Love Yourself, Find Yourself

Providing the community with educational insight of mental health, rather than letting the negatives be the representation of mental health.

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Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

July 10&22, 2005

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Christine Evans 20B Crossman Avenue Gold Lee 58 Lorchris Street Leominster MA, 01453

Date You Started Your Project Started

December 13, 2018

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The problem that our venture is trying to solve, is the stigma around mental health and mental illnesses. Mental illnesses have been around for quite a while, yet, many chose to stay quiet because it was a very taboo topic. Those who came out with a mental illness was pushed away and seen as a monster. Solving this issue matters because it could help many and bring others together, to enjoy each other's differences.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our team plans to solve this problem, by encouraging the youth to learn about mental illnesses and the symptoms involving it. The next following year of high school, my group hopes to bring guest speakers to our middle and high schools, to talk about mental health. Also, my group and LEAD, a non-profit mental health organization, is bringing a mental health curriculum to our middle schools. Lastly, we also hope to fund raise and donate to other organizations.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

 Maria Milagros is our biggest inspiration because she inspired us to write our stories and tell them to others. She was a guest speaker at our annual 2018 Fall Kick-Off. She grew up in a poor area and lived a tough life. Her will to fight and her confidence inspired us to do something big. Mental health has become something so big in society, and many of our friends dealt with mental illnesses. We wanted the world to know that mental illness is not bad and we shouldn't push it away. Many people every day are killing and harming themselves and it has become a silent epidemic.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

During our Spring Showcase event, many people had walked up to us, intrigued by our idea. People would tell us stories about their kids and their friends, dealing with mental illnesses, and how tough it could be. Not only that, but the elders who walked up to us talked about how bad mental illness is in nursing homes. It was such a bittersweet moment to hear the stories of others, but it was amazing how close we brought people together.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Our team is different than most projects because we all have dealt with mental illnesses and struggled. Although I know that many groups have this, I believe our mental illnesses brings us closer together. Also, we all started based on the idea of trying to save everyone and make every happy, which was not the way to go. All of our differences are quite similar to others.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We haven't made quite a difference yet, but many people have walked up to us telling us how grateful they are. They were so glad that someone was willing to talk about a taboo topic. Also, teachers who heard our stories have come up to us, telling their stories and experiences. It brought smiles to our faces, knowing that we had somebody listening to us.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Soon, our group is partnering with LEAD, a non-profit mental health organization, to bring a mental health curriculum to our middle schools. Also, we hope to fund raise and create events for people to follow. Hopefully, in the next couples years, we could figure out a kid-friendly way to teach little kids about mental health.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Writing/Editing

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • LGBTQ community
  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others
  • Email

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Jacob Vanhillo

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