~July Newsletter~

This is an incredible post to write. We’re still in the foundational stages of launching this new venture, but I still feel like it’s time to Celebrate!

Since our last newsletter a massive wave of progress has crashed all around us – and for those of you who know me, you know I love the intensity of the Ocean. ; )

In bullet point style, here’s the heart of all that has happened:

Website Designer Confirmed

Don Burk, now an independent contractor, managed 30-40 web designers in Boston for many years. General Electric, Kraft, and the Texas Women’s Chamber of Commerce are all current clients of his. We met at Wholefoods. We bonded. Now he’s on board and has offered to design Journal To Save Your Life for $50/hour instead of his usual $150/hour rate. We’ll be fundraising in the Fall to make this happen!

Introductory Video on J2SYL

Three Austin film makers, Jordan Torres, Chelsea Hernandez, and Matt Hannon, are working with me, Jasper Faolan, to create promotional videos for the female youth we will connect with. The videos will also be used to communicate our mission to other organizations, grant boards, and potential collaborators. Filming will be complete by July 31st, 2011, and then editing will begin!

Grant Office Angel

I very innocently went into a grant application office – a place with free grant application advisers live to support burgeoning nonprofits and programs – and I met a Journal To Save Your Life Angel. I know this sounds facetious, but after my meeting with Alison, I actually broke down and cried. I am so grateful for her.

Alison read and printed every piece of online information about J2SYL, made comments on all of it, tutored me through what is required in grant applications, printed a series of lists of foundations and companies that would/will support J2SYL (literally hundreds – I have my work cut out for me!), told me how I was going to take J2SYL to all Texas school districts during their yearly teachers’ orientation weeks, how I was to lay out my budget, and…. It was incredible! She was also a board member of the Hogg Mental Health Foundation, and so we’re definitely going to apply for financial support from them.

She’s an Angel.

Building a Brand

Mitch Antony, a long time mentor, friend, and Fortune 100 brand consultant, is now helping us build a company ‘identity’. Fascinating process — since it’s building an identity for a company I Love SO much. ; ) Also, two incredibly generous folks have offered their time and energy to producing a professional logo for J2SYL – Justin Kyle and Alison Auwerda! They are both super professional and available, which I adore.


While in upstate New York this last week I met one of the funkiest journalists ever, Alison Sher. She has a history of writing about celebrity chefs and restaurants, but she prefers to cover social justice stories and profile service projects like Journal To Save Your Life. She is now writing a piece about J2SYL to pitch to Bitch Magazine, and we have plans to submit the story to similar magazines nationwide. The articles will focus on inviting involvement from female youth empowerment organizations and role models.

Spoken Word Prompt Provider

Aja Monet is a 23 yr old spoken word poet from Brooklyn.  She can shatter social boundaries with her voice. She was first recognized for her art at 16 when she was asked to perform a poem about social justice for a United Nations youth conference. Since this time, she has performed prolifically in NYC, become a writing workshop facilitator, and attained a Masters in Creative Writing.  Through poems and videos she will offer poem based prompts  on the issues that J2SYL addresses for young women, and she will be our primary spoken word ‘tutor’ by helping the girls EXPRESS through spoken word.

Women and Power Conference in NY

More to come! 😉


~May Newsletter~

Everything to do with launching Indie-Pen-DENT! Community’s first community service project, Journal To Save Your Life, is progressing in miraculous, efficient and stunning ways.

This is clearly going to happen.  We are making this happen.



With Summer upon us, I decided to forgo summer school and most of my travel plans to devote the next 12 weeks to establishing the FOUNDATION of Journal To Save Your Life. It feels good to have found my calling – to tend to the mental health needs of at-risk female youth. Come May 30th, I’m hitting the ground running.

Narrative Psychiatry

Michelle Joy, the editor of Yale’s Medical Humanities Journal, and I are continuing our brainstorming on how J2SYL will ultimately serve at-risk female youth. We are both reading ‘Narrative Psychiatry: How Stories Can Shape Clinical Practice’ by Bradley Lewis this summer. She continues to send relevant links about presenters and listservs as well.

Disseminating J2SYL Throughout Texas

Fortuitously, I met Steve Frank three weeks ago, and he works for Region XIII.

