Who is Trey?
TreyLovesYou.org is inspired by the life of Donald Randolph Brown III, affectionately known as Trey. Trey was a remarkable 16-year-old boy who was born with a heart to help others.
During the spring of 2023, as a sophomore at Harvard Westlake High School, Trey began discussing with his father the process of creating a foundation to help and encourage teens who are struggling. Trey wanted the foundation’s name to reflect his genuine empathy and affection for those feeling alone or unloved. The name that resonated with him was “Trey Loves You.”
Unfortunately, on a night when Trey was struggling himself, he made an impulsive decision, that was permanent and irreversible. Although Trey is no longer physically present, his legacy of love persists.
Trey left behind his father, mother, and three younger siblings. To honor their hero, Trey’s siblings, with his parents’ oversight, resolved to bring his dream to fruition. This site marks the beginning of that journey.
A Message to Anyone Struggling.
If you ever find yourself experiencing pain that feels unbearable, we pray you will consider doing two things.
1. Tell someone! Then tell someone else! Then tell ten more people!
Don’t struggle in silence. Please tell someone you are hurting. Then keep telling anyone who will listen and do not stop until you are no longer suffering. It takes courage to be so open, but you are stronger than you know.
You do not have to go through this alone. There are people who desperately want to hold on to you while you heal. But they must first know you are struggling.
2. Hold on! Change is coming!
While you are telling someone, hold on. Persevere. Don’t give up.
Your feelings are real but temporary. The pain, sadness, anxiety and loneliness don’t feel like they will pass but we promise – they will!
Heraclitus said, “The only constant in life is change.” This means that nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable. So, no matter how overwhelming the pain you feel is right now, it will get better.
Most importantly never forget your value. Please know that you matter. You are incredibly important, cherished and loved. Trey loves you. So do we.
Tell Someone Challenge!
We want to challenge you to muster the courage to tell someone about your secret burden. That thing that steals your joy when it pops into your head. We invite you to take this simple, two step, “Tell Someone Challenge.”
Step 1. Tell someone your secret burden.
What do I tell?
Anything that burdens you!
Who do I tell?
Anyone you trust!
If you have no one to tell, you can always Call or Text 988 to tell someone at the teen crisis center. They are literally waiting to hear from you!
Step 2. Share Trey’s story with the people you care about and invite them to take the “Tell Someone Challenge.”
#TellSomeOneChallenge #TellForTrey #TreyLovesYou
A Message to Parents.
First, we want to encourage you. You are doing an excellent job. Parenting is unquestionably the most important responsibility in the world. Yet it is also the most difficult. Based on our small sample size of four, children do not often provide positive feedback on your parenting performance. We suspect you have yet to hear a thank you after reminding your child it is bedtime.
But even under rather poor working conditions, you still show up consistently, willingly, and most importantly… lovingly.
If you are a parent, we pray you will consider the following two ideas on how you may provide a little extra support for your child.
1. Initiate and Check In
At the appropriate time and in an age-appropriate manner, initiate a conversation and check in with your child to see how they are really doing. It can be as simple as a two-minute check-in on the way to school.
A parent knows when they are receiving a thoughtful answer from their child. Hint: This usually does not occur when they are staring at a screen while you are speaking.
After you say, “How are you” and they inevitably respond “Fine,” ask a few follow-up questions.
Q. What’s the biggest thing you worry about?
Q. Who do you talk to when you have a problem or feel bad?
Q. When was the last time you felt sad? Hurt? Lonely?
Q. How long did the feeling last?
Q. What did you do to help you get over the feeling?
Q. What can I do to support you when you are struggling?
There are countless questions you can pose to your child that will help you understand if they are struggling with something.
We know for certain that not talking about mental health struggles does not make them go away. We also know if we wait for our child to come to us, we may be waiting forever.
2. Don’t be Ashamed
Our society stigmatizes most mental health issues. It is often treated as our dirty little secret that we whisper about to our closest confidants. Yet, I believe there are very few teenagers who have not experienced some mental health struggle. Usually, they go through it in silence. Until we make them feel safe to come out of the shadows and share their struggles, they will continue to suffer in silence.
Remember, the world we live in today is much different than it was in prior generations. The internet and social media make it, so that a child does not even have to leave their bedroom to be traumatized. We believe this is one of the reasons so many children are struggling today.
Connect With Us
Feel free to reach out to us!
The Brown Family