they could spread the word on their pages and so that we can recruit other writers to join our cause too. We plan to also expand to Youtube as well. It would be great to be able to partner with some Youtube stars to help build our brand.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
We definitely need more support and relish in the opportunity to receive training at the ChangeMakers lab. Our goal is to make this project go viral so that we can reach thousands of people. Currently, we are a two-person team but would love to expand to up to 10 writers. We would also love for Youtubers/Instagram pages to shout us out. It would be fantastic to even get advice or receive some type of training on how to make/edit videos on YouTube, as we are both not as experienced. A website is definitely is must-have along with a web designer who can design the page and our logo. Also, it would be amazing if we could purchase a high tech video camera or two so that we can record these videos.
9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
We are certainly open to learning other approaches to connecting with other changemakers. Currently, our plan is to recruit 8 other writers who are interested in telling other people's stories. Partnerships are also a great way for us to connect with other changemakers who want to help in the same way.
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
Communities of color
How did you hear about this challenge?
Recommended by others
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?
My friend who is a member of my team tagged me in a social media post on Instagram.