Gabby, 19 – FUNDED

At just 19 years old, Gabby Frost is already giving back in a major way. With her own non-profit Buddy Project, the North Wales, Pennsylvania native is helping young people facing suicide and increasing awareness for mental health. In 2014, Gabby won an International Shorty Award, which acknowledges her exemplary work in social media. With her $200 grant from our Mentor Me Challenge, the Drexel University student wants to expand the Buddy Project through an app.

What is your professional dream?

I want to work in the music business while still continuing to run my non-profit Buddy Project, which aims to prevent suicide and self-harm by pairing people together as buddies and raise awareness for mental health. I’d love to get more artists involved with social entrepreneurship and spreading awareness for causes they’re passionate about.

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Fund grant?

I want to create an app for Buddy Project so that people can sign up and interact with their buddy. It would make it easier for everyone who’s a part of the program and would allow for more interactions and users.

How does the app figure into your larger vision?

I want to create a social network that helps people who just need a friend or someone to talk to. People who are interested in helping someone with a mental illness can also sign up. I believe it’s important that everyone has access to make friends who can relate to them and just be there for them when they need someone. It’s so easy to make new connections on the Internet, and I feel like Buddy Project could help out so many people who just need one friend.

What advice do you have for other young women looking to go for their dreams?

Don’t listen to any negativity people have to tell you. Over the past three and a half years since I’ve been running Buddy Project, people have tried to bring me down for my ideas. They think that since I’m a teenage girl I can’t achieve my dreams. As long as you’re passionate and work hard, you will achieve your dream no matter what anyone else has to say!

How did you get around your setbacks?

In the very beginning of Buddy Project, I had no idea how I would pair people efficiently and quickly. Luckily, I was able to get advice from my mom, and now I have a system that works well. Other than that, I had to find a good website host and become a 501(c)(3) organization. Both of those things took time to accomplish, but fortunately I was able to find good solutions.

What’s next for you? What is your next goal?

My next goal is to create an app. Achieving this goal is definitely the next step for Buddy Project and I hope that it can get started soon.