1) This is my 30-second elevator pitch for my idea: (200 characters)
The mental health needs of female adolescents are staggering. Journal to Save Your Life experts disseminate mental health information via journal & art prompts to transform these young women’s lives.
2) Here’s why I think my project is needed: (1000 characters)
The health tolls of sexual abuse and trauma among female adolescents are staggering and unacceptable. ‘The current cost [of mental health resources for adolescents] is nearly $12 billion, & yet nearly 3/4 of troubled youth do not get the care they need.’ Mental disorders in at-risk females such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse stem from sexual violence, eating disorders, bullying, the media, sexuality confusion, addiction, delinquency & toxic relationships. 64% of adolescent female offenders reported sexual abuse experiences in comparison to 13% of males.
Journal to Save Your Life will support these young women cost effectively. J2SYL teams with medical humanities experts and established coalitions (SparkSummit.com) to share mental health information with young women through online journaling and art prompts. Prompts heal and “enable people with mental health problems to…develop creativity and empowerment, affirm identity, and give voice to views and experiences”.
3) This is what I’ve been doing with my life and my proudest accomplishment to date: (3000 characters)
Succinctly, my greatest accomplishment to date is falling in love with my life. I am a reformed adolescent delinquent and offender who now has her MBA, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of at-risk female youth, and an ambition to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with a focus on adolescent mental health. I am the quintessential ‘wounded healer’, and I am passionate about dedicating my life to empowering young women. My current state in life feels incredible. Thank you in advance for witnessing the following details of my story.
When I was 7-9 years old, I was molested by my friend’s mother. From the time I was 12 to 13, I was severely bullied in an all-girls school. Then I moved to an arts school and became popular. When I was 14, I lost my virginity to a sociopathic boyfriend, and I proceeded to experience sexual violence, including multiple rapes, within our dating relationship for three years. I was an alcoholic by the age of 15. I didn’t know who I was or why I had to feel so much. Suicidal ideation and cutting brought some comfort. A profound amount of sadness raged inside of me. Without a voice for these emotions, I became numb for over a decade.
When I was 16, I fell in love with a woman named Sage (I am bisexual). She taught me that not every lover is violent. I was able to cry with her. From the time I met her until now, I have accomplished and experienced the following life.
’01 Bought my first real estate investment at age 17
’02-‘07 Despite almost dropping out of high school, attained undergraduate degrees in neuropsychology and management and my Masters in Business with a focus on International Entrepreneurship
Consulted for information technology (IT) start-ups
’06 Decided to become a leader and entrepreneur, not a corporate employee
Explored ideas that leverage IT to improve adolescent mental health
’02-’08 Wrote a trilogy about my adolescent delinquency (www.JasperFaolan.com)
’08-’11 Worked throughout Seton Medical Network with those who have altered mental status
Fell in love with psychiatric patients
’09 Established Indie-Pen-DENT! Publishing
April 9th, 09 Launched book I, ‘a raw hummingbird’ to 50 supporters in Austin, Texas
Was project manager for Cathy Collins, the Vice President of Omega’s (eOmega.org) Women’s Institute and their international Women & Power: Connecting Across the Generations Conference
Mitch Anthony, a branding expert for Fortune 500 companies became a mentor
Started a business plan to speak directly to at-risk female youth
’10 Launched ‘The Nest’, a support network for 16 women
Started prerequisites to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with a focus on Adolescent Mental Health
Dec ’10 Journal To Save Your Life is ‘born’
Jan-Mar ’10 The editor of Yale’s Medical Humanities Journal asks to be involved in the creation of J2SYL
The nutritionist for Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation becomes my first J2SYL prompt contributor.
April ’11- Applying for my first grant with New Women Media Entrepreneurs.
4) Detail how you will generate content. How frequently will you update? (2000 characters)
Journal To Save Your Life ‘content’ is not defined in traditional journalism terms. J2SYL disseminates mental health information to female youth in an interactive, innovative way. Participation and the creation of ‘news’-one’s Truth- is required.
Content is generated by five specific, unique sources:
1. Established, diverse women (see http://wp.me/P1i2dW-s) will provide journaling prompts on a variety of issues (sexual violence, eating disorders, bullying, the media, sexuality, addiction, delinquency & relationships) for at-risk female adolescents with the intention of healing and empowering them.
2. Young-women “journalists” will respond to J2SYL via journaling, articles, film, podcasts, photos, & art. Content they choose to be public will make up the majority of J2SYL.
3. Female journalists from the University of Texas at Austin and from around the country (world?) will cover our contributors and the story of our girls.
4. Traditional media coverage by newspapers and online sources will be promoted on J2SYL.
5. Advice from program directors on how to best integrate J2SYL into existing institutions will be shared for the benefit of other organizers.
Content will be updated as follows:
In Jan ’12, the beta version of J2SYL’s website and journaling prompts will be launched.
