Meet the originators of Illuminating a Better Tomorrow A LIGHTFEST – We Survive Initiative

Meet the Originators of Illuminating a Better Tomorrow

Alyssa V. – student 

Coordinator and Contributing writer

My struggles with emotional health and  mental wellness arose from a feeling of isolation. I felt like no one understood how I was feeling, and that I would never be able to recover. Eventually, I gathered the courage to share how I felt and seek help. Since then, I’ve known that I have to dedicate my life to preventing others from suffering in the dark. 

My vision for this project is to break down the barriers of stigma surrounding  emotional health and  mental wellness and helping people realize that they are not alone in their journey. Through our collective experiences and shared stories, we want to create a supportive community where individuals feel heard, understood, and embraced. I want our audience to feel like their voice and their story matters, fostering a sense of empowerment and connection.

Sharon Cecil – retired nurse We Survive Executive Director

Advisor and Contributing writer

Childhood was not kind to me. Mental Health of any form didn’t get much traction in those days enduring abandonment, abuse and neglect.  Reading and writing became a safe space.  There were no intruders. 

As a teenager, it all came to an abrupt end when my biological mother’s life ended. At that moment in time a clergy person said to me, “Hurt people hurt people.”  From that moment on,  I knew that I didn’t want anyone to hurt like I had.   As an adult, my goal was to help hurting hearts heal.  My husband Moody was instrumental helping me to find myself through self-discovery.

To read the first story click here. More Illuminating a Better Tomorrow stories will be posted to the Blog.