Everyone has a spark of passion for something, and sometimes, a spark of passion can be inspired by someone else. When I came across the Buddy Project on Twitter, I thought it was one of the most touching and inspiring things I have ever come across in my entire life. The Buddy Project was started by Drexel student, Gabby Frost, in 2013 when she was only 15 and a freshman in high school after a few of her close friends told her that they were suffering from a mental illness and that her advice helped them so much. And after seeing that so many other individuals going through the same kinds of things on Twitter, she thought that pairing them with other people similar to them would prevent them from committing suicide and harming themselves. Unfortunately, I discovered this after I went through a hard time sophomore year, but I signed up anyways when I came across it.
Gabby has won many awards including a Shorty Award for Teen Activism, the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Award, PB Teen Extraordinary Teen, 2015 Glamour Hometown Hero for Pennsylvania, and so much more. She has also been featured in tons of articles about her and the Buddy Project.
This year, I really started to follow Gabby and her initiative when she came out with my favorite sweatshirt (and quote) ever, "Stronger than the Stigma". This was around the same time that I started to write for The Odyssey and to speak out about what I went through and what I still go through today. She isn't afraid to speak her mind on things people say about mental health and she continues to help people going through issues. She is someone I strive to be like every day and I'm so happy she is someone I look up to. (And just a PSA: I nearly cried when she followed me back on Twitter and noticed one of my articles.)
I really hope to one day have a conversation with her and tell her how much she truly has inspired me. Everything she tweets about, talks about, and advocates for just means so much to me and I know other people notice it as well. I know the Buddy Project will go farther than it already is and become an ever bigger success. And that makes me so happy for the future of mental health awareness.
“Having just one friend to support you through the hardships of your life can really make a difference. I created Buddy Project to show that to the world.” - Gabby Frost