by Brady Rogers
Recent graduate of Beaverton High School, Alona Arneson, has begun a website that hopes to inspire people who feel as if they don’t have a voice in today’s society. It’s called yourlastbreath, and focuses on allowing students and people with anxiety to voice their opinions and struggles through short stories, voice recordings, and poetry.
By allowing the people that suffer from performance anxiety to still display their work through voice recording and posting their work online, it has created a safe and welcoming platform to share thoughts, past experiences, and ideas.
Another focus on the website is the feeling of no boundaries. Creativity is expressed in more forms than just the typical art forms, and Arneson understands that. She explained. “I founded yourlastbreath.org in the hopes that I could foster an environment around art that is more focused on what you’re saying than how you say it.”
She also stated, “We all have a voice that we want to use, but we do not all have the privilege to use it.” Her approach towards how people express their work sympathizes with minorities, abuse victims and others that feel their voices are limited or suppressed by society.
Her work doesn’t stop there, as her hope is to also raise awareness and highlight the codeine crisis within Zimbabwe. She hopes to shine a light on the issue by linking the drug abuse nationally to personal stories shared through the site.
Arneson’s website hopes to tackle the issues of societal standards, struggles with addiction, and pressure of performance. Yourlastbreath is a safe outlet for anyone who feels the need to express themselves, but may not know how to or aren’t comfortable with a larger audience.
Yourlastbreath focuses on creating a safe space for students that struggle to voice themselves in today’s society. (Photo courtesy of Alona Arneson)