Ypulse Interview: Jamie Tworkowski, To Write Love On Her Arms

Jamie TworkowskiToday’s Ypulse Interview is with our 2010 Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup Community Keynote speaker Jamie Tworkowski. Jamie is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and suicide. Jamie has been traveling for speaking engagements this past month, so I caught up with him over email to hear about the origins of TWLOHA and what Mashup attendees can learn from his experience with at-risk teens. Register today and qualify for Early Adopter Rates!

Ypulse: What inspired you to start To Write Love On Her Arms? How did it grow from an initial idea to the community that it is today?

Jamie Tworkowski: It began as an attempt to help a friend and tell a story. In 2006, I met a girl who was struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and had attempted suicide. She was denied entry into a treatment center and spent the next five days with my friends and me in Orlando. I wrote a story about that experience (called “To Write Love on Her Arms”), posted it as a blog on MySpace and started selling t-shirts as a way to help pay for her treatment. There was no intention of starting a non-profit - I was just hoping to help a friend. But some friends in bands started to wear the shirts and so they got out in front of people beyond our community in Central Florida. From there, it spread really quickly with friends telling friends and other bands lending their support. Messages started to pour in from people asking for help or how to help their friends or how they could get involved. Basically, from then to now, we’ve continued to respond to those messages - more than 150,000 since 2006 - and we’ve done our best to be creative in inviting people into a conversation about hope…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies