Now, the Foundation has partnered with Yale to create the Emotion Revolution, which aims to empower young people to create schools and communities where emotions matter. The initiative is kicking off with a nationwide survey, which aims to capture high school students' current and hoped-for emotions at school.
To raise awareness about the project, Lady Gaga's mom penned a powerful essay for The Daily Beast, where she opened up about her now-famous daughter's painful childhood.
You can read Cynthia Germanotta's incredibly moving essay in its entirety here, but here are some of the highlights:
She then goes on to explain that seeing what her daughter went through and hearing so many similar stories is exactly what prompted them to start the Born This Way Foundation. "Grounded in the belief that the world can-and must-be a kinder and braver place, our organization is working to inspire young people to lead the best life possible and empower them with the tools they need to get there," she explains.
When my daughter Stefani-who most people know as Lady Gaga-was a child, she had to learn painful lessons about the dangers of cruelty and the importance of kindness. She was creative and unequivocally her own person, but her peers didn't always appreciate the things that made her unique-and different. As a result, they would sometimes taunt, humiliate, or exclude her. It was hurtful for her to experience and heartbreaking for me to watch.
But this mean-spirited treatment did more than sting in the moment-it shook Stefani's confidence. The persistent, thoughtless cruelty of her peers caused Stefani to question her identity and self-worth. That self-doubt, in turn, led to anxiety, depression, and destructive behavior. What in isolation may have been viewed as casually dispensed insults or "harmless pranks" accumulated over time, causing a ripple effect that ate away at her emotional well-being.
In the video below, released earlier this month, Gaga gives an in-depth account of her own struggles. "I know what it's like to feel depressed, to feel humiliated, to feel isolated," she confesses. "And I know too many young people that - no matter who they are or where they come from - they're feeling the same way that I do."
The findings of the Emotion Revolution survey will be presented at the inaugural Emotion Revolution Summit at Yale in October 2015, which will be attended by both Mother Monster and her mom.
**Click here to learn more about the Born This Way Foundation**
**Click here to learn more about the Emotion Revolution**