Active Minds National Conference 2024

presenters

We asked each presenter: “I am being a Mental Health Change Agent by…?”

Samantha Anders

I strive to educate them on healthy and positive ways of living. I also encourage self-care and self-love. I meet my students and client's where they are, and help however needed.

Samantha Anders

Southeastern Louisiana University

Samantha Anders

Samantha Anders

Southeastern Louisiana University

My name is Samantha Anders; I am a licensed professional counselor with a small private practice in my home town. I am also a proud Instructor for Southeastern Louisiana University teaching in Health and Human Sciences. I work with a multitude of ages ranging from early childhood all the way to late adulthood. I truly love what I do! As an instructor, I teach and collaborate with my students. While, with my client’s, I help to guide them and develop healthy strategies and coping skills. I practice what I teach, and I teach what I practice. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Brandon Bond

Centering humanity, introducing alternatives narratives, focusing on individual and collective healing, embracing global perspectives, finding joy and humor when possible

Brandon Bond

University of Michigan

Brandon Bond

Brandon Bond

University of Michigan

Pronouns: He, Him, His

As the Mental Health and Well-Being Student Advocate at the University of Michigan (UM), Brandon Bond (he/him), MPH, LLMSW, CHES initiates systemic changes by integrating DEI and public mental health strategies into college-wide policies, programs, and structures. Brandon as worked on the advancement of mental health and well-being in varying capacities. Currently, as a youth advisory council member, Brandon advises Active Minds and MTV Entertainment on the creation and implementation of the national youth mental health peer support campaign called ASK: Acknowledge, Support, Keep-in-Touch, the new “stop, drop, and roll” for informal peer support. In the nonprofit sector, he serves on the Board of Directors for Garrett’s Space, a young adult suicide prevention organization, and the International House Ann Arbor, promoting cultural humility and global understanding. He also serves as a mayoral-appointed Human Rights Commissioner for the City of Ann Arbor, protecting its residents’ human and civil rights. Brandon also has worked as a Wellness Coach, delivering individual and group multicultural wellness sessions; a Lead Facilitation Specialist for launching the Young Black Men (YBMen) social media-based intervention at UM; and an Active Minds Emerging Fellow, orchestrating an integrative wellness pop-up barbershop event for males of color on campus. Brandon has also passionately advocated for federal peer support advancement policies through Mental Health America’s inaugural Youth Policy Accelerator.

LinkedIn

Ramya Chunduri

By actively encouraging and endorsing the shattering of stigma, and inadequate mental health support through research-backed storytelling and media.

Ramya Chunduri

Saurya Media

Ramya Chunduri

Ramya Chunduri

Saurya Media

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Ramya Chunduri, LMSW (NY), LCSW (MA) is a licensed social worker and Columbia University educated psychotherapist with professional interests in prolonged grief disorder treatment, domestic violence, and BIPOC youth mental health. As a former 7th grade teacher, and pediatric oncology social worker, Ramya is passionate about reducing the impacts of trauma in children through positive coping skills and adequate resource allocation. As a Harvard Medical School Media, Medicine, and Health graduate, and CEO of Saurya Media, Ramya believes in the power of narratives to influence health outcomes, reduce attitudes of bias, and unify people.

Instagram: @sauryamedia ; @ramyasai28

Erin Drebushenko

Creating communities of inclusion and acceptance for athletes, coaches, and professionals through advocacy and education

Erin Drebushenko

The Hidden Opponent

Erin Drebushenko

Erin Drebushenko

The Hidden Opponent

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Erin Drebushenko is a Volunteer Engagement Associate for the Society for Neuroscience and a Coaches & Professionals Program Advisor for The Hidden Opponent. She has a bachelor?s degree in Health & Exercise Physiology from Ursinus College, where she was a member of Active Minds and a Division III thrower, and is currently pursuing a master?s degree in Exercise and Sport Science on a Sport and Exercise Psychology track at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She has worked with THO in various roles since 2020, including as a Campus Captain, Head Campus Captain, Intern, and Founder and President of THO @ Ursinus College.

