Alexa Curtis

Our Fundraiser with B.Good

We had our fundraiser with B.Good on Tuesday night in Boston, and it went great! We're so excited to have partnered with such an incredible company. If you haven't heard about B.Good, check them out. They have many locations across the East Coast, which is why we highly suggest eating at their restaurants and supporting them. Between their awesome food and incredible mission- B.Good is one of our favorite places!

Some lovely girls showed up to support M.I.N.T. and we loved talking to them about growing up and being strong women! Our team highly suggests parents start talking to their teens about social media + self-love at a young age, and these girls are following such a great path. It's so important to implement healthy ideas in children's minds the minute they are old enough to speak.

Thank you to everyone who showed up, and we're excited for the next upcoming M.I.N.T. talks happening in September!

 

Our Recent Press!

"The first thing that popped into my mind when watching it was, 'Wow,' " said Curtis, who founded the nonprofit Media Impact and Navigation for Teens, a program that raises awareness about online bullying.

Thank you to everyone and all of the press outlets who have been supporting our journey to help and inspire teens- we can't thank you enough!

If you want to be a part of what we are creating, click here!

Why Not Us? Why Not Now?

Ever wondered how this project got started? Well, I’ll tell you anyway.

I met Alexa at a Talkspace conference in April 2016 in New York City. She presented eloquently and was very engaging during her discussion at the conference. At the end of her panel, the moderator noted that she was 18 years old. I was so impressed, I had to seek her out and tell her.

While lining up for lunch, I saw her. I told her I was really impressed by her knowledge of teen and young adult issues and her life experience. As we chatted quickly (of course, she was going somewhere else quickly!). we exchanged business cards. She was working out of Boston and we decided we should meet at some point.

When we did, we had two other collaborators who wanted to do the impossible: replace DARE in schools with a 60 minute panel discussion on mental health, teens, social media, and the stressors they faced. We did not have a name at a time but we had ideas and enthusiasm.  That was good enough to start creating a curriculum and talking to schools.

Our team worked at exchanging ideas and suggestions on how to present the material. It was exciting and we really wanted to go across the country and make these presentations. Our goal was to offer information, as well as educate in a fun, creative way, about the social media.

In time, our collaborators have worked with us behind the scene, as they had other personal and professional obligations that were happening. We both consider Jamieson and Abbey part of our team. Alexa Curtis and I have been working diligently to set up schools, create surveys, get good information based on studies, and a host of brainstorming ideas.

We got to speak to our first school in October. We then spoke in several other schools, 6 to be exact, spread across 3 states. We have enjoyed all the talks and gotten feedback on what was working and what was not. Alexa and I continue to work on MINT daily with passion and do everything to promote it.

So why us? Because we are a great team, we have added other collaborators since then. It will bring more excitement and more discussion, as well as a great set of opportunities. We can be flexible and present a curriculum that is adapted to the school need based on the surveys and information provided in them. We want this project to succeed. We want to reach out in every state. This is not something that is our job: it is our passion.

And we need to do it now. No one is talking social media, texting, and other newer communication devises and how it affects our teens lives significantly. We need to address it now before it gets more difficult. We are not looking to take away social media from teens: we want them to be more responsible and respectful with it, seeing the impact it has on them and on others.

It needs to be done now and we are the collaborative team to do it!

Thanks Girls' Life!

Thank you Girls' Life Magazine for the fantastic feature!

 

Whether we like it or not, social media is a *huge* part of our lives. Some people are more involved with it than others, but it's basically impossible to escape it and it's all too easy to get lost in it. Our lives seem so much different from the famous models, actresses and Insta-babes whose feeds we scroll through day after day, and it can really have an impact on how we view ourselves—especially when it comes to our bodies.

Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and shades. But when you see the same body shape time and time again you might start to believe that that’s what the most beautiful or ideal body is. But the truth is far from that. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, or what the color of your skin is—you are beautiful in your own way, even if your version is not reflected in the media.

That's a reality that Alexa Curtis understands *all* too well. The fashion blogger and entrepreneur recently chatted with us about her struggle with an eating disorder that stemmed from her experience in the modeling industry. As a teen, Alexa was severely bullied and dealt with depression for many years as a result of constantly comparing herself to what she saw online. Alexa explained, “[Social media] gives these girls who don’t necessarily have the 'perfect' life or body this unrealistic expectation that they should be that by the time they're 19, 20 or 21. And then they get there and that’s not what the reality is.” 

How is M.I.N.T.?

The response from M.I.N.T. has been absolutely phenomenal. We are thrilled at how many people have reached out to us, written about M.I.N.T., or simply shared their thoughts on our initiative with us. Teens have the power to change the world, and through this platform, we hope to inspire and enable more teens to have access to resources that they didn't know were available.

What's the next step? We are actively pitching our program to schools everyday. We are working on a curriculum, for both students and faculty, that we will have implemented in schools. We are trying to take over the D.A.R.E. system, and we have no mixed feelings on saying that out loud. Why are teens only being taught about their mental health and wellbeing up until 10th grade? Don't you think that students need to be talked to about their bodies for their entire life?

An education-based program is difficult. We are fighting the school systems, both public and private, as well as the denial that is associated with teens and their bodies. We firmly believe that by speaking to teens about their growing bodies and their cell phones as young as possible, that we will be able to slowly enforce new ideas into their brains. We aren't trying to showcase the Internet as a "bad" thing, we are simply trying to control and monitor how teens relate the Internet to their real life.

Along with pitching and starting a curriculum, we are still doing it all on our own. To apply to be an official nonprofit, we have to pay about $1,870. With no current funding or assistance, it's a battle for our team to give 100% of our time to this project without becoming financially stressed.

We'd love to see if you have any ideas. Know anyone with funding ideas? Email or tweet us. Maybe you are a funder for education projects yourself, and see a need for M.I.N.T. to be in every school. If so, welcome! We just want your help, and we want it now.

Send your ideas to the email on our contact page, and let's continue to revolutionize the way teens look at themselves. 

M.I.N.T Takes Brooklyn

Yesterday, our team took on Charles O. Dewey Middle School in Brooklyn, NY. It was a fun and interactive talk. We brought on a new panelist which added a new level of content to our talk. Meet Cassell, a Brooklyn based photographer who is an awesome and genuine person. A big part of hiring folks for this line of work is seeing the traits immediately of someone who is going to change the world. They have to be very good with kids, and not get intimidated standing up in front of a group of faculty + teens in a massive auditorium. You'd be surprised at how intimidating that can be!

For this talk, we focused on trolling, body image and following your dreams. Trolling is quite interesting, and is becoming a huge phenomenon in the teen space. If you've never heard of trolling, the definition of trolling can be found here.

We find at each school talk that many people hide behind their phone for different reasons. They may be scared to accept who they are, or may be insecure, and find the need to put other people down. People, especially kids, don't realize the harm that comes in the present and future from putting people down on the internet. The next time you feel poorly about yourself, or like you need someone to lift you up, simply text your friend, or start a thread on Reddit. You'll be so much happier talking to someone in person than you will be putting someone else down. 

We promise!