Nonprofit brings hope to students struggling with suicidal thoughts
GREENVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - A mother from Smiths Station is on a mission to give hope to students who might be struggling with thoughts of suicide.
Andrea Mills created the “Love Like Lexi Project” in honor of her daughter who lost her life to suicide in February 2019. The project is now making a difference in numerous schools across the state.
The voice of 18-year-old Lexi Webb could be heard echoing through the gymnasium of Fort Dale Academy in Greenville Wednesday, as Mills shared with students Lexi’s life and legacy. Webb was a senior at Smiths Station High School and is remembered as being “full of life,” a star softball athlete, and loved by many in the community.
“On the outside, it looked like she had everything, but we just had no idea the weight that she was carrying,” said Lexi’s mother Andrea Mills.
Since her passing, Mills and a team of volunteers have traveled to 16 schools with a mission to share Lexi’s story in hopes that it resonates with students who might need help. The messages that are shared at the assemblies are ones that Mills said she wished her daughter could have heard.
“When we come in and speak with the kids, I think about her sitting in a bleacher,” Mills said. “What did she need to hear? What could have changed the decision that she made? Every time that we come in to an assembly, that’s what I think of.”
Mills founded the Love Like Lexi Project to not only raise awareness about suicide – but to also give students hope, self-worth, and purpose.
“We just want to pour into them, let them know that we believe in them, that they matter, that we love them and that they’re here for a reason,” Mills said.
The program empowers students to be part of the solution, while helping give them tools needed to navigate through life’s challenges.
For some students who might be suffering in silence, the assemblies are the first time they speak out about needing help.
“If you talk about it, you heal, and that’s what we are wanting to do is allow them the space to actually talk,” Mills said.
At the end of each assembly, students sign a banner, promising to choose life.
“So many lives have been changed,” Mills said. “We’ve had over 10,000 students go through our program and make that commitment to choose to live, but not just to live, to love and to lead. It’s a decision we know that our children didn’t have an opportunity to make.”
To make a donation to the Love Like Lexi Project, click here
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