Instagram: @erin_dreb 

Dr. Claudia-Santi Fernandes

By building a kinder, braver world that fosters supportive communities for young people.

Dr. Claudia-Santi Fernandes

Born This Way Foundation

Dr. Claudia-Santi Fernandes

Dr. Claudia-Santi Fernandes

Born This Way Foundation

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Dr. Claudia is the Director of Research and Evaluation at Born This Way Foundation and an assistant clinical professor at the Yale Child Study Center. She spearheads the Foundation’s research strategy and provides scientific expertise in the design and implementation of impactful programs and youth-led initiatives.

Instagram: @drclaudiabtwf 
X/Twitter: @drclaudiasantif

Timmy Foster

Working alongside communities to uncover and share the Strengths that are all around them.

Timmy Foster

Sources of Strength

Timmy Foster

Timmy Foster

Sources of Strength

Pronouns: he/him

Timmy Foster (he/him) is the dynamic leader of Business Development at Sources of Strength, the leading evidence-based, youth-empowered suicide prevention organization. With a rich background as a National Trainer, Timmy has worked alongside hundreds of middle schools, high schools, communities, and universities across North America. Before dedicating his career to mental health, he spearheaded LGBTQ+ community engagement at Bank of America. A Broadway musicals enthusiast and who loves early morning workouts, Timmy now calls Washington, DC home, though he proudly hails from Detroit, just three miles from Eminem!

Instagram: @sourcesofstrength
X/Twitter: @sourcesstrength
Facebook: @sourcesofstrength
LinkedIn: @sources-of-strength
YouTube: @sourcesofstrength

Kelly Frazee, Ed.D.

I'm being a mental health change agent by fiercely loving my students for who they are, as they are, and helping other educators to do the same!

Kelly Frazee, Ed.D.

North Brunswick Township Public Schools

Kelly Frazee, Ed.D.

Kelly Frazee, Ed.D.

North Brunswick Township Public Schools

Pronouns: she/her

Kelly has held various roles across K-12 education throughout her decade of experience in the field. Currently, she is an academic interventionist for grades K-4. Kelly also recently completed her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on social-emotional learning. Since completing her doctorate, she has enjoyed being involved in different opportunities to gain a wider understanding of the social-emotional needs of teachers and students in various school settings and working with educators and students to meet those needs. When she isn’t teaching, you can find Kelly hiking, practicing yoga, biking, or exploring cute little towns and looking for cool art!

Sheena Gardner

Championing the importance of data to drive decision-making in mental health.

Sheena Gardner

Mississippi State University

Sheena Gardner

Sheena Gardner

Mississippi State University

Sheena Gardner Ph.D. is an associate research professor at the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University. Dr. Gardner has served as the principal investigator on research and evaluation projects and is a founding member of the SSRC’s Evaluation & Research Group, a program that provides evaluation and other services to local, state, and national organizations.

 

Francesca Giannattasio

I am being a mental health change agent by prioritizing youth-led initiatives!

Francesca Giannattasio

Born This Way Foundation

Francesca Giannattasio

Francesca Giannattasio

Born This Way Foundation

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Francesca Giannattasio is a Research Consultant for Born This Way Foundation. In this capacity, she supports the evaluation of Born This Way Foundation?s programs and youth-led initiatives. Fran is also a Counseling Psychology doctoral student at Fordham University. Fran?s research at Fordham focuses on understanding the experiences of young people accessing mental health information online.

Alexandra Glumac

My goal is to help people move toward more vibrant, satisfying lives.

Alexandra Glumac

South Suburban College

Alexandra Glumac

Alexandra Glumac

South Suburban College

Alexandra is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Registered Dual Disorder Professional (RDDP). She has over 30 years experience working with clients dealing with stress, low self-esteem and feelings of being “stuck” in life. She currently serves as the Director of the Multicultural Wellness Center at South Suburban College in South Holland, IL.

