My name is Takari Tatum, and I am 11 years old and in the 6th grade at Tapp Middle in Powder Springs, Ga. My target teacher, from Varner elementary school, Ms. Mendenhall, asked us to do a community service project. I decide to do a project on mental health in honor of Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka, 2 of my favorite athletes who suffer from stress and anxiety and all the students suffering from mental health issues due to Covid. I saw how many of many classmates’ personality changed due to covid and being quarantined. I lost my grandfather in 2020 and I saw how that stressed my family. Also, I lost my aunt to Covid, and I saw how that stressed my family, so I decided to make rubber band bracelets. Each person who wears my bracelet will be honoring mental health and knows that mental health matters. When you feel anxiety or stress just “Snap It.” Snapping your bracelet is a reminder to calm down and take a deep breath. My bracelets can be found in Georgia. South Carolina. North Carolina, Virginia, New York, Washington D.C. Massachusetts, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. I have raised over $1200.00 for NAMI (National alliance for Mental Illness.) I am a captain for the NAMI national walk. Last year, I was the captain that started the walk. I have passed out over 20,000 bracelets across the country. I am now a national spokesperson for NAMI and have been recognized locally and nationally for my work. I have been featured on 11 alive WSB CBS, CBS morning with Gayle King, CBS news with Cindy Hsu and did a national weather broadcast with Elise Finch. I have been featured in many of the local newspapers. I am now an author of “Snap it “my first book. It has received 5 stars on Amazon. I continue going to events spreading the word that mental health matters.
Awarded a 4-year college scholarship from Eastern Nazarene College Delta Sorority Citizen of the Year 2023 NAMI volunteer of the year 2023 (youngest one I history to receive this award) Distinguished Gifted Student of the Year for the state of Georgia Received a Proclamation for the Cobb County Commission Mental health is real, and I would like to thank you for your support and giving me a way to share my story. I want people to know that they are not alone and there is plenty of help for everyone. You can talk to a teacher, a family member, a counselor, or a friend. Remember to Snap it. I am available to speak and or pass out stress bracelets at your church or function.
Takari at the Nami National photo shoot.
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