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Alive On Purpose
Alive On Purpose, Inc. (AOP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2011 with the purpose of preventing suicide among young people. AOP is located and managed in Cleveland, Ohio and supports the greater Cleveland community with youth development and suicide prevention programs. The organization was founded by its current Executive Director, Ms. LaToyia Jones who, at the ages of 17 and 21, tried to take her own life. Despite growing up in a suburban, working class home amongst successful people from whom she could learn and lookup to, LaToyia still suffered with depression and extreme self-doubt. She felt her life had no purpose and for this reason, she no longer wanted to live.
After her second suicide attempt, LaToyia began to discover her purpose. She realized that her story was all too common and that, when she shared it, young people especially, were moved by her talks. They opened up to her they shared their innermost struggles and related to her stories. The more she shared this connection with them, the more she began to realize that her unsuccessful attempts of suicide were part of a grand plan. She realized that she was supposed to be Alive, so she could help others to Stay Alive and Live Life On Purpose.
LaToyia’s story, the story of suicide, is more common than you might think. In fact, for young people ages 15-24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. This is the reason Alive On Purpose exists. We believe life is precious and that each one of us has a unique brand and a special gift to share with the world; a path that only we can forge; a void that no one else can fill. However, in order for each of us to connect with our purpose, we must first learn to believe in ourselves. AOP helps bridge this gap.
Over the past several years, our AOP’s work has grown from school-based interactive group talks, to a full character development and suicide prevention curriculum. The success of our programs are measured not just in quantifiables but in how young people feel about themselves going forward. Although less quantifiable with regard to absolute metrics, our success can be seen through the sheer demand for our presence. Our partners are satisfied and they’re spreading the word.