Quizzes will determine which prompts are most appropriate for each girl. Prompts will intentionally evolve with the girls throughout the year (this is automatic and part of the design of J2SYL).
Each girl will be provided prompts on a weekly or monthly basis. Her responses are private or public, she is able to comment on every aspect of the site, and she can submit her work to be considered for publication in our online J2SYL May & December promotional ‘events’.
Articles written on J2SYL by journalism students and traditional media will be uploaded weekly. Additional media gifted by our contributors to support our girls will be released weekly.
Advice from administrators will be uploaded monthly.
5) Here is my budget for the $12,000 in funding (Be specific): (2500 characters)
$1,600 Editing of J2SYL Prompts
For 100 hours two professional editors will edit J2SYL prompts provided by experts, coalitions, activists and artists. Crucially, J2SYL prompts are designed to activate healing across time. Our editors are Michelle Joy, the current editor of Yale’s Medical Humanities Journal, and Matt Scheer who attended the University of Texas at Austin’s rigorous editing program and currently works as a writer and professional editor.
This subcontract will supplement my, Jasper Faolan’s, income from Summer ’11 to Spring ‘12. My Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program begins May or Sept ‘12, and this subcontract will enable me to found a scalable, independent venture that will operate under the direction of those I train. I traditionally work 20-50 hours/week on J2SYL.
$300 Nonprofit Status
Promotional photo shoots & videos will found our brand and be produced by photographers and film makers in Austin, Texas. This media will expose our work powerfully to at-risk female youth, potential journaling prompt contributors, high school counselors, at-risk youth program directors, rape crisis centers, traditional media outlets, individual female journalists, and bloggers via J2SYL content, direct email campaigns, our website, blogs, YouTube, Flicker, LiveJournal, facebook accounts, and the like.
$2000 Social Media Marketing Campaign
Research shows that social media efforts and other direct connections with teenagers are more effective than traditional media. This matches our indie personality better, too. Given this, we aspire to hire GenJuice (www.genjuice.com) and follow Chris Brogan’s advice to generate a 2011 social media marketing campaign that we will maintain once established.
$1000 Promotional Media Budget
50 press kits will be developed and sent out to traditional media outlets (~$5.00*50=$250.00), American Apparel J2SYL t-shirts will be given to popular bands for fundraising and promotional purposes ($450), and informational postcards, flyers, posters, and business cards for all team members will be designed and produced by 1982.com ($300).
Robert Fludd of Boulder, CO has offered to build our J2SYL website for free. $725 would be paid to him as a thank you. Alternatively, an additional $3000 from my subcontract will go towards commissioning of a professional website.
6) Here are my specific plans for continuing this project after NMWE funding runs out: (2000 characters)
NMWE funding will help establish Journal To Save Your Life as a valid disseminator of potent mental health information to female adolescents in an interactive, journalistic, format.
Only from this foundation will we be able to support ourselves via the following means.
J2SYL 2012 Beta Year – Revenue Streams
1. Sponsorship through our beta year (’12) (and ideally beyond) so that we can offer J2SYL for free
2. Advertisements relevant to the mental health needs of adolescents will be present on J2SYL
3. Branded merchandise offered through our online store and Etzy.com, a site where girls can upload their own J2SYL products and sell them. A small royalty will be collected for J2SYL in exchange for using our brand.
4. J2SYL Donation buttons and fundraisers
By 2012 ideally 100+ girls will be signed up to be our ‘raw hummingbirds’ – young women who want to explore J2SYL beta site and give active feedback on our program. Their feedback will be taken very seriously, and their writing, film, photographs, and art will be promoted publicly in May & Dec. J2SYL prompt creators will be interviewed by our journalists. Our network of high schools, journalists, prompt experts, teenagers and organizations will be actively grown. We will actively promote wide coverage in the press.
J2SYL 2013 Official Launch Year
In addition to the revenue streams above, the following streams will be possible in 2013 and beyond.
1. J2SYL Seed Program – Groups that tend to the needs of at-risk female adolescents will be offered J2SYL’s comprehensive, internet based group program (a sliding scale licensing fee will apply).
2. J2SYL hard copy journals will become available. These journals will be printed on demand through our currently established publishing company, Indie-Pen-DENT! Publishing.
3. J2SYL anthologies featuring our girls will be published for the benefit of other young women and program organizers.
4. Jasper Faolan and her team will offer workshops and be available for speaking arrangements.
7) My time line for this project over the next year: (1750 characters)
2011 Summer to Fall
File for nonprofit status
Legal, financial, privacy & protection issues are addressed by legal counsel
J2SYL website(s), infrastructure, network & promotional materials are designed and assembled
Bids are collected from established website designers and one is chosen
High schools, rape crisis centers, LGBTQ teen center liaisons, delinquent and/or homeless teenager rehabilitation centers, etc. are contacted with promotional videos & information on J2SYL. They are asked to express their opinions, interest, and what would be required to offer J2SYL in their facility.
