Fourteen Reasons Why NOT

Two teenagers helping others-one shirt at a time.

Photo of Haley Miller
57 46

Written by

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

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

April 2004

Where are you located:

Grand Rapids MI, 49504 We are going to be starting locally but want to reach others nationally.

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Our website and social media's are still a work in progress. 14whynot.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/fourteenwhynot Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/14.Why.NOT/?hl=en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/14-Reasons-Why-NOT-921603681379159/?modal=admin_todo_tour Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnd32GH3xi4LywclEG15iZA?view_as=subscriber

Date Started

This idea originally sparked last year, when I, (Haley Miller), was in 7th grade. However, I was unsure what to do next and therefore the shirt was pushed to the side. That was until this year; I was talking with one of my teachers about this project and decided to "relaunch" this idea with assistance from him. I also partnered with one of my close friends, Annika Jaros to help me with the idea.

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. 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..."

In my (Haley Miller) 7th grade year, I had noticed in my school that after the release of the show "Thirteen Reasons Why" that jokes revolving suicide had increased. My class had been working on human rights, I was given the right to life. We decided to take the approach of increasing suicide awareness and that is when the shirt was originally thought of. I then partnered with Annika Jaros to continue this project in our 8th grade year. We are stepping up to make change because if we don't, who will?

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

We want to help raise awareness for and support those struggling with mental illness. After the release of ¨Thirteen Reasons Why¨, we were inspired to research suicide statistics and found that there was a spike in suicide-related deaths and searches. This topic matters because suicide tends to be a topic that is shamed & left in the dark. However, this NEEDS to be discussed and brought to people's attention. Nobody should go through this alone.

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

Step 1: We have started trialing and working with squarespace and godaddy to create an interactive website for those interested in the topic. This will also provide a place for those seeking help and wanting to purchase the shirt. The interactive part of the website will be a place where people are able to add their reasons why NOT. Step 2: We have designed a t-shirt explaining our fourteen reasons why NOT, with the question, "What's Yours?" on the bottom along with the website for people to include their reason. We are hoping this will start conversation and more attention will be brought to this topic. Step 3: We have also partnered with the Be Nice foundation. They are an organization that focuses on educating the public about mental illness. When we begin to sell our shirts, all our profits will go to them and their research. SHIRTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE!!!

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

After school one day, we were scrolling through Instagram and came across a wonderful girl named Haley. We went through her account and noticed she had seemed to be struggling with issues similar to those we are trying to help with and have people become more aware of . We decided to reach out to her to let her know that there is always help and it will all turn out alright. We started talking and she explained her story; the self-harm, self-blame, family issues, and unfortunately suicide attempts. That is when we thought about the shirt. We decided to explain our project to her and ask her for feedback. Since our first run of shirts were just recently printed, we plan on sending one of them to her in hopes that it will help.

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

Suicide Awareness is not a highly discussed topic and when it is discussed, people are often afraid and unaware of how to discuss it. That is why our shirt will help. Instead of talking about the negative, we are bringing in the positive by explaining reasons why NOT. Our shirt is also inspired by a Netflix Series and book, which we are hoping will allow for teens to better connect with the shirt and be inspired to keep fighting.

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

We have showed this entry, the shirt, and our initial idea to people and they are already want to buy one. We recently printed our first round of shirts and have given them out to those who have helped us with this process. Once we start selling them, we plan on tracking our successful if shirts are bought and if the website is used.

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

Step 1: We need to register to become a business. Step 2: We need to create an order form for our school, and possibly other schools and people who locally want to buy the shirt. Step 3 : We need to start up the website and online store. Step 4: File for copyright and LLC

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

We are in need of capitol to get our project off the ground. We also need support in starting the business/non-profit.

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

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

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.

Our shirt is revolved around teenagers. From research and experience, we know that teens are less likely to speak out and ask for help when they are in need. That is why we are shining a positive light on the topic and expressing that it is okay to be afraid and ask for help. For every person who buys a shirt, we are hoping that they can help us to spread the word about our solution to the topic.

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)

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

  • Low-income community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

Evaluation results

24 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 20.8%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 45.8%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 16.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 16.7%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 29.2%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 37.5%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 25%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 8.3%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 20.8%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 25%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 37.5%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 12.5%

1 - This entry is weak here - 4.2%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 60%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 90%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 25%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 25%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 8.3%

1 - This entry is weak here - 8.3%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

Attachments (1)

fourteen_reasons.pdf

This is the final design of the shirt we are going to produce.

57 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Armani Simmons
Team

Congratulations on moving to the next step!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

We are so thankful to be a part of this challenge. We have learned so much throughout this process and can’t wait to keep learning. This has been such an amazing opportunity and we can’t wait to see what comes next with our project.

Photo of Mamoudou Bah
Team

Great job Haley Miller and this is an extremely creative project you got going here. I love how you're bring a positive aspect to this big hit Netlfix show. I love the work you are doing and I plan to spread the word about it. Hopefully we can work together on spreading your message. For example, you guys could have an entire radio station spreading the message about suicide, positivity, self-harm, and etc. And when our car project works out we can have your station highlighted as a recommended station so that your message can get a wider-range of exposure. Imagine a kid coming home from school after being bullied and is depressed at the moment. Listening to your radio station could actually diverge his intentions to commit any harmful act against himself/herself and lower the pain he/she is going through. Just a quick thought, but good job!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Mamadou Bah That would be so amazing! We would love to collaborate and work together to form both of our projects! The idea of a radio show seems awesome! Thank you so much for your interest and we can’t wait to potentially work together!

Photo of Kania Rimu
Team

This is a very interesting project. However, suicide is a very touchy subject and must be dealt with carefully. I hope you get to incorporate more ways not to sensationalize the issue. Despite the great idea, I find it important to find an appropriate balance.

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

@Kania Rimu Thank you for the advice and interest in our project!

Photo of Kania Rimu
Team

Haley Miller No problem. Keep up the great work!

Photo of Karen St. Hilaire
Team

I work in the mental health field, and it has been proven that asking someone if they are suicidal, or have plans to harm themselves, will not make them suicidal or cause self-harm. The thoughts are already there, and it opens up dialogue that they may not be willing to share themselves, until someone asks. Reference the Kevin Hines Story, Suicide: The Ripple Effect. He never had the guts to say anything, but if someone would've just asked him, including his own father, he would've shared all the darkness his mind was experiencing. It's worth watching for sure! Keep up the great work, ladies! Kevinhinesstory.com

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Karen St. Hilaire Kevin Hines is SO inspiring. We were so thankful to be able to go and see the film. Thank you for the reassurance that bringing up the conversation is the correct way to approach this topic.

Photo of Kania Rimu
Team

Thank you for the informative response! I can definitely see how talking to people can help them overcome such thoughts.

Photo of Danielle Snyder Potter
Team

What a great mission! I’m very curious to see what you’re next steps will be to help create a movement on fourteen reasons why that’s not either school or community centered. I wish you the best of luck!!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Danielle Snyder Potter We have a few ideas when it comes to the program. We went to a screening of "Suicide, The Ripple Effect" last night. It inspired us and we could possibly host screenings as a part of our program. We also had the idea of creating some sort of art piece that schools could keep once it was complete. We thought about incorporating the "Why Not's" into that as well. Finally, we also thought of possibly preparing a mentorship/ anti bullying program that we could present to schools.

Photo of Hannah and Zoha
Team

Hi, Zoha and I, co-founders of HER (Her Education is Her Right) love your idea. The alternative dialogue is much needed and your idea is a great start. We cheer you on!
Hannah and Zoha

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Hannah and Zoha Thank you! We can't wait to possibly collaborate!

Photo of Carlos Shorter
Team

I think that your issue and the topic of suicide awareness is incredibly important and I'm impressed at how much you've already achieved. However, you need to be extremely careful about how you spread the awareness. There have been various studies that have shown that suicide is many ways "contagious". As a person who overcame suicide but still fight it everyday it is tough and we need the awareness but it can but tough. I support this fully!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

@Carlos Shorter We will definitely take into consideration how we are talking and addressing the topic. Thank you so much for your support!

