Jamie Lynch is a senior at Stockton University. She is majoring in Biology with Environmental Studies and Education. She is also involved in many clubs and organizations as well as running for track. Jamie is an amazing person and does a lot for her community and for others. She cares very deeply for people and truly inspires many people that she meets every day.
How did you get started in your community service?
My mom does a lot of community service so I helped her do a lot and then branched off and started to do my own things as well.
How did you get so involved with mental health and suicide awareness?
I realized that a lot of people, when they feel down, they kind of make people feel the way they do. When I am down, I like to do the opposite so I try to make people feel better because I did not want them to feel how I feel. I believe every life is important. We are worth the life we were given. I also had two friends commit suicide, and I don’t want anyone to have to feel that way either or go through that experience. I also have a lot a people come up to me about their problems and battles they endure. I want to have insight and advice that they can think about. I want to be able to point them towards the resources that they need as well.
What are some things that you do to make people aware of all the causes that you work for?
I like to discuss one on one with individuals. A conversation is the best place to start. I like to spread the word about positive things that can help people, I point them to various resources that they can look up for themselves. I get involved with things that try to help spread awareness. So I do a lot of fundraisers and service opportunities. I started my own blog as well. It all starts with a conversation though, nothing can start without a conversation being had. Once you have that conversation it can lead to those fundraisers, events and service opportunities.
What would you say made you so passionate to keep pursuing these causes?
I do it because I like making people feel like they are worth their life. Making people see that each person is unique and an individual is such a beautiful thing. Just helping people and seeing the impact that you make and saying to yourself “hey I helped that person and made them feel like they are worth the life that they are living”, that is why I do it.
How many nonprofit organizations do you volunteer for?
I volunteer for over thirty nonprofit organizations and I started my own nonprofit organization with my mom, it’s Courage for Kyle however, it changed to Courage from Kyle. Kyle was my younger brother’s best friend who had leukemia, when he passed away that’s when we changed the name of it. I also raised over $10,000 for nonprofit organizations in 2016.
If you could would start another nonprofit organization?
Yes I would. I think I would do it for mental illnesses with athletes; I think it is such a huge thing that gets over looked. There is so much pressure on athletes to succeed and do well in and out of athletics. Most athletes train for long hours every week including games, practices, weight room times, and more. It is something that is apparent in athletes no matter what sport they are in.
What have you done for nonprofits here on Stockton’s campus?
I do a lot of tabling for premature awareness, suicide prevention, cancer, and mental illnesses like PTSD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and OCD. I wear colors for many different recognized awareness days and have multiple ribbons that I wear as well. I also do many different walks like Breast Cancer Awareness walks and Relay for Life. I also go to other organization’s events that spread awareness for things that I am passionate about. One of the events that I did this year was Alpha Phi Delta’s Rose Pageant, which raised over $2,000 for the Mental Health Association. I did end up winning that pageant with a dance that explained a battle between yourself and your mental illness.
Out of all the organizations that you volunteer for what ones do you hold very close to you?
Definitely Courage from Kyle since I watched my younger brother’s best friend suffer and fight leukemia and saw how cancer affects everyone, not just the person who has it. I just like giving everyone things that Kyle did not have, and it is based off a wish list that Kyle made for us before he passed away. To Write Love On Her Arms is also an important one. There are so many people who have a lot of things going on in their lives with mental illnesses it is such an inspiring organization. The person who founded it, Jamie Tworkowski, is very inspirational and helps people fight and handle their mental illnesses. He battles depression himself and finds how to help himself and others. He is definitely one of my role models.
Can you explain what your blog is and what it stands for?
My blog at first was just for me and I kept it secret. I knew that I was letting out everything that was bothering me; it was my outlet. I then wanted to turn it into something that can help other people, however it is anonymous and no one knows who I am, they do not know my identity. That eliminates any bias for people who just happen to come across it. It is just my thoughts and what I think about many different topics. I want my blog to be something that people can relate to and can escape to. Everyone needs some kind of outlet and this can help.
Here’s a video that Stockton’s Greeks created for suicide prevention.
*Images courtesy of Jamie Lynch