LaToyia D. Jones, Founder of Alive On Purpose
The path to “happy” may be a winding and rocky one, but LaToyia Jones believe it’s one that all youth can successfully navigate. She knows firsthand—Jones grew up suffering depression and “extreme self-doubt,” struggling with recurring suicidal ideation. “I felt like life had no purpose, and for this reason, I no longer wanted to live,” recalls Jones.
After her second suicide attempt, Jones began to open up and share her story with others—discovering it was all too common. “The more I shared this connection with [young people], the more I began to realize that my unsuccessful attempts at suicide were part of a grand plan,” says Jones.
In 2012, Jones founded Alive on Purpose, a nonprofit aimed at suicide prevention through support, intervention, and self-discovery. The nonprofit serves girls ages 13 through 17, although its signature “Him & Me” father-daughter events welcome girls as young as two. “63 percent of all suicides come from fatherless homes, so it’s imperative to provide a platform that engages fathers as it relates to young ladies’ health and well-being,” says Jones, adding that 1,500 dads and daughters engage with the “Him & Me” programming annually.
Jones was named one of WZAK’s “25 Influential Women of Cleveland” and is proud of the work Alive on Purpose is doing to help youth “reach their happy” through self-realization.