At 19 years old Josie Thompson Solomon was diagnosed with Major Depression and later was diagnosed with Bipolar II. Every day Josie lives with a crippling and debilitating depression, inconsolable hopeless feelings and constant, unrelenting anxiety. Her broken mind has robbed her of any positive emotions and left her fighting an endless tide of negative, dark and frustratingly automatic thoughts and emotions. This daily struggle with the darkness robbed her of a chance at a normal life. However, she soon realized that she did not have to live a normal life to do something great.
Josie yearned to help others who were also suffering with overwhelming adversity and mental illness so she decided to BE BRAVE AND CHOOSE JOY. At age 24 Josie left her home and family on an adventure of a lifetime. Even in her difficult life circumstances, she was determined to use her talents and available resources to discover Joy. With that passion she created The 444 Project to prove that everyone has a story, that goodness is alive and well in the world today, and that EVERYONE has a reason to get out of bed. She lived out of her car for 100 days and traveled across the United States interviewing over 600 people asking them all "What gets you out of bed?" She has continued expanding the project in her mission to discover, spread and create Joy for others. Upon her successful return Josie began speaking to small groups about her experiences and now speaks at business conferences, universities, high schools and church congregations on a regular basis.
In the fall of 2016 she was diagnosed with Lyme's disease so now along with the tremendous mental torture she endures every day, she is also in the fight of her life from the physical pain as well. She spends the majority of her day in bed but that just motivates her and strengthens her conviction even more to help people find Joy in their lives. Even though Josie is still very much caught in the midst of her own adversity, the passion that she and her husband Brighton demonstrate for service and helping others is nothing short of miraculous. They have dedicated their lives to helping others find light and hope in the midst of their own darkness and adversity and have touched thousands of lives through speaking engagements and humanitarian work.
In 2015 they turned The 444 Project into a non-profit organization to further their mission to spread Joy to the world through service. Together they have traveled across the U.S., the Philippine’s and Africa. Then in July 2017, The 444 Project, along with 55 volunteers, served yet another service tour mission. This time Josie was too ill to attend but the project continued on in her honor to work and serve the sweet people of Peru. The volunteers helped the Peruvians find and realize Joy in their lives by providing an orphanage with running water and sharing love with the precious children there. They are already busy planning their next service mission for the summer of 2018.
As a popular motivational speaker, Josie has taken her irrefutable and extremely difficult life experiences of the past several years and now she and Brighton have devoted their lives to serving and helping others. Josie will never stop shining in darkness. She will share how everyone can find Joy and light in the midst of thick abounding darkness and despair. If time allows Brighton will also speak to your organization and tell about some of their life changing experiences from the many service tours The 444 Project has done.
No matter what your trials in life may be, Brighton and Josie will both help you learn how to find, embrace and utilize Joy by serving and reaching out to others. No matter who you are or what your circumstances are in life, Joy IS possible in darkness. They will also help you remember that. . . YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE HEALED TO HELP!!