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It’s summer time and the living is easy. OK, maybe easy is a stretch, but hopefully this summer will bring less stress and more time to focus on all the good things in life. Like our fantastic new Summer 2015 You Matter Blogger Council!

But first, let’s give a shout out to AJ, Alec, Brynn, Danielle, Emma, and Heather who spent the Spring writing about Bruce Jenner, self-love over self-hate, what to expect when you are about to graduate, and so much more. Great stuff!

We are psyched to have five new You Matter bloggers who will be sharing their personal stories in effort to let everyone know that they matter. You’ll get to know them over the next few months, but today we are starting with a little orientation game, Five Facts.

Annie, 19, Kentucky


“I matter because I have something to give to the world. I believe we are all created in the image of God and He has instilled in each of us a gift—something to help heal the world. It starts with love. When I finally opened my heart up to the love around me, my whole world changed. I have a purpose. You have a purpose. My heart has led me right where I need to be, and it will take me where I need to go. Your hopes and dreams, when built on love, aren’t fantasy—they are your calling.”

Five Facts about Annie

1. I am currently in strong recovery from anorexia nervosa. This July, I will be one year into remission. I also struggled with anxiety and depression as a teenager. Recovery has made a happier and healthier person than I ever imagined I could be, and I have learned so many things along the way. 

2. I was born just outside of Chicago, Illinois but moved to Southeastern Kentucky when I was only 5 years old. I grew up in a small coal mining town in the heart of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. 

3. I just finished my Associate’s degree and I will begin classes at Eastern Kentucky University in the Fall. I plan on building my career in mental health or rural development, or possibly a nice mesh of the two!

4. My philosophy for a happy life is this: “Say what you mean, do what you feel, and never pass up an opportunity to pee.” It’s working for me so far!

5. I plan on being the first female host of The Tonight Show. And eventually, President.

Kat, 20, Missouri


“I matter because I CARE.”

Five Facts about Kat

1. I’m an anthropology student. I study primates, what it means to be human, and the diversity of human cultures on earth.

2. I have a pet frog, two hamsters, and two cats.

3. I’m a major nerd. Sci-fi has helped me a lot in my recovery.

4. I firmly believe that many mental illnesses are an exacerbation of inherently human qualities, meaning that we are extra human. Not better, not worse, just extra.

5. I’m spending the summer blogging, doing internships, and building a life worth living.

Gabrielle,17, North Carolina


“I matter because through sharing my story and making something positive of my struggles I can inspire others to persevere through their own.”

Five Facts about Gabrielle

1. I play cello and believe that music is one of the most powerful forces out there besides love.

2. In the future I hope to go to medical school and pursue a career in psychiatry or neuroscience.

3. I love reading, especially autobiographies and history books.

4. I enjoy hiking and running especially after a hard day.

5. I love comic books, manga, and cosplay.

Matthew, 21, Florida


“I matter because I believe every person on this earth has a purpose to fulfill”

Five Facts about Matthew

1. I’m a political junkie, I love talking about politics even when it gets me in trouble!

2. I’m a HUGE Lady Gaga fan.

3. I love going on cruises and traveling, I’ve been on 15 so far in my life.

4. I took three years of sign language in high school so I’m pretty fluent in it.

5. I’m very passionate about bringing awareness to mental health issues.



“I matter because I have overcome and fought against my anxiety and depression and, though it’s a daily struggle, strive to be a happy, healthy me.”

Five Facts about Parker

1. I’m only 5’1. 

2. I’m very happily engaged to an amazing woman.

3. I’m passionate about the LGBTQIA community.

4. I’m passionate about suicide prevention, specifically among youths and the LGBTQIA community.

5. I’m transgender, female-to-male.

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