Senior Spotlight: Grant Hagen and the Keep Going Campaign

Senior Grant Hagen in Boilier Building.
Senior Grant Hagen transformed struggles into strength through his Keep Going Campaign.
March 22, 2024
Grace McElligott ('23)

This piece is part of our Senior Stories series, in which we highlight GU students throughout the year.

Name: Grant Hagen
 Psychology and Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Danville, California

Amidst debilitating anxiety and the chaos of his own mind, Gonzaga senior Grant Hagen found hope in a simple mantra his freshman year: Keep Going. This phrase became a lifeline for Grant, propelling him through his darkest moments and igniting a movement that would extend beyond the confines of his own struggles.

Grant entered college grappling with emotions he never knew existed, feeling isolated and alone in his struggles. Over winter break his first year, he began therapy back home in California and discovered power in a simple phrase. Whenever he felt anxious or down, he found comfort in the mantra, “keep going.” He wrote it down, sketched it out, and repeated it over and over in his head.

If this phrase helped him, maybe it could help others. He began opening up to friends, family, and community members, sharing his story, and breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. He wasn’t alone. Mental health struggles are not something to be ashamed of, and he wants to inspire others to seek help.

“I hope people feel empowered to have these difficult conversations,” Grant says. “They aren’t alone and shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.”

The mantra, “keep going,” turned into a campaign. In harnessing his creativity and the messaging of the movement, he designed a logo, launched a website, produced merchandise, and donated a portion of the proceeds to mental health charities. After gaining traction on social media and within his community, Grant was invited to speaking engagements in his hometown and on Gonzaga’s campus. He spoke at the Gonzaga Student Body Association’s (GSBA) courageous conversations panel and has been recognized as a 30 Under 30 Honoree from his former school district in Danville, California.

He empowers students from both his hometown and Gonzaga to have courageous conversations about mental health.

Grant is currently the vice president of Active Minds, a national club that promotes mental health awareness on college campuses. He was a Center for Community Engagement (CCE) Smile program mentor, and volunteers as a crisis counselor.

Grant’s mother, Sarah, highlights his humility and dedication to helping others.

“He could easily have recovered and quietly moved on with college life,” she says. “But instead, he made a conscious decision to tell his story and keep the conversation going so others who might be suffering know they are not alone.”

Grant’s story inspires others to seek help and support through difficult times, he encourages ongoing conversations about mental health and destigmatization, and he remains committed to helping one person at a time through the Keep Going Campaign.

While his time as an undergraduate may be ending, his mission to destigmatize mental health and spread a message of hope is far from over. The Keep Going Campaign is not just a slogan – it is a reminder that no matter the challenges that come his way, he will always find the strength to persevere, inspiring others to KEEP GOING.

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