Meet the Fall 2022 Mental Health Advocacy Academy Class

Active Minds
Active Minds

Today marks the beginning of the second year of our Mental Health Advocacy Academy. The Academy is a unique leadership opportunity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) high school students to create change in their schools and communities. Our 2022 youth advocates (listed below) will engage in weekly sessions where they will work with nationally recognized policy, advocacy, and mental health experts to build their own advocacy campaigns. Our partners this year include The Trevor Project, Inseparable, Young Invincibles, GENup, and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). We can’t wait to see how they will guide our amazing leaders in advocacy. 

Last year, campaigns developed by Academy participants included increasing the number of school counselors in their schools, advocating for excused mental health days, breaking the stigma around mental health for BIPOC communities, creating LGBTQ+ inclusive mental health education, and organizing school-wide mental health events to help change the culture and conversation about mental health. We’re excited to see what advocacy campaigns this year’s youth can develop. To help spark creativity and create plans of action, we’re glad to announce that this year’s Academy students will also receive guidance on their campaigns from our previous Academy students and members of the National Advisory Board, a group of youth and young adults who helped create Evokate, a tool to ignite change in mental health policy. 

Our Mental Health Advocacy Academy will run from September through November 2022, ending with our Academy Showcase where the participants will share their advocacy campaigns with their fellow participants and the Active Minds national team. 

Meet the fall 2022 Mental Health Advocacy Academy students:

  • Megan Amasa, Boulder High School, CO
  • Kosi Amuzie, Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School, CA
  • Azin Anees, Presentation High School, CA
  • Fatima Anjum, Watchung Hills Regional High School, NJ
  • Sanjita Balaji, Peak to Peak Charter School, CO
  • Tyren Boyd, Gentry High School, MS
  • Liza Buechler, Headwaters School, TX
  • Emilio Carrillo, Saint Pius X-Saint Matthias Academy, CA
  • Ayonna Carruth, Benjamin Franklin High School, LA
  • Elizabeth Escobar-Gomez, New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School, NJ
  • Malcolm Ferrouillet, Saint Augustine High School, LA
  • Jade Hoogs, California Academy of Mathematics and Science School, CA
  • Fahad Hussain, Baruch College Campus High School, NY
  • Ruby Johnson, Gilmour Academy Upper School, OH
  • Aubreigh Stone, Butte High School, MT
  • Samar Kibe, The Lovett School, GA
  • Alisha Kumar, John Foster Dulles High School, TX
  • William Li, Caddo Parish Magnet High School, LA
  • Morgan Lin, Saint Vincent Ferrer High School, NY
  • Oluwafunmilola Olayemiraji, Townsend Harris High School, NY
  • Mya Pacheco-Reyes, Technology High School, NJ
  • Raadhay Patel, King Philip Regional High School, MA
  • Brialis Phan, Toms River High School North, NJ
  • Muhamamd Riaz, Sheldon High School, CA
  • Chai-ann Robinson, Marco Antonio Firebaugh High School, CA
  • Gabriella Seigile, Bergen County Academies, NJ
  • Laurel Shugart, Fort Payne High School, AL
  • Mariska Thomas, Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, NM
  • Aditi Venkatesh, North Gwinnett High School, GA
  • Mya Vickers, Broken Arrow High School, OK
  • Dylan Youman, San Domenico High School, CA