Young & Anonymous™

"We're here for you"

Photo of Kristina Alzugaray

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

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

08/30/02

Where are you located:

Florida: Cutler Bay (33157), Homestead (33033)

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

Instagram: @youngandanonymous18
Twitter: @YAnonymoustm
Facebook: @youngandanonymous18

Date Started

March/15/2018

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

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

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..."

I decided to start up this project because many of my peers suffer from different mental health issues, I personally do not, and I would like to help improve their own state of mind so that they don't only just feel depressed everyday. I want to incorporate some positivity into their life so that their mental health improves. Since I am not a victim of a mental illness, I felt helpless. Yet, after extensive research and talks with many of my friends about my project and how I would like to help my community, I feel as if I can change the world. I am very motivated into benefitting my peer's mental health because if I don't do it, who will?

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

I am trying to help people who suffer from mental illness. This is a problem that affects many people today, & I see it a lot with the people around me. I want to bring more attention to this issue because so many people think depression is a joke, and they laugh when people say "go kill yourself". Many tv shows popularize depression as a cool thing & it's giving off the wrong message of what mental illness really is, & how it affects people.

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

The basis of my solution is to establish a personal connection with everyone. I understand that I cannot cure any mental illness but I believe that I can make it better for the people who suffer from it. One of my main goals is to provide therapists to people who suffer from different mental illnesses free of charge. Some of my friends who suffer from depression and ADHD go through therapy and have told me that it's very helpful for them, yet it's also very expensive. I want everyone to be able to get the help that they need and financial issues is a factor that I believe should not get in the way. This access to therapists can give people who suffer from different illnesses the right medical attention and proper medication that suits their needs. I also just want to create a space where people can feel safe and secure and welcomed. I want to make sure that people know that others care for them and that they matter. A way I can accomplish this is to spread positivity everywhere and the importance of life.

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

If a person or a group were to be involved with my project, they would be welcomed with open arms. As I spread my project and the ideas along with it to everyone that I am friends with, as well as people who suffer from mental illnesses, I receive feedback from them on exactly what would help them. For example, my best friend who suffers from depression and anxiety told me that one of my goals should be to make therapy free of charge for the people who suffer from different mental illnesses because of how expensive it is. Another one of my friends, one who suffers from ADHD and depression, told me that personal connections is a way to get someone to open up to you and small activities that would include simple board games can go a long way into helping someone with their mental illness.

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

Compared to other projects, such as the nonprofit organization The Kaleidoscope, my project targets everyone with mental health issues, no matter what age because everyone is welcomed. Although, I am mainly focusing on teenagers and young adults because that's when it's most likely to occur. Being a teenager is hard. You're under stress and are forced to make huge decisions that would impact your life in the future. I feel like it's best to start helping someone with mental health issues around a young age so that as they grow older, their mental health would improve.

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

Although my project is in the idea stage, I have told many of my peers, teachers, and other administrative personnel at my school. All of them fully support me and are very happy that someone is doing something to better mental health in anyone and everyone. My project has been very effective in the sense that my peers are giving me advice as to what activities I should incorporate that would benefit them in improving their mental health. If I see a positive change in behavior and an increase in the involvement in any activities, such as social gatherings, by any of the people who are involved with my project, then I know that I have made a difference.

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

There are many ideas that will take my project to the next level in the coming year. In the beginning of my junior year, I will host a school-wide pep rally as a way of introducing my project to my community. For the first month, I will then host after school meetings to gather members. After the first month, I'm going to move to a nearby church and host meetings there so there's much more space. Throughout the year I will have different activities at my school. I will create an "anonymous" board during Mental Health Awareness Week where people can write down something they would like to get off their chest or something that they feel or felt. By expressing themselves anonymously, they would release stress and not be discriminated against.

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

I have both friend and family support. Currently I have a small group of friends helping me with my project. Some resources I would need include funding, space, a website, and team members. Since I do not have a job, it is very difficult to obtain any finance. Financial help is greatly appreciated. I would like to conduct meetings with the members that are involved of my organization to get a one-on-one personal connection with them. I would like to have a website so people living out of the surrounding area can come in contact with my organization. Also, the more people who are part of the organization, the better.

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.

I was able to engage my family, friends, teachers, and other administrative personnel on board by explaining to them what I want to do and why I want to do it. I told everyone around me, "I want to help my friends with their depression and their anxiety because I believe that everyone should be happy. I believe that everyone should have a positive state of mind." There's so much negativity in this world and I felt that someone needed to step up to the plate and spread more positive vibes. Since most of my friends and teachers are very supportive, they were quick in being involved with my project. As a matter of fact, one of my supportive teachers, Mrs. La-Shanda West, directed me towards this challenge to help boost my project. Also, I am very open to partnering up with different projects and learning about other approaches. I am extremely interested in working with The Kaleidoscope because their organization is also about improving mental health and I believe that we will work well together.

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

  • Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian) (7)

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

  • No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others
  • Word of mouth

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

My greatest and most supportive teacher, Mrs. La-Shanda West recommended this challenge to me because she knew that I was already working on establishing my idea in my community and into the communities around me. She felt that this was a great opportunity for me and decided to turn my attention towards it and I greatly appreciate her pointing me in this direction.

17 comments

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Photo of christina cons
Team

This is a really good idea! Keep up with the good work and I wish you the best of luck..

Photo of Kristina Alzugaray
Team

Thank you so much!!

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