Nonprofit Seeks to Combat Bullying with Inspirational Signs
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — If you live in Brevard County, chances are you’re starting to see inspirational signs pop up on some yards — but there is a mission behind the signs.
- Nonprofit Teens4Taylor wants to combat bullying
- Cyndi Elder using signs to remind people their lives matter
- About 200 Brevard residents have requested a sign; more on the way
- Hear the podcast about Taylor’s story
Elder says her 14-year-old niece Taylor King ended her life on September 26, 2010. Until this day, no one really knows why, but some think bullying may have played a role.
Although Taylor was excited to start high school, Elder says it was a rough start because she didn’t make the cheerleading team, and her grades started slipping.
Taylor was described as fun-loving, with a large family support system.
“It was all too much for her. She was very sensitive. You would never know she was depressed. She never said anything about wanting to kill herself,“ Elder remarked.
Elder explained how Taylor’s home was feet away from her house, and how they had such a close family dynamic, so the day the teen ended her life came as a shock.
“We weren’t that family … it wasn’t anything that crossed our minds,” she said.
Elder says in memory of her niece they started the Teens4Taylor nonprofit, and this year they are doing things a little different.
For the first time, she’s putting up inspirational signs in yards of people who request it. About 200 Brevard County residents have requested a sign and more requests are on the way.
Elder hopes the signs remind someone that their life matters and things will get better.
“And you matter, you mater to so many people, you’re not alone and your mistakes don’t define you and you are enough,” she said.
According to the Brevard Medical Examiner’s officers in 2018, out of 123 suicides, two were teens ages 15 and 19. The medical examiner’s office confirms that so far this year, no teens have committed suicide in the county.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the top three leading causes of deaths for teens 15 to 19 are accidents, homicides, and suicides.
Elder says if she could anything to Taylor it would be “don’t give up.” She would have been 23-year-old.
She’s hoping to expand the nonprofit by recruiting teen ambassadors to provide support in schools for those who are struggling or getting bullied.