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

Quote of the Day: “I think we’re already seeing alcohol lose its health halo. Next, the assumption that alcohol is essential to a good, sophisticated life will fade.”—Joy Manning, Deputy Editor, Edible Communities (Medium)

“The doofus dad” TV stereotype is being remade for role-resisting Millennial parents. Inept at care-taking and almost everything else, the tired stereotype is saying its last “D’Oh!” as The Simpson’s Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig’s Daddy Pig get replaced with a new wave of capable fathers like Bluey’s Bandit. The switch could have a real impact on the way kids understand family life, with one research fellow explaining, “The media reflects reality and also constructs reality.” (SMH)

Apple's new subscription gaming service Arcade will cannibalize its own App Store downloads—and that’s a good thing. Downloads in the App Store are on the decline, despite mobile gaming maintaining popularity and raking in revenue. If Apple can turn Arcade into young gamers’ go-to for mobile play, they’ll be poised for success that could outstrip even Apple TV and Apple Music. (The Motley Fool)

Gen Z music artists are “post-genre.” Mixing several influences into one song has become a way for rising artists to set themselves apart, and thanks to self-upload services like SoundCloud, they don’t need music industry exec’s approval. Meanwhile, the Genreless Generation can curate blended playlists via Spotify to fit moods and occasions rather than “rock” or “pop” and are streaming has also globalized their content consumption, so U.S. genres are no longer a limit. (Vice)

Carl’s Jr. has a CBD-infused burger that costs exactly $4.20. The chain restaurant is giving fast food a Cannabis Infusion, but only at one Denver, Colorado location, and only for one day. The Rocky Mountain High Cheese Burger Delight packs 5 mg of the chemical that won’t get you high. CBD is the trendy ingredient du jour, with 57% of 18-36-year-olds telling us they’re interested in trying it, and the chemical has made its way into everything from lotion to La Croix-like beverages. (LAT)

Axe is challenging masculinity with “bathsculinity.” The brand has been blurring gender lines for the Genreless Generation for years now, and their latest series of YouTube spots is showing that men can take baths, too. They’ve enlisted comedian Lil Rel Howery, who takes bubble baths surrounded by candles in the humorous videos. And they couldn’t be more on-trend: bath time is seeing a surge as a salve for Millennial anxiety. (Marketing Dive)

Quote of the Day: “I think for a cohesive strategy and for really helping to build awareness as well as grow the market size for new things, there's definitely digital and social media. But also, there has to be this in-real-life element.”—Alicia Yoon, Founder, Peach & Lily (YPulse)

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