Fourteen Reasons Why NOT

Two teenagers helping others-one shirt at a time.

Photo of Haley Miller

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.
http://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

Attachments (1)

fourteen_reasons.pdf

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

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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!

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