Interview with Sylvie, Founer of Rays Awareness

Sylvie is still in school, but she has already created her own foundation to fight melanoma. The work of her foundation is aimed at highlighting the problem of skin cancer among children and adolescents.
Sylvie is from New York, studies in high school, dances and moonlights as a volunteer at the zoo. And she also has an unusual mission - to tell children and teenagers about skin cancer. It all started with the death of Sylvia's grandmother from melanoma. Unfortunately, the girl did not find her, but this did not prevent her from fighting melanoma.

"Activism started when I was about five years old and I started caring about what I was doing. My mom has always been very protective of the sun and always forced it on us because she lost her mother to melanoma. It all started with bathing shirts and sunscreen, which we were forced to apply by handfuls. I won't say that it bothered me much, but the bathing shirt is another matter. I was getting a brand new bathing suit, and then I wasn't allowed to show it, and I was always trying to figure out what to do to make all my swimsuit. Her efforts and design ideas led to participation in a competition with a clothing company called Kidbox".

Then Sylvie decided that it was possible to use fashion to spread information about melanoma. I really think fashion is important, especially for spreading information about melanoma among teenagers and young children, because nowadays it is very important for people in the state, especially like how they look, what they wear and how they wear it. To make awareness of melanoma more exciting and younger, and I feel that this is very important.

After participating in the competition, the girl was accepted into the children's board of directors, where she stayed for 2 years, during which she made a business proposal for an organization where she distributes information about melanoma and held events, visited children and adolescents and explained the danger of melanoma, and although it is the most deadly skin cancer, it can be prevented, and I tell you how they can protect themselves from the sun.

"I started with PS-112, which is a public school in New York, and I was able to provide children not only with $10,000 worth of self-defense clothing, but I was also able to collaborate with the Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation and tell them about the dangers of melanoma.

Thanks to this, my experience of dealing with melanoma really started, and it showed me that it is possible, and although I am young, and it's cool, I can do it. Then I created my own organization called "Awareness Raising" and continue to cooperate with various non-profit organizations that are also engaged in the dissemination of information about melanoma".

Sylviе was also prompted to communicate with her peers about melanoma by the fact that dermatologists often say nothing about skin cancer.

"They don't mention wearing sunscreen. I realized the lack of engagement and awareness because my mom always said wear sunscreen, do it, and we went to the doctor's appointment, and my mom said: "Can you tell them it's important?" She had to ask doctors to tell us about skin cancer, and I always wondered why? How can a teenager find out about the dangers of tanning if he was not told about it? But tanning is so dangerous, and tanning beds cause skin cancer in a lot of teenagers, but teenagers just don't know about it. They don't know it's bad for you. They don't know it's dangerous. I think it is important to spread information and inform children. At some of the events I held, most of the kids didn't even know what skin cancer was, and then I say "melanoma", they're like: "What is it?" So, I think it's really important to educate children in adolescence".

The girl also actively attracts her friends to the need to use sunscreen. According to her, many friends and acquaintances turn to her after a while and say that it changed their lives. I asked Sylvie for a little advice on how to protect yourself from melanoma.

"I would definitely say that care less about how you look at the moment or what you are doing, and really think about how important it is in this case especially to protect yourself from the sun. It's really life-changing and it's so easy to prevent. Simply applying sunscreen can reduce your chances of getting a little over 50%. And it is important to continue spreading information about skin cancer in their communities, with their friends, with their adults among their peers".
The interview was conducted by Karina Kibo, COO Artes Electronics
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