‘Education Service Center Region XIII is one of twenty service centers that serve the Texas educational needs. Although we provide services and tools nationwide, our assigned regional area encompasses: 60 School districts, 17 Counties, 18 Charter schools, 19 Private schools, and 8 Institutes of higher education.’ (www5.esc13.net/about/index.html)

At the time of us speaking, Steve had received a significant grant from the government in order to reorient our Texas school counseling system. He communicated how ‘desperately’ youth need scalable mental health resources – there are 350-800 junior and high schoolers for every ONE school counselor. I aspire to work with him this summer in order to make Journal To Save Your Life a potent addition to his Region XIII work, giving us a powerful way to disseminate our work in a respectable way.


Developing Success Metrics

Three weekends ago I met Alexa, a University of Texas at Austin PhD candidate who works in the Developmental Psych department. Her thesis explores the psychopathology of queer adolescents; she looks at how queer sexuality speaks to adolescents’ development in our society.

Alexa has offered to help develop ‘success metrics’ for our J2SYL beta year (2012). Establishing success metrics gives us a way to have ongoing, solid, quantifiable ‘results’ as we determine the best way for our project to function. If these results reveal positive effects of J2SYL on the mental health of female youth, this will put us in a strong position to receive funding.

Creating Promotional Media

After two MONTHS of monkeying around with the Sheriff’s office, we have a Green Light to use Austin’s Old County Jail for a film shoot to promote Journal To Save Your Life.  The Old County Jail premises in the HMS Civil Courthouse building in downtown Austin, to be exact.

Purpose of our J2SYL film shoot: To Communicate what Journal To Save Your Life is to female adolescents, potential funders, and potential J2SYL journal prompt contributors (professionals).

A group of Austin film makers and professionals are coming together to make this film shoot successful.


We raised $720 for our first fundraising effort using an IndieGoGo.com platform. Thank you to everyone who has supported us financially so far. I am optimistic about future fundraising efforts as a result.

Grant Application

I applied to J-Lab’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs grant in April. Results are shared with applicants soon. Writing the grant proposal was surprisingly fun, and I look forward to writing more grant applications throughout the summer.

* * *

Journal To Save Your Life (J2SYL)

Jasper Faolan and her team of talented and dedicated volunteers are building an online service project for female adolescents called Journal To Save Your Life (J2SYL).  The mental health needs of female adolescents are staggering. J2SYL experts disseminate mental health information via journal & art prompts to transform these young women’s lives.

J2SYL can be a potent, inexhaustible, scalable resource for the school counselors and teachers that you work with.

2011 is our foundational incubation year. In January 2012, we launch our beta version.

If you feel like you have energy and skills to offer, and you want to be involved with our mission, email Jasper at: JasperFaolan@gmail.com. Rock on!

The Images…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Business Plan Videos

~ ~ ~
So you’re considering the option of donating $5 or $150 to us.

Want more information before parting with your greens? No worries at all.


Introduction to the Seven Two Minute Videos I did about my Business
The same video that is on www.IndieGoGo.com/a-raw-hummingbird

Video I ~ Business Plan & Mission

Video II ~ Journal To Save Your Life Intro
Complete with comments: www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1472993518654#!/video/video.php?v=1475593783659

Video III ~ a raw hummingbird by Jasper Faolan
Complete with comments: www.facebook.com/justin.i.feldman#!/video/video.php?v=1476009834060

Video IV ~ Women & Rage

Video V ~ Female Adolescents

Video VI ~ Snappy, fun-filled, professional, business plan in ~90 seconds or less!….

Video VII ~ indiependent community. wordpress .com


Yes, it’s important, and I’m (finally) unabashedly available to go after my dreams with you, without fear.

Hello, Beauty.

I’m here to ask you to be a part of my financial support community.

This year, I have finally arrived in a place of complete, whole understanding and contentment in who I am, what my mission is, and who I wish to serve.  This blog gives the details.

My first fundraiser is up on March 21st, 2011 – one day after my 28th birthday. This fundraiser is devoted to covering 1/2 of my start-up expenses — and once these are covered, I’ll be free to focus on launching my new project, Journal To Save Your Life.  If you have any questions, hit me with them.  I’m ready.

Every dollar donated also goes towards making all of my 2011 grant applications more impressive – as a project with supporters is better than one with none.

Please donate $5, $15, $25 or $100 to my campaign:  www.IndieGoGo.com/a-raw-hummingbird.

www.IndieGoGo.com/a-raw-hummingbird has a medley of the nine videos I made to share my business plan through video.  A list of web addresses for each of these videos can be found here.

I am looking to raise $2200.  Everything helps.  Everything.

Help me prove that one doesn’t need to be backed by one or two millionaires to make a difference in this world.  Through community, anything can happen.  Please be my community.

Thank you, love bird, and do hit me up with any questions.

Jasper Faolan