Greenville students choose life through Love Like Lexi project
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2023
The Love Like Lexi (LLL) project is making its way through the schools of Butler County with the purpose of restoring hope to those who might struggle with “the voice of suicide”. Andrea Mills, the founder of LLL, described this voice as what led her daughter, Lexi Webb, to take her own life in 2019.
Last Thursday Greenville High School hosted the LLL team and students filled the auditorium to hear Lexi’s story. Mills said many student’s relate with Webb’s story and find relief speaking aloud about “the voice” Mills described.
“After I share our story, many students feel safe to express what’s actually going on in their lives without shame or fear,” Mills said. “They come up to us and say they relate to Lexi’s story, that they’ve heard that voice before but didn’t have the words to describe it, and they often don’t have anyone to help them.”
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Mills shared a beautiful slideshow of pictures and videos featuring Webb as she spoke vulnerably and powerfully about the preciousness of each person’s life, the ripple effect people’s actions create, and the importance of choosing life despite turmoil and hardships. The student’s silently took it all in with cheers for Webb and Mills at compelling moments in the assembly.
“There’s a lot of influence in this generation’s culture that glamorizes suicide as if it’s an option for people, and it should not ever be an option,” Mills said. “There is a lot of music and shows that influence this voice of suicide. I don’t think they see the full picture and the ripple effect it has on everybody, the school, their teachers, their friends and family. Many students hug me and say they were thinking about doing this, but they never realized how it would affect their parents until now.”
Mills presented Webb’s story to GHS parent’s Wednesday evening, and described suicide warning signs that are not often spoken about. She said it is eye opening for parents as they realize that this could happen to anyone’s child, regardless of how impossible it may seem.
During the assembly, Mills talked about the conversations she believes are important to have with every child.
“We didn’t know Lexi felt she couldn’t fail,” Mills said. “We didn’t know she felt she couldn’t disappoint anyone. Parents should tell their children ‘You can come to me with anything that happens in your life. You can never disappoint me to where I’m going to turn my heart away from you, and there’s nothing you could say or do that’s going to change how much I love you.’ Parents often do not realize that this needs to be said out loud.”
Bryan Nguyen, a student who chose to help with the LLL project, said he believes many of the students, including himself, could relate to Lexi’s story and that there would be a positive outcome from the assembly.
“This project is really important because I feel like it’s touched many people,” Nguyen said. “Not a lot of people hear that they’re not alone and they’re supported. The world is just tough for them.”
The assembly concluded with the students lining up to symbolically commit to life by signing their names under the banners titled “I accept the challenge to live”. Mills and her family travel to a different school every week throughout the entire school year to share her family’s message. She stepped away from her nursing career to pursue this purpose, as this is where she said she is meant to be.
“I stepped away from everything to do this full time, which is super scary because we’re a nonprofit and we don’t charge anything for any of our assemblies,” Mills said. “We’re just supported by other people. I know this is what I’m supposed to do. It drives me, and it’s all I can think about.”
To connect with or to donate to the Love Like Lexi project, check its website at lovelikelexi.com where anyone can “choose to live” online and the team will send a package and workbook in the mail. The LLL project can be followed on Instagram and Facebook @lovelikelexiproject.
The Love Like Lexi team will be visiting Greenville Middle School Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. for the parent assembly and Aug. 31 for the student assembly at 9 a.m. They will then travel to Georgiana School for the parent assembly on Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. and host the student assembly Sept. 6 at 9 a.m. The Butler County run will end with McKenzie School with the parent assembly Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. and the student assembly on Sept. 14 at 9 a.m.