You probably haven't been able to stop thinking about that truly insane Pretty Little Liars Season 5 finale, but series star Lucy Hale wants your attention. And, no, it's not because Hale dropped Pretty Little Liars Season 6 spoilers and thinks that those "Aria is A" theories have kept her job interesting. Hale is currently working with Voices of Meningitis to educate teens and their parents about meningococcal meningitis and the importance of getting vaccinated through one of her passions — music. "I wasn’t fully educated on the severity of it and how dangerous it is and how terrifying it is," Hale tells Bustle, "So, I wanted to get involved because teens are the ones that are at risk." And she's doing it by challenging high school a cappella groups to sing about it through the Boost the Volume campaign.
"There should be much more awareness for what meningococcal meningitis is," the PLL actress says about her choice to get involved. Hale explains that only about 30 percent of people who receive the first of two meningitis vaccinations receive the second vaccine and that's something she hopes to change by getting involved. "I’m aware of who my support system is and that my fan base is teens," she says, which is what prompted her to launch the Boost the Volume competition.
"It's a play on the booster vaccination and also spreading the message through music," Hale says, "I think music is such an amazing, powerful way to get the message out about this." And the actress, who released her debut album Road Between in 2014, has been incredibly involved in the process of challenging high school a cappella group to participate. "I actually had a hand in judging and choosing these videos and going around to the schools and speaking on behalf of Voices of Meningitis," Hale says. The actress has also had the opportunity to perform with winners of the competition.
"We’re just trying to raise that statistic and educate as many teens and parents as possible," the actress says, "It’s devastating what anyone has to go through with this and more awareness about it could help up raise that statistic and potentially save a life." What Hale hopes that teens and parents will gain from her involvement in getting the important information about preventing meningitis out there is that this disease is preventable with proper vaccination.
"I’ve gotten to meet people along the way, throughout this campaign, that have been really inspiring," Hale says about her time working with Voices of Meningitis and meningitis survivor Jamie Schanbaum. "The second vaccination is really important," the actress asserts — so take a break from your Charles' identity theory and learn more about how to prevent meningococcal meningitis here.