Francesco’s Foundation has been created to help prevent teenage suicide by providing financial support for education in schools, where the focus will be on the prevention of all types of bullying, including that of the LGBTQ+ community. It focuses on education about the risks of teenagers engaging in dangerous activities online, education about the dangers of leaving firearms unsecured with teenagers in the house—all of which contribute to heightening risks of teenage suicide.
Seventeen-year-old Francesco took his life with an unsecured shotgun in October 2021 on a warm evening in the Hamptons. The police discovered him after a call from a school friend. No parent should ever have to live with that image.
The aftermath of his death has devastated his two mothers, who lived apart, family and friends from Winchester College in the UK, and his latest school, The Stony Brook Prep School.
Before Francesco’s unexpected death, he had an exciting future ahead of him. For a seventeen-year-old, he had already accomplished a lot, gaining entry to Winchester College in the UK, amongst the top high schools in the world. He played the violin at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, was an accomplished sailor, and was very popular with students and teachers alike. He had a great sense of humor and a zest for life. He was an honor and straight-A student, gaining an SAT score in the top 99th percentile. He was very excited about an interview at Amherst only two days after he took his life. Francesco had no history of depression or drug or alcohol use.
Francesco was open about his sexuality and had confided in everyone but his family. First with his girlfriend in Ireland, then more recently with his boyfriend and with all his school friends in the UK and USA. His only mistake had been divulging his questioning sexuality to school friends in the USA; the last few weeks of his life were the target of spiteful, malicious lies, gay slurs, and ridicule due to his sexual orientation. Finally, one night he was unable to take anymore, and he had a very uncharacteristic night of recklessness. Although he had not set out to end his life that night, he did.
Francesco’s Foundation has been set up by Francesco’s mother, Diana, and her partner, Jennifer, to honor his memory and to help reduce the terrible risk of teenage suicide by providing financial help for charities investing in the education of teenage mental health.
Francesco’s Foundation is a 501c (3) registered charity whose mission is to promote hope and prevent teen suicide. The Organization has a holistic vision for achieving this goal and provides grants to various organizations and individuals. Francesco’s Foundation partners with organizations that work to end online and offline bullying of LGBTQ+ teens, increase access to mental health and other supportive services, promote awareness of best practices for firearm storage, and more. In addition, the foundation provides grants for supportive services and college tuition.
The foundation aims to work towards introducing legislation regarding the safe storage of sporting shotguns--not intended for self-defense but for sport, and therefore not protected by the second amendment. This legislation would pertain mainly when minors are in the same house where a shotgun is stored.
Diana Cochran and her partner, Jennifer Allsop, are working tirelessly to make changes at schools to protect the mental health of teenagers and help prevent more unnecessary teenage suicides. In addition, they are working to make significant changes to the country with the help of Board members.
Their efforts echo the social issues raised by the president in his 2023 State of The Union Address, where President Biden said, “Let’s do more on mental health, especially for our children. When millions of young people struggle with bullying, violence, and trauma, we owe them greater access to mental health care at school.”
The foundation has set a date for an inaugural fundraiser this September 2023 in partnership with AspenOut. For more information on Francesco’s Foundation and purchasing tickets,
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