Student raises funds for mental health nonprofit

Jane Li, a junior in the Iovine and Young Academy, began a social campaign aimed at inspiring people who feel disillusioned by the current political and social state of the country.

Li began designing and printing stickers in November with the intention to remind people to maintain a positive attitude. Right now, Li is in the process of selling the stickers and collecting the proceeds. Li plans on donating them to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America within the next two weeks.

Influenced by her own sentiments regarding this year’s results of the U.S. presidential election, Li started her campaign by drafting a design that reads “We Gon’ Be Alright,” drawing lyrics from Kendrick Lamar’s hit rap song “Alright.”

After posting the design on her personal social media accounts, she said she received positive feedback from friends and family. Li was encouraged to create her design into a sticker, citing the constructive tone of progress in the song lyrics.

“I wanted to do something related to the election and release my emotions,” Li said. “I thought a little bit more about the situation and realized I should change my attitude by making it more positive.”

Li commended the counseling services provided by the Engemann Student Health Center and said that she wished to contribute her own efforts to the cause of improving the emotional well-being of her peers. That’s when Li began distributing the stickers.

“I think mental health and social good are extremely relevant, especially on college campuses like USC,” Li said. “Many students are still dealing with the election results and upcoming Inauguration Day.”

So far, Li has shared her stickers with various political groups as well as design and typography groups. She reached out to these organizations through Instagram and by email, marketing her product independently.

Li is donating her proceeds to a nonprofit organization committed to raising awareness about the consequences of anxiety disorders in children and adults. The organization also works toward developing cures and improving treatment for those who suffer from anxiety.

Li chose ADAA because it is one of the few organizations that provides free resources for individuals experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. Apps are available for download.

“I did a lot of research online for organizations,” Li said. “I knew I wanted a group that dealt with depression and mental health because I feel like that is the most direct consequence of the events that have been going on.”

Working in collaboration with ADAA, Li attached brochures to include with her stickers. ADAA in turn advertise her designs on its own social media websites.

For now, Li is focused on getting the word out about her current design before Inauguration Day. Based on supportive feedback, Li is considering expanding this campaign in the future by creating more designs. She is still interested in continuing to donate to ADAA.

Li said she realizes that there are other troubling issues that could induce stress in university students. She mentioned that apart from the results of the presidential elections, she was also bothered by the celebrity deaths in 2016. Li said she feels sympathetic to students who feel overwhelmed by their academics at USC.

Li is considering working in design-related fields after she graduates from USC. Li said that she has an interest and passion for instigating social cause and wishes to continue on this path.