Everyday, millions of people are struggling with depression, self-harm, and a lack of self-love. Depression doesn't know an age or ethnicity and impacts people from all social and economic backgrounds. Teenagers especially have a difficult time as they grow and try to find themselves, and when things take a turn for the worst, many injure themselves, even to the point of taking their own lives.
Such was the case of 15-year-old Hannah Lucas. After being diagnosed with a medical condition, she found herself dealing with regular fainting spells and was under the constant feeling that she was facing the world on her own.
The Georgia sophomore told ABC News that the fainting made her afraid to go anywhere. “Because what if I passed out and no one was around or what if someone took advantage of me?”
From that dark point in her life, Hannah and her younger brother, Charlie Lucas, 13, created an app to help people in distress.
While there are many siblings who are at each other's throats during their teenage years, Hannah's brother Charlie saw that his sister was suffering and wanted to help her in any way possible. Hannah mentioned to her mother that she wished there was some sort of app that could notify her close friends and family that she was either emotionally or physically in harm's way. They talked about it and came up with the notOK app. At a summer camp Charlie learned how to code, so he wanted to use his new skills to make his sister's dream a reality.
“I helped illustrate it out so he would know what to do,” Hannah said. “He looked at my drawings and he coded it to tell the coders exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it to look.”
“I saw Hannah depressed, and she told me about her idea, and I started wire-framing it,” he said. “Making this app made her feel better and that made me feel better.”
During the summer, Hannah was taking a summer class at Georgia Tech and spoke with her professors about her idea. They liked what they heard and helped the siblings partner with a development company who got the app off the ground. It took five long months to get everyone up and running, but you can now download it on both Android and iOS systems for $2.99 a month. If someone finds themselves in trouble, with the click of a button a text is sent to up to five contacts who will immediately be notified of the person's GPS location.
“The reaction we’ve heard has been really positive, especially from parents and kids suffering from anxiety,” Hannah said. “Those kids don’t know the words to tell somebody. It definitely gave me a sense of comfort.”
These #BlackSiblingMagic entrepreneurs are on their way to changing the world! Young people, don't let anyone tell you your positive impact doesn't make a difference. The struggles we go through hopefully can change us for the better — but if we allow them, they can help uplift others as well. We're proud of these Lucas'!