How We Got Started
Alexander Kovarovic (Founder)
After battling depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder throughout high school, the then 18 year old, Alexander Kovarovic, attempted suicide during his senior year of high school. In response to the suicide attempt and dangerous self harming behaviors, Alexander spent around 4 weeks in a mental health hospital where he was able to get treatment and learn how to grow toward getting better. Concluding his hospital stay, Alexander struggled the following year with self harming, eating disorder relapses, and self esteem issues. Alex's battles with mental health as a child and teenager really is what formed the One Life Project and everything we do today.
Creation of One Love Media
In 2017, Alexander wanted to help others in hopes of learning how to grow and work through his anxiety and depression. He thought that by talking with other people going through similar things, that maybe it would help. In May of 2017, Alexander created a Facebook page where he shared quotes, motivational content, self love pictures and feel good content in hopes of helping others struggling with what he was struggling with. After running the account for only 3 months, one night Alex posted an inspiring quote that went viral and was shared over 57 million times. His Facebook page gained 1.1 million followers in only three days. His continued success with the page over the past few years has led him to 4.4 million followers on that page. The page is run mainly anonymously. Most people don't know Alex runs and oversees the page unless they know him through the One Life Project or personally. The page is still running the same content, all targeted to people struggling who feel alone or down on themselves and Alex has created several other pages and self help groups over the past few years in addition to his main page totaling over 5 million followers. He started One Love Media on January 2nd, 2018, which was created to oversee all of the pages, its followers, and the content posters on the pages. One Love Media still oversees all of the pages and content today and all income derived from these pages is made as a donation to the One Life Project.
Creation of Anti-Bullying Nonprofit
In February of 2018, Alex wanted to do more to directly impact those struggling with mental health, self esteem, and bullying. He created the National Youth Internet Safety and Cyberbullying Task Force, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was formed to help combat bullying and keep teens safe online from cyberbullying in hopes of preventing teen suicide. The nonprofit took off very quickly and garnished over 1,000 volunteers across the United States within a few months. The nonprofit was able to create programs that were used in schools and had a great social media presence that helped keep teens safe online. Resources were able to be shared with those who needed them. This nonprofit was run under this name and mission until February 10th, 2020. At the time that this organization was created, Alex, as well as most of his volunteers were very young, many still teenagers, so at the time, the nonprofit's name was chosen, but ended up not being the best choice, being that it was way too long of a name and didn't really fit the mission they wanted to work on long term. The nonprofit's directors, board of directors, mangers, and many volunteers gathered for a meeting in Albany, NY in late February of 2020. They discussed how the nonprofit was to proceed, a potential name change, and redesign of our mission statement.
Creation of One Life Project
A few months before the February 2020 meeting, Alex had given a speech at a New Jersey high school where his speech topic was called "One Life, Keep Pushing Forward". The speech was aimed at teens and discussed how we all only have one life and that we need to reach out for help if we are struggling so we can grow and push through mental illness. Alex knew he wanted to incorporate the speech into the nonprofit's new name. The management team went back and forth between One Life Organization and One Life Project for several days before it was decided to go with One Life Project, because our mission is always growing bigger and needs to be worked on like a project! On March 12th, 2020, the One Life Project was officially launched and the National Youth Internet Safety and Cyberbullying Task Force was now the One Life Project. We took on our new mission statement of working to build and create a kinder world where we educate, advocate for, and support teens, college students, and young adults who are struggling with mental health in the hopes of preventing suicide in young people and ending the stigma that surrounds mental health. Our nonprofit launched only days before COVID hit many countries across the world including the United States, and lockdowns had begun. Many people started feeling the effects of the lockdown and we gained over 1,800 volunteers in just the first 3 months as many wanted to help others struggling and felt strongly in our mission. Our social media accounts quickly grew, we started creating school programming and speeches for when schools reopened and we used social media as a way to grow our nonprofit quickly through the worse of the COVID period, in hopes of helping those struggling at home during the lockdown. From that point on, our nonprofit has quickly become a home for thousands of volunteers, employees, business partners, and millions of individuals who support our mission and work.
Current Day Work and Success
The One Life Project opened its first office in Albany, NY in late 2020. In late 2022, that office was closed and we moved our office to Times Square in New York City. Our Times Square office now serves as our headquarters office and management location. We have also opened offices in Hershey, PA, Burlington, VT, Dallas, TX and Palm Springs, CA over the past couple of years with more offices on the way soon through 2023 and 2024. Many of our offices were donated to us by landlords who believe strongly in our mission and wanted to give us space to operate locally to them. Today, the One Life Project holds numerous employees across the United States, over 3,000 volunteers worldwide, and hosts events, fundraisers, and various workshops and speeches throughout the year, many at schools and colleges. We currently partner with many local, regional, and national businesses and influencers. We have been quickly growing throughout 2022 and 2023 and are looking forward to our continued success, with our work online and our work in schools and colleges as well as in communities nationwide.