Female adolescents who desire mental health support are asked to apply to be one of our ‘100 raw hummingbirds’ –young women who will help shape J2SYL by experiencing and critiquing our 2012 beta version. Girls will be recruited on LiveJournal, Trevor Space, To Write Love On Her Arms, and through high school counselors, delinquent programs, etc. It will be important to see who commits and who does not.
Journalists from UT Austin’s Journalism department are invited support us and their careers by voluntarily writing articles on J2SYL’s mission, girls and expert contributors.
Professional promotional videos, press kits, flyers, posters, postcards, t-shirts, etc. are designed and made available to traditional and social media, our team, volunteers, social network and Street Team. Our intentional promotional period is Fall ‘11.
J2SYL Prompts Development – Solicitation letters and an introductory video are sent to potential Journal To Save Your Life contributors. Relationships are built and experts are supported as they form their journaling prompts. In the Fall, prompts are edited and finalized according to medical humanities research.
8.) Here is how I will get the word out about my project: (1500 characters)
Journal To Save Your Life is a free mental health service for at-risk female adolescents founded on sound medical humanities research. J2SYL is formed by a solid business team with a varied skill set, an ability to work on a shoestring budget via social media technology, and will be actively recruiting high profile journal prompt contributors (with significant followings) throughout 2011. J2SYL is a good story to cover, and once J2SYL has officially ‘started-up’ due to NMWE funding, our PR volunteer consultant will formulate a press kit for us. We will send these press kits to female journalists across the nation. We will connect with popular bloggers. We’ll promote our work to relevant programs and to the adolescent females themselves. Relationships will be built with influential, established organizations (To Write Love On Her Arms), campaigns (It Gets Better), and coalitions (SparkSummit.com). We will follow TWLOHA’s example and approach bands, artists, and activists about promoting J2SYL during their shows. Our YouTube channel volunteers will distribute J2SYL videos across the net. We will follow social media expert Chris Brogan’s advice as every entrepreneurial venture should. GenJuice.com will spearhead a social media program for us. 21+ volunteers will distribute our media in their towns. J2SYL will be branded as an Austin-based nonprofit and fundraising events will be held here as a part of solidifying this reality. Feminist film makers will be approached about including us in their projects.
The snowball effect begins now.
9) Why I know I can make this happen: (2500 characters)
I am a willful, bright, ambitious woman who is finally ready to commit to the world after a decade of learning who I am, who I am not, how to heal, and what I have to offer. All of my life experiences (see question #3) have clearly united to put me in front of you today. I now know what it means to be confident and to invest your entire being into a project. J2SYL is my project.
My MBA thesis is based on ’International New Ventures’ (INVs), start-ups that launch internationally upon inception. INVs build powerful teams and leverage technology to scale one’s concept to make the greatest impact. My business plan (and personality) reflects the essence of INVs: we are using technology to catapult J2SYL to meet the mental health needs of female adolescents in a cost-effective way. Given how much such services are needed (see question #2), spearheading J2SYL is electrifying.
The technology that is available to us as young entrepreneurs is vast, accessible and powerful. Adolescent females in troubled homes can journal online to protect their thoughts. If internet doesn’t exist at home, it may at a friend’s house, after-school program, or a LGBTQ community center. Homeless females have access to the internet in libraries. J2SYL being an online, warm, present service will reach females without a corporate agenda and with their mental health in mind. With J2SYL we will connect and empower young women, and I will spend thousands of hours realizing this mission.
Also, J2SYL is being created by a hard core, diverse, intelligent team of individuals that will continue to evolve. The editor of Yale’s Medical Humanities Journal, Michelle Joy, is collaborating on the design of J2SYL. Matt Scheer is a professional editor, writer, and social media consultant. Jordan Torres is our first photography and film producer. Twenty one other women from a variety of cultures with backgrounds in public relations, journalism, gender and sexuality studies, website development, social media, medical humanities, and adolescent psychology, are currently ready to support Journal To Save Your Life through volunteering.
Mentors include Mitch Antony, branding expert for Fortune 100 companies, Cathy Collins, past CEO of the Eleanor Roosevelt Foundation and current ED of Habitat for Humanity in the North East, and Will Miner, a well-respected (and fun) organizational growth management consultant.
With passion, technology, our unique team, and funding, J2SYL will accomplish its goals.
10) Any additional thoughts: (1500 characters)
Question 2 references: https://indiependentcommunity.wordpress.com/grants/references.
Business plan website in approachable language: https://indiependentcommunity.wordpress.com
This blog will be edited this week post this grant application! This process has been priceless.
More on Journal To Save Your Life: https://indiependentcommunity.wordpress.com/business-plan/iii-products-and-services/more/
Introductory videos that supported our first online fundraiser: https://indiependentcommunity.wordpress.com/videos
Facebook: Jasper Faolan
Thank you so much for reading my very first grant application. This has been a delight to write and all the best to you as you make your decision.