Meet the Inaugural Mental Health Advocacy Academy Class of 2021

Active Minds
Active Minds

This year, Active Minds is proud to debut our inaugural Mental Health Advocacy Academy: the only leadership development and mental health advocacy academy that empowers Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) high school students to enact change in their communities. Our 2021 Advocacy Academy students, listed below, meet every other week to learn how to successfully develop their own advocacy campaign with guidance from nationally renowned policy and mental health experts, including the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), The Trevor Project, Well Being Trust, Inseparable, Young Invincibles, the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, GENup, and Snap Inc.

The Academy runs from September through December 2021 and will conclude with the Academy Showcase, in which the students will present their advocacy campaigns. Each student will facilitate their campaign during 2022. The projects the students are working on as well as the tools and guidance they receive wouldn’t be possible without support from the Upswing Fund whose mission consists of  supporting BIPOC and LGBTQ+ mental health.

We’re looking forward to seeing how our students utilize what they learn during the academy to change the conversation around mental health. We hope you’ll join us for the final presentations and if you or someone you know is interested in participating in the future, please keep an eye out for the next application cycle on our Mental Health Advocacy Academy homepage.

Meet the Mental Health Advocacy Academy 2021 Students:

  • A’Bril Dickerson, Methacton High School, PA
  • Adyianna Byrd, Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School, NY
  • Dylan Aspen, Durango High School, CO
  • Camille Casiles, California Academy of Mathematics and Science, CA
  • Daniela Erica Castillo, Hunter College High School, NY
  • Kaiya Ciho, The Paideia School, GA
  • Candice Dillard, Arlington High School, TN 
  • Lisa Guerrero, Spring Valley High School, NV
  • Nola Hadley, Crested Butte Community School, CO 
  • Sabina Hashimoto, Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts, NY 
  • Danny Hoang, Oakland High School, CA
  • Serena Jackson, Dutchtown High School, GA
  • Mikey Jeniski, Weston High School, MA
  • Trinity Lockett, The Paideia School, GA
  • Eli Martin, Summit High School, TN 
  • Malaya Mosley-Lewis, Elevate Northeast High School, CO
  • Uma Nath, Bergen County Academies, NJ 
  • Kofi Oduro-Manu, Montclair Kimberley High School, NJ
  • Allen Park, Bergen County Academies, NJ
  • Maxine Park, Phillips Exeter Academy, NH 
  • Manu Perinchery, Vandergrift High School, TX 
  • Lily Piede, Montclair Kimberley High School, NJ
  • Shirly Rodas, William Jones College Prep High School, IL 
  • Ryan Tice, Auburn High School, AL 
  • Katlin Ishihara Saborrido, American Canyon High School, CA
  • Taleen Sample, Kent Denver School, CO
  • Lesley Tan, Phillips Academy Andover, CA
  • Trace Terrell, La Pine High School, OR
  • Hailey Vargas, Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School, NY
  • Jaylen Waithe, Battlefield High School, VA
  • Lauryn Williams, Skyline High School, CA 
  • Zainab Zarnish, Reservoir High School, MD 
  • Emma Zgonena, Bergen County Academies, NJ