About AJ and Our Vision

About AJ

Andre Lamar Myers, Jr.
July 24, 1995 - September 30, 2012

AJsPeaceProject, Inc.  was created when my beloved son, Andre L. Myers, Jr., took his own life at the tender age of 17.  AJ struggled with an anxiety disorder and was later diagnosed borderline bipolar.  He was an overall happy kid who had an amazing family who loved and cherished him.  He didn't show signs of mental illness until he was 13.  He had some symptoms of  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and sometimes had panic attacks.  But as he approached his teen years, his symptoms of anxiety grew.  He had episodes of paranoia,  and sometimes hyper-ventilated.  He was prescribed medication that  seemed to make things worse, so we never got the opportunity to really focus on holistic alternatives.
AJ coped with his illness through the arts.  He was such an amazing and brilliant child that he taught himself Japanese, which he spoke and wrote it fluently.  He was a poet.  He wrote raps and recorded them on YouTube.  The day before he died, he recorded his lyrics in a studio.

Our Vision

AJsPeaceProject, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes.  Specifically, the purpose of this organization is to provide an outlet for teenagers who struggle with mental illness.  The teens will have the opportuity to paint, sculpt, draw, and write.  They will be able to participate in yoga classes, horticulture therapy, music therapy and meditation.  Their parents will be able to learn what signs to look for and how to deal with their teenager through the resources that will be provided.  The ultimate goal is to provide an outlet (service) to teens living with mental illness. We will further our purposes under this program by conducting the following activities:
Art Therapy - This program will allow students between the ages of 12 - 18, younger or older to come to a place of refuge and express mental anguish through art.  Painting on canvas, sculpting, and drawing, are some of the art forms that will be offered. According to Rogers Behavioral Health Hospital located in Tampa Bay, Florida, art is an excellent tool to assist those who may have trouble verbalizing their thoughts or feelings.
Acupuncture as a form of Healing - According to Chinese medical theory, mental illness occurs when there is imbalance within the body. Imbalance can come from an excessive deficiency of yin and yang that disrupts the flow of (qi) energy through the body. Acupuncture is a way to bring balance.
Music to calm the Soul -  Saakshi Arora, music therapist with the American Health and Wellness Institute, suggests that music can affect a person's thoughts, feelings and behavior and has been shown to assist with managing stress,  and improving communications.
A Green "Peace" of Mind - Horticulture therapists say that gardens produce the most positive effects on mental health.  They do this by providing a sense of control, the psychological counter to stress and anxiety.  The science is now being used in hospitals and rehabilitation centers in the U.S. where "healing gardens" have been created for patients to walk through.
Yoga does the body good and eases the mind - According to Time Magazine, Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University Medical Center, suggests that yoga does in fact have positive effects on mild depression and sleep problems, and it improves the symptoms of psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and ADHD among patients using medication.  Mentally, people feel calmer, sharper, and maybe more content.
Just Breathe - Meditation is a way to focus and shut out the world, a way of stilling the body.  Charles L. Raison, M.D., clinical director of the Mind-Body Program at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, participated in a study that indicated that meditation improved both physical and emotional responses to stress. In the study, people who meditated regularly for six weeks showed less activiation of their immune systems and less emotional distress when they were put in a stressful situation.
Overall Wellness - Classes, forums, and resources for parents and students to better understand themselves and the illness is what AJsPeaceProject, Inc. will provide.  The five areas listed above are what the program will start with. It will branch into nutrition, talk therapy, and other avenues that are natural and holistic.  The project will have volunteered certified artists, acupuncturists, musicians, horticulture therapists, yoga instructors, meditation gurus, and counselors available.  
Volunteers will conduct our organization's activities.  We currently do not have a location to conduct these activities but we are working to obtain a venue until we can purchase our own space.  Our program is open to the public.

"The mind is everything.  What you think, you become.
The Buddha