Sunday, January 9, 2011

the senior project... finally!!!

I know I have been talking about my Senior Project for a really really long time. It has come up in posts that it really has nothing to do with, I dream about it at night, I breathe it in and out every single breath, it is basically all consuming. But this is the post I am going to actually tell you what I'm working on. I know it is a long post and it is an intense topic, but please read through it. The project is really meaningful to me and it is a very important topic that has become relatively taboo in our society. Please take the ten minutes out of your day to consider what I have to say, and stick with me throughout the rest of my time working on the project because chances are, I will be blogging about this a lot.


The background: Long story short, Senior Project is something that looms over every single Cal Poly student's head every day of their time at the university. It is a project that every single student has to do before they graduate. The project has specific guidelines which must be followed (such as writing a research paper and/or conducting a practical project - but I won't get into all those details unless you ask) in order to make it valid.  The project will then be published and available at the Cal Poly library forever.

**Intro to my project: Instead of doing a research paper or working with a local organization/business that I had no personal connection to, I wanted to base my project off of something that really mattered to me and hit close to my heart. I was very fortunate to stumble upon a group of girls who had just begun to work on a project that fit what I wanted to do perfectly. It just so happened that I needed to start my senior project, and they needed someone to do public relations (which is what I will - hopefully - do when I graduate). The project I will be working on for the next four months is called the Love Out Loud Campaign which is a depression, self-harm, and suicide prevention campaign. I will be the public relations director for the campaign.

**Project Overview: The Love Out Loud Campaign aims to encourage communication and self-expression in order to work through depression and suicidal thoughts. The campaign wishes to create a safe environment where students and other community members feel safe to share their personal struggles, thoughts, and experiences. Through the campaign, we hope to educate, inform, and transform the Cal Poly campus into one that is knowledgeable, tolerant, and supportive in regards to depression; a campus which doesn't simply accept what they have heard about the subject, but one which changes the perceived norms of depression and suicide. Though this begins with Cal Poly, our hope is to create a larger community that reaches out and touches the hearts of anyone who either deals with these matters personally or has experienced them with friends, family members, co-workers, or any other person in their lives. By opening communication and encouraging creative outlets, the Love Out Loud campaign will help those who may feel hopeless or alone to find and establish a foundation of safety and love.

**In order to promote the campaign we will host an event which will include a benefit concert and awareness fair. The event will take place on Saturday, February 26 and will begin late afternoon with an awareness fair featuring student clubs, support groups, and the different health services which are available not only on campus, but also in the surrounding San Luis Obispo community. Different student groups, performers, and artists will be showcasing their work throughout the awareness fair and during the concert. The concert will be a combination of speakers, performers, and bands who feel strongly about the topic of depression. Our keynote speaker is Kevin Hines, a man who jumped off the Golden Gate bridge and survived with full mobility. In addition to Mr. Hines, we will also be hosting different bands, student performers, and speakers who have personal connections with the topic.

That is the basic overview of it. I just had to write this to get it out there and make sure that I blogged about all the overview-details before I got into the other little, more specific things. 

So now you know what I'm working on - it is a suicide, self-harm, and depression campaign. Let me know if you have any further questions or if you want to contribute to the cause or attend the event. Of course I will be blogging about it more, but this was the first step that I have been fighting against for a very long time. Why you ask? Well because I thought it was going to take a lot longer than it did to write the post. Yup, that's it. I'm done. 

Please let me know any thoughts you have on the topic, or if you have any advice/ideas/comments/whatever else you want. Also, please check us out at our website and on Facebook (you can become a fan). Any feedback would be absolutely amazing. I love hearing from you. Also, if you want to help us out by posting information on your blog or website, we would love any support and/or publicity you can give us. Every little bit helps - even emotional support and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. 

Website: www.loveoutloudcampaign.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheLoveOutLoudCampaign

**This part was written for my professional website at rachelegan.weebly.com as my senior project overview. That's why it is a little more formal. There was really no point in re-writing it again if I was basically going to be saying the exact same info. 

2 comments:

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

What an AMAZING project to be part of!

Ashlee said...

This is a wonderful, wonderful project idea. Keep us posted on how it's going!