Elaina. Jacksonville, FL.

“I am graduating as a junior this year with nearly a 4.0. In the past year, I have secured roughly twenty college credits and nominated as a National Merit Scholar. I perform all over the east coast and have traveled the world as a vocalist and model. While this may sound like a charmed life, the road here was not smooth. Very few people are aware, but the past two years of my life have been marred with numerous suicide attempts and a self harm problem. I spent most of my early high school career bouncing in and out of psych wards and institutions, each of which had a different diagnosis and “miracle medicine”. Major depressive disorder. Acute anxiety. Borderline personality disorder. Another day, another label, another pill to match. By the end of my 10th grade year, I was completely done with it, and I stopped all medications and haven’t self-harmed since. I threw myself into my music and my schoolwork with a vengeance and the world began to take me seriously. I refused to allow myself to be viewed as anything the doctors said about me. No one will ever again tell me who I am, nor will I accept a disorder as my definition again, because all of us are so much more than that. I am not a troubled teenager - I am a gifted musician. I am passionate. I am driven. I am not my label.”