Teen sisters Alexandra and Chloe Carvajal are on a mission. Through Mission T, the high schoolers have created a line of graphic T-shirts with positive messages and have held fitness events, like the recent one at Equinox in Great Neck, to spread the word about being kind to your body instead of abusing it with drinking and drugs.
“I have witnessed the crippling effects of alcohol, and I wanted to do something about it,” said Alexandra, a 17-year-old junior at Schreiber High School in Port Washington. “I wanted to help those who rely on alcohol or other substances and show them better ways to enjoy their lives. It is so important, especially at a young age, to learn how to be confident enough to say, ‘No.’”
The Manhasset sisters founded Mission T in Fall 2018 and have been working to educate their family, friends and community about the dangers of underage drinking with a line of T-shirts that have positive slogans, such as Shakin’ not Slurred, Sexy and Sober, and Fizzy Not Dizzy.
“Growing up being exposed to alcohol without enough knowledge about it is the scariest part,” said Chloe, 14, a freshman at Schreiber. “Teenagers and young adults put these substances and drugs they’ve never heard about into their body just because someone tells them to. Having known people who have been hospitalized for drug and alcohol addiction made it so much easier for me to want to speak up and bring awareness to the dangers of drugs and alcohol. With the help of Mission T, I am able to show friends and others the importance of sobriety. Those who come to our events see how much fun they can have making healthy choices.”
The first event was held at Om Sweet Om yoga studio in Port Washington, followed by a cycling event at Equinox in Great Neck, where the family belongs. Around 30 participants attended each.
“My daughters have always had an interest in health and wellness,” said mom Jill Carvajal, a professor at CUNY Queens College. “The teens who participated were inspired about healthy living, instead of making bad decisions. Rather then lecture about all the scary things that can happen to you from alcohol or drug abuse, we are attempting to connect with teens by inspiring them to care more about respecting themselves and their bodies and get them excited and empowered to make better choices.”
In just six months, Alexandra and Chloe have sold around 100 T-shirts, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to charity. This year’s goal is to raise $20,000 and to work with local Ys to educate kids at risk, engaging them through education and knowledge. Mission T plans to roll this out all over Long Island, the state and then nationally.
“The participants connect with the girls because they’re peers,” said their mom. “They’re doing things that make them feel good. It’s teaching them that they have options and it’s empowering them. At the first event, a nutritionist told them what drinking does to their bodies. They’re trying to engage them in fitness before it’s too late.”
The Carvajals believe they have already made a great impact.
“It was not an easy task for me, but abstaining from drugs and alcohol has been something that I pride myself on,” explained Alexandra. “Slowly but surely, I hope that those who partake in Mission T’s events will learn the importance of sobriety, for themselves and for the greater good.”
Learn more at missiontnyc.com.