The Inspiring Project intends to reduce and eliminate bullying and suicidal thoughts or actions in teenagers today through social media. It started as an Instagram account in 2013 by then teenager Chase Marvil.
Below is a Q&A with Chase about his motivations and ambitions for The Inspiring Project
The Inspiring Project has already touched thousands of lives, and its reach is only continuing to grow. What motivated you to undertake this massive endeavor and instill hope in so many people at such a young age?
When I began my social media pages, I began recognizing how easy it was to make others feel bad about themselves either through direct messaging and/or comments. I want to impact people on the internet with positive outreach and eliminate the negativity one may see while they are scrolling.
I have grown up with a family who have always thought of others before ourselves so really this is something to place on top of my original lifestyle. I am in college, have friends, and play baseball so I do my very best to balance everything so that I am equal with successes.
Tell us about the evolution of this idea. How did The Inspiring Project begin and what does it look like now?
My project began when I first saw the need for inspiration on people’s timelines. I found an account on the safari page that was posting inspiring quotes and messages to their followers and the comments that followed were amazing. So with that, I began to post my own.
One day, I received a message from someone who I did not know about them not having a good day and that they needed someone to talk to. After a while, I finished the conversation with her and she thanked me for my time. Soon, another person messaged me about similar problems pertaining bullying and self-harm, and that was when I decided to do something about it. I realized that the internet can subject us to extremely hurtful remarks, and, sadly enough, a lot of people take huge offense to them. The results can be drastic and deadly.
I wanted to build a platform on the internet that would allow these people who messaged me to see the positives in life and motivate others on their feeds in the process. From that point, it began to grow. Today, the project has impacted over 93,000 people from at least 8 different countries.
I have created Inspiring Walls in local schools which highlight the inspirations and motivations of people in that particular school. Other schools soon began to catch on and then that was just another stepping stone for the project that gained it much support.
The “I WON’T GIVE UP” bracelets are incredible. How do these bands support the project’s cause? Can you tell us about the nonprofit organization(s) with which you are sharing the proceeds?
The bracelets provide simple reminders to those who wear them to not give up on overcoming life’s toughest obstacles. I wanted to pick something short, sweet, but impactful and I believe this saying was the perfect fit.
The proceeds have went to organizations for mental health, suicide prevention and so much more. The 3 main ones are The Foundation for a Better Tomorrow, Delmarva Teen Challenge, and the Boys and Girls Club.
When discussing bullying and suicide prevention, what would you like people who may not as be familiar with the problem to know? Are there any facts or figures that strike you in particular?
To anyone who may not know about suicide and bullying, it is something that each and every one of us will come across at some point in our lives. Some people face it more than others, and the ways that people cope or relieve vary tremendously.
These actions can be done verbally, physically, and now in this century, virtually. Cyber bullying is a way for someone to hide behind the screen and make fun of someone without actually having to say it face-to-face. I believe it is so much easier for someone to be a bully on the internet because they can literally target anyone. Posts can be misinterpreted and shared, photos can be edited, and the result of so much hate and bullying can lead someone to cut themselves or even kill themselves because they believe that it is the only way to relieve or end the environment that they are in.
I think it is shocking that so many teens are subject to bullying and suicide because the internet is right at each of our fingertips. The amount of deaths that have been recorded is outstanding, and it is a shame that so many of these passings could have been prevented if someone was just there to be their friend and give them the hope and motivation they needed.
What are your ultimate goals for The Inspiring Project? How far are you trying to take it?
My goals for the project are simple: make a huge impact. I have been trying to think of new ways to promote and grow the project; between different events, the Inspiring Walls, donations, merchandise, and posting on my social media accounts, I have grown a huge amount of support from my own community as well as the world at large. I would like to be able to impact millions but my goal right now is to hit to the 100,000 mark. I want people to know that this project is easy to join and the impact is phenomenal.
I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and hear so many incredible stories. I was named the national teenager of the year for 2016, and have received numerous awards and recognitions for my project that I am so thankful for. I want to keep my project going for my late grandparents who always told me to never give up and always complete what I put my mind to.
I also want to make my family and friends proud while making the impact that I myself want to make. My motto for the project is this: “You don’t have to be anyone in particular to create a huge impact in life”. This is the absolute truth and I am living proof of that.