Photo of twelve Many
Team

It has been said that hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Using your time talent and energy to help others find hope will save lives. Your project matters!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

twelve Many Thank you so much! We are hoping to help as many people as we can possible!

Photo of Karen St. Hilaire
Team

You are doing a wonderful thing and a lovely way to broadcast it! I saw your shirt at the evening screening of Suicide: The Ripple Effect, and I thought it was excellent. Saw them on your parents first, and when I found out that you young ladies came up with the idea, I was blown away by your willingness to address such a (thought to be "taboo") subject. I, for one will be buying one of your shirts, and I hope you get the funding and support that you need! I will be a promoter for you! Please send me some cards, also, so I may pass them along when I'm asked about your shirt! Thank you so much, ladies! Keep up the great, and inspiring work! ❤

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Karen St. Hilaire Thank you so much! This means so much to us and we will definitely send you cards! We just packaged your shirt and hope to send it off as soon as possible!

Photo of Ashita Dhadda
Team

I would like to commend both you for your great work at such a young age. Suicide is a ongoing problem our community faces and many times it is not talked about on a wider scale. Continue the great work! I would love to collaborate with you to further grow your project.

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Ashita Dhadda It would be great to be able to collaborate with you. Thank you for the interest in our project.!

Photo of Tyler Vogel
Team

What a great mission Haley Miller ! This is a close issue for so many either dealing with their own issues or knowing someone who has taken their life who was close to them. I include myself in the later group. I think the shirt is a great start, but most social missions with physical apparel help catalyze a movement. I am curious to see what will be your next steps to help create a movement on 14 reasons why not either community or school centered. Best of luck to you as you work on this powerful idea!

Photo of Carson McBain
Team

This is an inspiring approach and I'm really glad to see you tackling the difficult issue of suicide and self-harm. I especially like the idea of having an interactive website where you can add your "NOT" reason, because it can grow endlessly. I am wondering if the T-shirts could be altered to include the crisis hotline numbers on the back, so that if a suicidal person saw someone wearing a shirt but didn't have the courage to speak to them, they could still get the information from looking at the back. People who reach the stage of depression where they begin to contemplate suicide often begin to feel emotionally numb, and in those cases they need to be treated carefully and given proper support so they can gradually heal their minds and hearts. I wonder if you could get a sponsor to pay for in-school trainings to teach students how to look out for the signs of depression in others? Keep up the great work ladies!

Photo of lucia
Team

Girls, I think that this is a great idea especially with things that go around today I hope this gets far, its needed. Good luck!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

@lucia Thank you so much for your interest!

Photo of Jessica Lu
Team

I think that your issue and the topic of suicide awareness is incredibly important and I'm impressed at how much you've already achieved. However, you need to be extremely careful about how you spread the awareness. There have been various studies that have shown that suicide is many ways "contagious". Increased awareness is often associated to increased rates of suicide as well (this is why news outlets purposefully avoid talking about suicide often). I like that you focus on the 'why not,' but please just be very careful.

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

@Jessica Lu Thank you for that advice! We will make sure to keep that in mind.

Photo of Kelly Wiersma
Team

I love the idea of this and how much change you guys are going to make!!!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Kelly Wiersma Thanks!

Photo of Phil Positive
Team

This is a great idea! I love the idea of bringing awarness to suicide prevention it is an uncomfortable topic to speak on and it needs to be talked about! Showing people "14 reasons" why not is amazing coming from someone who has struggles with such issues. I hope to see more from this project as it deserves to grow! Can't wait to possibly collaborate. Keep making a positive change one shirt at a time! and remember PositiveVibesOnly!!!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Phil Positive It would be great to possibly collaborate! Thank You so much!

Photo of Marisa Plouhar
Team

This is a beautiful and powerful project! Thank you for spreading love and light. I can’t wait to see how this grows. Phenomenal young people, you are.

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Marisa Plouhar Thank you so much!

Photo of Stacy Stout
Team

This is so needed and appreciated.

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

@Stacy Stout Thanks!

Photo of Kerby Wallick
Team

Amazing compassion, ingenuity, and dedication. These girls truly are changemakers. They have already made a positive impact. The future is brighter because of young people like these two.