Website: www.ssc.edu

Tenijah Hamilton

By championing cultural competency and intersectionality in ways that allow us to show up as our whole selves along our journeys to mental health and wellness

Tenijah Hamilton

Hopebound

Tenijah Hamilton

Tenijah Hamilton

Hopebound

Pronouns: She/her

As Interim Co-Executive Director, Tenijah Hamilton stewards the growth and development of the Hopebound community through relationship building and partnership cultivation. A seasoned strategist and storyteller, Tenijah is also charged with building out the narrative framework of the organization to further evangelize the important work Hopebound undertakes.

 

Denise Hicks

I am being a mental health change agent through providing education, advocacy, and resources for students on my campus.

Denise Hicks

UC Riverside

Denise Hicks

Denise Hicks

UC Riverside

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Denise is a junior at the University of California, Riverside, majoring in Psychology. She is an Active Minds Student Director of Marketing & Metrics at the University of California, Riverside. Alongside this, she also works at The Well (UCR’s Health Promotion Department) and is a NASPA Certified Peer Health Coach that works closely with undergraduate students. She aspires to continue her education through law school to become a prosecutor.

Instagram: @ddddennys

Rhea Hill

As a mental health change agent, I actively present on mental health topics within the African American community to raise awareness and reduce stigma.

Rhea Hill

Empowered Solutions Counseling & Consulting

Rhea Hill

Rhea Hill

Empowered Solutions Counseling & Consulting

Pronouns: she/her

Rhea Hill, DSW, LCSW, BCD, MAC, is a licensed clinical social worker with credentials in Tennessee, Georgia, and Illinois. She holds her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago and her Doctor of Social Work from Simmons University. She works full-time for the Department of Veterans Affairs, providing mental health services to veterans, and is the founder and primary therapist at Empowered Solutions Counseling & Consulting in Atlanta, GA. Her expertise includes trauma-informed and culturally responsive mental health interventions and treatment of substance use disorders, with research interests in mental health accessibility for first-generation BIPOC college students. Rhea is also passionate about assisting high school students with the college search and application process.

 

Eduardo Ildefonso

Through advocacy for, connecting people to, and studying mental health, I incorporate the value of mental health into my daily routine.

Eduardo Ildefonso

Peer Health Exchange

Eduardo Ildefonso

Eduardo Ildefonso

Peer Health Exchange

Pronouns: He/him/his

Eduardo is a first generation Hispanix-American with years of experience working with marginalized communities (LGBTQ+ and BIPOC) within NYC. His passion is ensuring marginalized people have access to proper resources in ensuring their ultimate wellbeing. Currently, Eduardo manages partnerships within NYC at PHE where our fellows facilitate school-based health education. In addition, he is a full-time Master’s level mental health counseling student at Northwestern University.

Adrienne Kasmally

Challenging hierarchies and uplifting youth voices

Adrienne Kasmally

C4 Innovations

Adrienne Kasmally

Adrienne Kasmally

C4 Innovations

Pronouns: she/her

Adrienne Kasmally, BA, is a content specialist, trainer, mixed methods researcher, and evaluator with the Center of Youth Well-Being at C4 Innovations. Her content expertise includes youth and young adult substance use prevention and early intervention, youth engagement, youth advisory boards, youth-led research and collaboration, recovery services, program development and evaluation, and positive youth development programs. She is committed to creating equitable access to health information, and is passionate about interpreting, communicating, and disseminating information to different communities in innovative ways. In all of her work, Adrienne prioritizes the voices of those with lived experience and she wholeheartedly believes that challenging existing hierarchies is fundamental to progress.

Aliza Lopez

By combating the idea of a “one-size-fits-all” approach in mental health care, looking through an interconnected lens, and normalizing these conversations to reach a greater level of empathy and understanding between young folks.

Aliza Lopez

Medicine Encompassed

Aliza Lopez

Aliza Lopez

Medicine Encompassed

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Aliza Lopez is a health equity advocate and student at the University of Rochester, majoring in Neuroscience and Health, Behavior, & Society. With her interdisciplinary interests, she aims to level the healthcare sector for all groups through diversity efforts, global outreach, and community engagement ? such as by leading her 501(c)(3), Medicine Encompassed, nationally recognized for increasing medical literacy in students. Her work is heavily centered around mental health awareness and sociocultural factors, particularly as a Student Advisor and Subcommittee Leader for Neolth?s international ambassador program and former youth leader at Hopelab (where she conducted a socio-ecological research study). Altogether, her commitment to social impact designated her as Mental Health America?s 2023 mPower Award Winner, T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge Grand Prize Winner in Education, TD Bank & National Liberty Museum Young Hero, and others. Aliza works towards amplifying Generation Z voices, recognizing young folks? openness as a key in enacting the appropriate people-centered changes.

