Once Destructor To Her Own Life, Now Developer Of Apps To Save Others
Once Destructor To Her Own Life, Now Developer Of Apps To Save Others. Amanda Southworth a Los Angeles teen attempted repeatedly to kill herself being gripped by depression and anxiety, but fortunately she could grab a lifeline and use her love of coding to save her own life and lives of others.
In 2015, she planned to develop a mobile app AnxietyHelper that offers the resources she herself needed, and started a journey of healing and recovery that has led to a career in the tech world.
This 16 year old girl has recently dropped out of high school and started her own company Astra Labs in an untraditional way. Her company is a software nonprofit funded by donors & a $25,000 grant from the TOMS Social Entrepreneurship Fund.
Southworth spoke to USA TODAY from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose on Friday. Her commitment to create mobile apps and other software to help others was reinforced this week. The deaths of designer Kate Spade and chef & television host Anthony Bourdain were reminders of the toll of suicide, the tenth-leading cause of death in the US and one of 3 that is increasing, particularly for teens.
Southworth has been mentally ill for more than half her life and attempted suicide at least seven times.
When she moved to a new town for middle school, she could not have friends and started to feel like an outsider and used to send her future self emails reflecting her feelings of isolation and worthlessness: “I hope you’re not alive to get this email.” She daydreamed at school about killing herself and wake up in the morning and cried for being still alive.
A sixth-grade robotics club saved her life in 2011 by introducing her to the possibilities of technology and inspiring her to soak up knowledge about web development from the Internet and textbooks.
Anxiety Helper is her first mental health resource guide that was debuted in the app store in September 2015 during her ninth-grade Latin class. Just on the first day 18 users downloaded the app.
Her destructive nature was changed with creating by Coding.
In May 2017, she launched a mobile app Verena for the LGBTQ community after her friends were bullied in the tense political climate around the presidential election. Verena locates hospitals, shelters and police stations users of which can create a list of contacts to be alerted in an emergency.
She relieves her stress by building apps and helps her cope and problem solve. She loved work more and more and feel better with this coding hobby.
Until Southworth started Astra Labs, she bootstrapped her apps, working random tech jobs. Her apps are free of cost and ads.
Her three more apps are in the works with one to help turn handwritten class notes into study guides & practice tests, second to help people follow political and social issues they care about and the third one uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help those with schizophrenia determine when they’re experiencing hallucinations.