Aerie Real Foundation™ works to build confidence in women, foster an inclusive community, and protect our planet to make the world a better place for all. We’re awarding our first $100,000 Aerie Real Change Signature Grant to NEDA Campus Warriors!The
Aerie is a proud supporter of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). We’ve been passionate about this cause since 2014. Now, we’re excited to share our first grant to fund Campus Warriors, a new initiative to raise eating disorders awareness on 70 college campuses and in 7 high schools.
We caught up with two Campus Warriors to talk about the program!
Meet & Hear From Kayla!
On college campuses, eating disorders often thrive in silence. That is why I find spreading eating disorder awareness on campuses so important, and exactly why I decided to hold my first NEDA walk at Furman University. All the money that was donated will go towards nationally raising awareness, funding research, as well as providing resources to those who need it the most. While the money raised goes to a great cause, the most rewarding part for me was letting other students know that they are not alone and to not give up hope. Beginning at age 11, I had struggled with an eating disorder all the way through high school and often felt isolated. When I attended a NEDA walk back in 2016, I felt so full of hope. I shared my story so that others may also find their voice. The most pivotal moment in my journey with NEDA is when I heard that one of the walk attendees decided it was time they pursue treatment. That takes so much courage, and I am so proud of them as well as myself for having influenced such a decision.
The most rewarding part for me was letting other students know that they are not alone and to not give up hope.
Meet & Hear From Jess!
I hold the NEDA Campus Warrior program close to my heart for many reasons. I have gone through my own recovery process and I want anyone struggling to know freedom from disordered eating and eating disorders does exist. NEDA has given me a platform to share this message. Education and advocacy are most important to my mission on campus.
I prioritize speaking to students about the warning signs of eating disorders/disordered eating, how to support loved ones struggling, and shedding light around stereotypes of eating disorders. I find that most people have no idea how to be supportive around these issues, and basic education can change things. We have also connected with different organizations on campus to raise awareness such as Greek Life.
This program has given me an opportunity to live out my passion, and let others know they are not alone.
Being a Campus Warrior is huge for me because everyone knows someone who is struggling. Eating disorders do not discriminate and are much more common than you might think. This program has given me an opportunity to live out my passion, and let others know they are not alone. I have had the privilege of being one of the first Campus Warriors, and am excited to see the impact we can have!