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Assistance Giving Talks on Mental Illness

$1,490 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 21 people in 9 months
Mental Illness is prevalent around the world, but there are some fields where it rears its ugly head a little more than others.  One of these fields is the tech field.

My name is JD, and I have Mental Illnesses.  I'm also fortunate enough to have Erased the Stigma around mental illness from myself.  This is thanks to a mix of therapy, medication, and going to a developer event that changed my life.

The event was a talk by Ed Finkler (@funkatron on the interwebs) and it was a presentation on OSMI (Open Sourcing Mental Illness) and how he has dealt with mental illness throughout his life.  Several months went by and I noticed that there was not a lot of talk going on about this subject, so I reached out to Ed and asked if he would mind if I started pitching a talk about MY story and how I've dealt with mental illness and the stigma associated with it.  He told me that if I wanted to, I could give his talk verbatim.  All that mattered was opening the conversation.

Since then I have given my talk, Erasing the Stigma: Mental Illness in Tech several times, around the country, at various tech conferences from Philadelphia to Orlando to Chicago to Des Moines.  While my job has been more than generous with time off to give these talks, they can't always provide funding to assist with my expenses.

OSMI has helped where they can, but with so many other needs and expenses, there's only so much money to go around.

That's why I'm coming to GoFundMe.  I'm hoping that some of you out there may be willing to help sponsor me to travel and give my talk Erasing the Stigma: Mental Illness in Tech.  I have set a goal of $5000, but everything helps.  From air fare to mileage and wear and tear on my car, to food and drink, to lodging, to Lyft and Uber, and everything in between, these expenses add up.

While I do feel that it's an important topic and that it needs to be discussed, these expenses are making it very difficult to continue.  Over the past year, I've spent and estimated $4700 in expenses traveling to give my talk outside of what I've received from OSMI, so I'm asking for your help to continue to pitch my talk and start the conversation on this very, very important topic.

Donations to this GoFundMe will assist with room and board, travel, and incidentals.
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Thanks to the generous donations of so many people, I've been able to give my talk more times this year than I ever expected.

Since I started this campaign, I have been able to utilize the funds to give my talk at DrupalCorn in Iowa, a developer conference; BADCamp, a developer conference in Berkley, CA; DrupalCon, a national conference in Seattle; and a few more local engagements.

It's also helping me to get to Flyover Camp, a developer conference; TC Drupal, a developer conference; Drupal Camp Asheville, another developer conference; and Decoupled Days, a conference in NYC. My total out of pocket expenses so far for these trips have come to around $6500, including the $1330 that has been raised so far. I have also had help from OSMI, a wonderful non-profit that inspired me to do this in the first place.

I also want to thank everyone who was directed here from the Lullabot post. I can't begin to explain how honored I am to have been mentioned. Thank you all for everything that you have done to help out.
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Most recently, I was able to speak at DrupalCon Seattle, a NATIONAL level conference held annually at rotating locations. I have pitched several talks for the summer that I am starting to get accepted to. You're all amazing for helping out.
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Thanks to the generosity of everyone so far, I was able to find somewhat affordable lodging for my next in-person event, BADCamp. This is the Bay Area Drupal Camp held annually at UC Berkeley to bring together developers and other Drupal enthusiasts, and it's an exciting opportunity for me to be able to present my talk to an audience that I otherwise would not have been able to reach. Thank you all again.
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I really have no words for how much help has come my way in the past 24 hours. You all are amazing and have shown great faith in me and what I am trying to do by speaking on mental illness. Thank you, sincerely.
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$1,490 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 21 people in 9 months
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MC
$50
Marvin Cespedes
8 days ago
$100
doug vann
14 days ago
SI
$10
Stefan Ivic
1 month ago
HT
$25
Hawkeye Tenderwolf
2 months ago
$50
Anonymous
2 months ago
AS
$100
Andrea Soper
2 months ago
LG
$25
Leslie Glynn
2 months ago
DN
$25
David Alyscia Needham
2 months ago
$25
Adam Bergstein
2 months ago
AM
$20
Allison Manley
2 months ago
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