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Kerby Wallick Thank You!

Photo of Adam Nicholson
Team

Way to go ladies! I was very disheartened by the show "13 Reasons Why" also. I am so happy you guys are doing something about it! Thank you for sharing your hearts on this.

Fourteen Reasons Why NOT 
My why not is "because life full of so much collateral beauty".

- Adam

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Adam Nicholson Thank You so much for your contribution!

Photo of Lorrie Painter
Team

I commend you both for tackling such a mature and scary issue! I will be following your progress and spreading the word to my co-workers who also have children/young adults in this high risk age group! Congratulations to you!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

@Lorrie Painter Thank you for your interest and for spreading the word!

Photo of Maureen Baker
Team

This is a wonderful idea! Based on the comments that have already been posted, it looks like you're already reached a number of people who want to work with you. That's great. Congratulations!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Maureen Baker  Thank you so much!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Maureen Baker  Thank you so much!

Photo of Stephanie Zimelis
Team

How much more meaningful this topic is when it comes from those at an age who struggle most with it. The statistics are frightening, but hope floats because of teenagers such as yourselves willing to speak out positively and give this illness light. FIght the stigma! Congratulations to you both!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Stephanie Zimelis Thank you for your interest!

Photo of Laurie Miller
Team

I love the commitment you have to this idea and the work you have done . It’s a tough subject to talk about but the people you have already helped is honorable. With help your idea can give courage and a voice to many who are in need of encouragement ! Great Job!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

@Laurie Miller Thank you!

Photo of Nooruddin Ahmad
Team

Awesome initiative, I look forward to potentially working together to some degree. Suicide prevention is most certainly not talked about as much as it should be. I want a shirt myself to help spread awareness!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

@Noouruddin Ahmad Thank you! The shirts will be up on our website 14whynot.org very soon if you want one!

Photo of Alison Ingalls
Team

Hi Haley!! This is an incredible idea, and I really commend you both for tackling such a difficult topic at a young age. I am part of a similar initiative to smash the stigma surrounding mental illness and I would love to work with you guys! Please reach out if you'd be interested :) Again, kudos to you both for your hard work!!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Alison Ingalls Thank you so much! That would be awesome to work with you!

Photo of Carolyn
Team

I think it is FANTASTIC that you are bringing light to a subject that everyone wants to sweep under a rug. Suicidal ideation cannot be avoided by the person feeling it, so giving them the reasons why NOT to think them is awesome! I'm looking forward to watching this mission rocket!!

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Thank you so much! Carolyn 

Photo of Elliott D
Team

This was such an incredibly good idea Haley! I noticed similar problems in my own school following the release of the tv show. I was wondering if you have done any research into copyright issues. To my knowledge (which is that of a 19 year olds) you haven't made any mistakes copyright wise. But because you are referencing the show, I'd def. be sure to check that out!

I've done some screen printing on t-shirts myself, and it's fairly easy! I absolutely think it might be something you would be able to do on your own, given the right materials. It might be easier to make the shirts yourself then get a commitment from a screen printer. There are also plenty of websites where you can upload your own design that can be printed and would allow access to more colors in shirts, styles, and sizes. The more you order, the cheaper the shirt are per shirt.

I would also consider talking with a graphic designer or artist about the shirt design. That way the prints are simple, understandable, and cohesive.

Really great idea! I'd love to see this across schools nation wide. Mental Health should be addressed and talked about way more.

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

Thank you so much for your interest in our project! When we started to work the shirt again this year, we did research on trademark and copyright, and found that the phrase "Thirteen Reasons Why" is trademark, however "Fourteen Reasons Why NOT" isn't, so we decided to roll with it.

As far as the printing goes, we have talked with our school community, (We go to the Grand Rapids Public Museum School so we have gotten very diverse feedback from professionals in different areas) and then revised our shirt after receiving that feedback. Also, I think that sounds like a great idea about learning to print ourselves, and that would be something we could learn with the help of my (Haley) cousin and his printing skills. For now however, he will be doing the printing.

Once again thanks for your interest!!