Instagram: @alizaslopez
LinkedIn: @aliza-lopez

Kelsi Lynde

I am being a mental health change agent by being my most authentic self and sharing what has benefited my own mental health and self acceptance - SKY Meditation, other breathwork, and yogic wisdom.

Kelsi Lynde

SKY Campus Happiness

Kelsi Lynde

Kelsi Lynde

SKY Campus Happiness

Kelsi Lynde comes from being a SKY Campus Happiness student leader herself. Growing up in NH and then college in MA, she has traveled across the country to support SKY Campus impact in campuses. She is an inspired by sharing the breath work and meditation practices that have brought her so much resilience, awareness and clarity of mind. She supports a large volunteer base of facilitators and young adult leaders to create positive communities and to be of service.

Instagram: @kelsi.lynde & @skycampushappiness
Facebook: @skycampushappiness
YouTube: SKY Campus Happiness

Marisa Mondave

Curating spaces of dialogue to openly discuss the challenges of LGBTQ+ Mental Health at a micro and macro level

Marisa Mondave

UCLA Alumni/Friends of Youth

Marisa Mondave

Marisa Mondave

UCLA Alumni/Friends of Youth

Pronouns: She/her/hers

I’m dedicated to curating more spaces of infinite love, radical compassion, belonging and mattering for all marginalized groups to promote collective global mental health and wellness. Utilizing an interdisciplinary lens incorporating public health, social justice, and psychological frameworks to engage in research, public speaking, advocacy, and community engagement and collaboration. Committed to advancing our mental health system at the community and individual level to offer affirmative mental healthcare for LGBTQ+ youth/young adults.

 

Sahana Narayan, MS, MSPH

To be a mental health change agent means integrating mental health where it belongs -- everywhere. I do this by ensuring that mental health is a priority in my clinical endeavors, like in postpartum and NICU care, and creatively, via writing.

Sahana Narayan, MS, MSPH

Saurya Media

Sahana Narayan, MS, MSPH

Sahana Narayan, MS, MSPH

Saurya Media

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sahana Narayan, MS, MSPH is an award-winning researcher, evaluator, academic, and journalist. She has robust experience conducting public health research, including nationwide studies on improving healthcare delivery and a specific research interest in mental and maternal, infant, and child health, which comes from her clinical and research experience in pediatrics and neonatology. She holds a Master of Science in Media, Medicine, and Health from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Science in Public Health from Columbia University. Sahana is extremely passionate about how public health principles and creative outlets can further the work of academic research and clinical medicine, especially as it pertains to navigating the healthcare system no matter the age. She hopes to further this mission through an eventual career in medicine as a physician, through health journalism and narrative work, and through integrating public health and the humanities in medical education.

Instagram: @sahananarayan
X/Twitter: @sahanasnarayan
LinkedIn: @sahanasnarayan

Joanna Oommen

I help promote mental health education, breaking down stigma, and connecting peers to vital resources, fostering a supportive campus culture.

Joanna Oommen

University of California, Riverside

Joanna Oommen

Joanna Oommen

University of California, Riverside

Pronouns: she/her

Joanna (she/her) is a senior at the University of California, Riverside, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. She is part of the Active Minds student advisory committee (SAC) and serves as the student director of outreach and internal relations for the UC Riverside chapter. Additionally, she works as a certified well-being peer health coach at The Well, UCR’s health promotion department, where she helps undergraduates set well-being goals and connects them to valuable resources. Joanna is also an ambassador in the Mental Health Allies program, promoting mental health awareness across campus. After graduating, she aspires to become a clinical neuropsychologist, dedicated to helping individuals who struggle with mental illness and neurodevelopmental disorders.

