10 June 2009

Starbright World

Okay so I talk about SBW enough, it's finally time for a post.

Here's info pulled off the Starlight Children's Foundation site.

"Many seriously ill teens are unable to leave the hospital or their homes, which often results in loneliness and feeling left behind by friends. Starbright World® (www.starbrightworld.org) is the premier online social network for seriously ill teens and their teen-aged siblings. Whether from home or the hospital, members are able to get to know other teens from around the world who are going through similar experiences. They chat, post to the bulletin boards, share pictures and create blogs. The site is professionally moderated by Starlight staff.

My Life is now also available as an important extension of Starbright World. My Life was developed specifically to help teens with life-threatening illnesses acknowledge and cope with the possibility of death. All teens wrestle with wanting more independence, new life experiences, and greater control over their lives. Dealing with a serious illness can make being a teenager even more overwhelming, and can take a significant toll on both physical and emotional health.

My Life’s goal is to help sick teens process their feelings and understand their fears about their illnesses, while at the same time making it easier to communicate about what they are feeling. The program helps teens express themselves and process their feelings by allowing them to:

  • Document their stories and journal their thoughts;
  • Express themselves through photos and personalized profiles;
  • Describe their experiences in order to better understand their own emotions;
  • Interact with other teens who are feeling the same fears; and
  • Develop the communication skills and comfort level to adequately express their feelings and wishes to friends and family while they have the opportunity.

To see a demo of My Life, visit click here.

Starbright World members love the features and capabilities of this community, as it reminds them that they are not alone and provides much-needed peer support. As one user tells us:

"I think Starbright World is a good idea. It gives us a chance to talk to other people in the same situation. It lets you find out for yourself that there are others like you. You also have the chance to let your mind wander away from your pain. So I'm just writing to say thank you!"

Altavoice2, SBW user

The Web Marketing Association honored Starbright World with 2 Standard of Excellence Awards in nonprofit websites and online communities as part of its 11th annual WebAward Competition for website development. More than 2,400 sites from 40 countries were adjudicated in 96 industry categories during this year's competition. Entries were judged on design, copy writing, innovation, content, interactivity, navigation and use of technology. Starbright World scored particularly well in regards to design, innovation and technology and was off the charts for interactivity! "

So. SBW is my big escape...when I need to vent, or just feel like I fit in. I know, it's so "the world's against me" to say that I don't fit in at school, but it is INCREDIBLY awkward some days. And when I was out of school for these last four months, SBW helped keep me sane.

So that's what SBW is about, when I say SBW I'm talking about Starbright World.


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