I first learned about today’s #RealLifeWonderWoman when I saw an article written about how she and her brother created an app to help kids in crisis. The notOK app is essentially a panic button that sends a text to trusted contacts when a user needs support.
But it was the story behind the story that made me want to meet Hannah Lucas. She’s a bright, passionate teen who overcame her own personal challenges and chose to use her experiences to help other people. She went from feeing powerless to empowering others! I appreciate and respect her honesty, her vulnerability and the courage it took to move forward from a dark time in her life.
It is with tremendous pleasure that I introduce you to today’s #RealLifeWonderWoman…Ms. Hannah Lucas!
KR: Hi Hannah! Would you please tell us about the inspiration behind NotOK app?
HL: When I was in 9th grade, I started passing out. It became more and more frequent; I was later diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). Kids at my high school didn’t understand what caused me to pass out so often so they bullied, sexually harassed, and threatened me. I began to spiral into depression and anxiety, which for me included self-harm, eating disorders, and a suicide attempt. That was by far the darkest moment of my life. I wished more than anything that I had an app that could instantly alert my friends and family that I was “notOK.” I told my brother, Charlie, about it and he immediately started to work on the workflow of the app. We pitched to our parents asking them to “invest in our future and the future of those around us” through this app. We ended up hiring developers because Charlie was only 12 by then and couldn’t create an entire app by himself yet, and Charlie worked alongside them through completion of the final product.
KR: I love how you and Charlie took an idea—a great one!–and brought it to life. What were some of the challenges you overcame in creating notOK app?
HL: The biggest challenge we have faced, and continue to face, is getting people to see the potential this app has instead of just seeing something two kids created.
KR: We all have inner superpowers. What are some of yours?
HL: My initial answer would be unshakable confidence, however, you’d soon find that isn’t the case when I talk to my crush. But my real superpowers are taking the time to care about people just enough but not to the point where I let negative words affect me.
KR: Hannah, can you tell us about what brings you joy and fulfillment?
HL: What brings me joy beyond compare is making a difference in the world. Right now my brother and I are working on getting legislation passed in Georgia that makes it mandatory for teachers, school counselors, and doctors to have an up-to-date mental health first aid certification and frequently ask students about mental health. And the more I work with our state to make this happen, the more passionate I feel about the subject.
KR: Can you tell us about an influential woman in your life and how she inspired you?
HL: I look up to women who unapologetically fight for what they believe and know their worth; people like Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell, Jasilyn Charger, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. All of the women above have had a hand in changing the course of history, each in their own ways and I hope one day they will say the same about me.
KR: If you could have one super-human power, what would it be?
HL: If I could have any superpower I’d have the ability to make copies of myself so I could do multiple things all at once.
KR: Knowing what you know at this stage of your life, what words of wisdom would you give to your 12-year-old self?
HL: The biggest word of advice I could give to my younger self would be “don’t lose sight of whats truly import in life and never change yourself for anyone except God.”
Help is only a tap away!