Meet Andrew

Andrew Puccetti is a 22 year old journalism & creative writing student at Columbia College Chicago. He is an activist, writer, ambassador for The Shaw Mind Foundation, and author of his upcoming memoir Lost Boy Found (Trigger Publishing).

During high school and first few years of college, Andrew appeared to be the happiest and most enthusiastic person you ever would meet. He was the life of the party, always had a smile on his face, was an award winning animal activist, and seemed to have a huge future ahead of him. However, his never-ending smiles and attempt to be the “perfect” person masked a dark secret: a life of mental illness. Andrew was eventually diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. Overcome with illness, Andrew left school and spent an entire year barely ever leaving his bed. He was unable to hold friendships or a job. After hitting his breaking point, he was eventually admitted into a psych hospital.

Something had to change, and Andrew knew it. After leaving the hospital, the next year was the start of a journey towards recovery.

Since then, Andrew has made huge strides, and now lives a fulfilling life. He works part time and goes to school full time. He is now active again in his activism, both for animals and mental health. He is once again able to hold down relationships. He is now in the “ongoing recovery” stage.

When struggling to overcome his mental illness, Andrew found that the one thing he truly wanted was for his loved ones to understand what he was thinking and why he acted the way he did. He tried to find a book that truly conveyed that, but could not find any. He wanted to change that. Andrew wrote his book to help people have more compassion for those who struggle with mental illness, break the stigma, and let other people know they are not alone.

In his free time (when he actually has any), Andrew enjoys spending time with family/friends, Netflix, traveling, and good vegan food. Outside of school, he currently works as the Managing Editor of his school paper and as an English & Writing instructor at a local learning center. He currently lives in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago with his parents, two siblings, and dogs.

Fun facts about Andrew

…was homeschooled 7th grade-high school and doesn’t regret it one bit
…is a HUGE animal lover and is a vegetarian
…has worked in a nature center, two animal shelters, and a veterinarian’s office
…favorite TV shows include How I Met Your Mother, Psych, New Girl, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Scandal
…has been a GIGANTIC Harry Potter fan since childhood and proudly identifies as a Hufflepuff
…is five years older than his sister and eleven years older than his brother
…has been writing stories since kindergarten
…desperately wants to visit Australia since his childhood obsession with Steve Irwin
…HATES sports
…is a proud gay man
…worked with cats for years even though he hates them
…is terrified of rodents
…tries to ignore the existence of math at all times
…has a BAD Taco Bell addiction
…doesn’t tell too many people this, but has a very large PEZ dispenser collection
…would drink wine all day if he could
…John Green is his writing inspiration
…drinks WAY too much coffee
…goes to school in the city, but hates the city
…changed major four different times
…has been to four different colleges
…generally only listens to musical theater music, usually the same two musicals on repeat over and over again