To give a feeling of belonging to those who feel voiceless
Madison R, Debbie K, Elissa G
Heard is an anonymous penpal program that connects at-risk youth, such as those in the LGBT community and those with mental illnesses. Each user chooses a penpal with similar traits and interests to their own. Then, they can message their penpal directly through our site. Our goal is to give a sense of belonging to those who feel isolated because of their identity.
One in five youth between the ages of thirteen and eighteen have a mental illness, and a staggering 52% of youth ages thirteen to twenty identify as something other than exclusively heterosexual. Despite these statistics, mental illness and LGBT issues remain the elephant in the room. Youth facing these issues feel isolated in their communities, and few resources exist in certain areas, such as right here in Georgia.
We are connecting youth to others in their communities who face the same issues and have the same interests. The users remain completely anonymous, protecting teenagers who are forced to hide their identity.