Name: Sheena Carter

Faculty Advisor: Courtney Marse

Category: Wild Card

Purpose/Proposal: As a young adult, I can attest to the observation that most of my peers take their health for granted. It seems as though our health is just not that important. Most young adults do not concern themselves with anything health related, until it affects someone close to them, or even themselves. In order to become a healthier and less self-centered generation, we must educate ourselves about the various types of illnesses and disorders that are affecting the world around us.

One reason for the problem could be the amount of focus put on specific diseases in the media, such as breast cancer; therefore, overshadowing the lesser known illnesses and disorders. I am not saying that breast cancer isn’t important, but most of my peers already know what breast cancer is because of the vast amount of media coverage that it gets. My goal is to highlight the illnesses and disorders that aren’t AS widely known. Secondly, my peer group (ages 18-30), is known for turning to social and non-traditional news media for their information. In order to educate the viewers and bring awareness to lesser known illnesses and disorders, I am to reach young adults through their preferred social media networks.

Process: I will create an Instagram page titled ILLNESS AND DISORDER AWARENESS. Each week, I will highlight one illness or disorder. I will choose which illness or disorder to highlight based on its’ existing designated awareness month. If an illness or disorder has made headlining news, like Ebola, for example, I will adjust the plan and highlight it to keep the page current and informative. There will be different context scheduled for particular days of the week. Post styles will vary between challenges and information to interest the the viewers throughout the week. I want the page be informative, but not a drag. To keep a bit of a light feel to such a heavy topic, I will also coin the hashtag #IllnessandDisorderAwareness. It will be a used as a way to encourage our viewers to engage with us and also as a way to track user involvement. Posts from followers that are relevant to the cause will be re-posted to the page thus, further encouraging user involvement.

Monday: To kick off the week, an illness or disorder will be introduced. On the page, there will be a post explaining what the illness/ disorder is. For each illness or disorder, there willbe a color that corresponds with it. Using instagram, a graphic will be posted showcasing the illness or disorder’s name and designated color, accompanied by an explanation.

Wednesday: An image will be posted encouraging followers to wear the color of the week and post a photo doing so in support using the campaign’s hashtag.

Friday: To capitalize on user engagement, any cures or advancements discovered for the illness or disorder will be posted accompanied by actions the follower can take to help the cause.

Saturday:  General health and fitness tips will be posted in order to encourage an overall happy and healthy lifestyle. In addition, the post will include any relevant facts about fitness and nutrition preventing or deterring the illness or disorder. This is to encourage our followers to take steps into bettering their lives.

Sunday: To end the week, we will further emphasize our message “Illness and disorders have no face” by posting celebrities affected by the illness or disorder. This will show our readers that even the most famous people in the world aren’t immune to illnesses and disorders. You can not put a price on health.

Based on my observations and research I have done on my peer group, young adults often take their health for granted. Since we are in our prime and so focused on the now, we do not realize that one day our bodies will get older and we will be more prone to contracting illnesses and diseases. This is why we must take care of ourselves now, so our bodies will be strong enough to fight off diseases later. And in order to highlight the lesser known health issues and send the message that “illnesses and disorders have no face”,  I have planned this project to really reach them on their most used media outlets. I want the outcome to be a group of young adults who are more knowledgeable, less self-centered, and more proactive about their health. We only have one body and it is a must that we take care of it as best as we can

Time table: This will be a full year project.