How have your struggles shaped you into the person you are today?
For 20-year-old Lauren Brocious, she was able to turn one of the worst times of her life in to The #YouDefineYou Project, a mental health nonprofit organization that helps communities across the United States.
As a teenager, Lauren started posting beauty videos to her YouTube channel and blog. Students would leave mean comments on the channel and bullied her almost every day at school. Despite being isolated by her peers Brocious continued to post online content to help escape the reality of her high school experience.
After receiving attention for the video, school officials told Brocious she would not be able to finish her senior year in school because of death threats officials’ received that put her life in danger. Later that month, after attempting suicide, Lauren was hospitalized at a mental health facility. She was diagnosed with multiple chronic mental illnesses that changed the way she lived her day-to-day life.
Following diagnosis and treatment, she used her mental health experience and knowledge to create The #YouDefineYou Project. The nonprofit organization works to promote mental health education and legislation in low-income communities. Lauren has advocated for mental health education and reform on behalf of the nonprofit at venues across the country.
Recognized for her work, she was listed as a Top 22 Most Influential College Females Under 22 in 2017 and was apart of the Top 40 Sisters Under 40 Sisters for her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta.
Currently attending VCU, Lauren is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. Her most recent accomplishment is becoming a homeowner with her boyfriend Jeremy. Bleeding the black and gold spirit, Lauren hopes to work as a PR practitioner at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Alumni Relations Department after graduation. Lauren will continue to work on The #YouDefineYou Project to advocate for mental health for everyone.
Press & Mentions
HerCampus Most Inspiring College Women
Alpha Xi Delta Top 40 Sisters Under 40
Good Day DC
Fox 5 News
HerCampus 20 Under 20