 

Bri Paris

I'm dedicated to destigmatizing mental health by dismantling misconceptions through the power of play, laughter, and storytelling

Bri Paris

Sources of Strength

Bri Paris

Bri Paris

Sources of Strength

Pronouns: She/They

Brittany (her, she, they) also known as Bri is a graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Bri studied Human Development with an emphasis in Family Studies and Sociology. Bri joins the Sources of Strength team with a background in Suicid prevention, Social Emotional Education and Restorative Justice When they are not working, crafting and creating are their self care methods. Cooking, painting, and jewelry making are a couple of ways that Bri expresses herself and finds care.

 

TaNisha Parker

Hope Agent and Connector to Strength.

TaNisha Parker

Sources of Strength

TaNisha Parker

TaNisha Parker

Sources of Strength

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

A Change Management Specialist and Wellness Trainer, TaNisha Parker, M.Ed has been a mental health advocate for almost two decades. As a National Trainer, TaNisha has worked with middle school and high school teams across the country implementing Sources of Strength, the leading evidence-based youth led upstream prevention program. When she isn’t spreading hope, help and strength, you can find her binge-watching her favorite dramedy or competing in a 5k for a cause.

 

Kari Peiscop-Grau

I am collaborating and engaging with innovative ways to approach mental health. Primarily, working towards creating an open and positive discourse towards mental health in education.

Kari Peiscop-Grau

Saurya Media

Kari Peiscop-Grau

Kari Peiscop-Grau

Saurya Media

Pronouns: She/Her

Kari Peiscop-Grau (MA) is an educator, researcher, and change maker. She received her Masters of Arts in International Studies from Indiana University. She uses her education and multicultural background to provide a fresh new interdisciplinary approach.

Instagram: @sauryamedia

Jasmine Price

As a mental health change agent, integrate traditional therapeutic methods with holistic practices, I challenge and expand the conventional boundaries of mental health care. I strive to decolonize mental health practices and create safe spaces.

Jasmine Price

Pride Of Nyla

Jasmine Price

Jasmine Price

Pride Of Nyla

Pronouns: She/Her

I am a licensed clinical professional counselor based in Maryland and Virginia, specializing in historical and intergenerational trauma. In my private practice, I focus on uncovering and healing the deep-rooted emotional legacies that shape our lives. Through a blend of traditional psychotherapy and holistic approaches, I empower individuals and families to break cycles of trauma and foster resilience. My work is dedicated to creating therapeutic spaces that honor each person’s unique journey toward healing and growth.

Instagram: @PrideOfNyla
TikTok: @PrideOfNyla
LinkedIn
Website: prideofnyla.com

Dr. Marquita Robertson

Dr. Marquita Robertson, Project AWARE Director I facilitate the LEA efforts to provide mental health awareness, education, and support to students, families, educators, and community members.

Dr. Marquita Robertson

Mississippi Achievement School District

Dr. Marquita Robertson

Dr. Marquita Robertson

Mississippi Achievement School District

Pronouns: She/her

Dr. Marquita Robertson is a 17-year educator who has a passion for meeting the needs of students. She brings various experiences ranging from social work to educational leadership. Dr. Robertson is the AWARE Director for the Mississippi Achievement School District, leading mental health initiatives to support student success.

 

Sahiti Sarma

By integrating creativity into my work, I help create environments that support mental health and foster positive user experiences.

Sahiti Sarma

Saurya Media

Sahiti Sarma

Sahiti Sarma

Saurya Media

Pronouns: she/her

Sahiti Sarma, MS is a UX Designer with a master’s degree in Human Computer Interaction and User Experience from Drexel University. With a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sahiti merges analytical skills with design principles. Her prior capstone project involved designing an app that integrates AI for personalized health recommendations, and intuitive UI design for seamless communication and engagement. She believes that design, informed by a deep understanding of science and culture, plays a pivotal role in advancing healthcare initiatives.

LinkedIn: @sahitisarma

Anthony Sartori

I'm on a mission to create a culture of care.

Anthony Sartori

Evolving Minds

Anthony Sartori

Anthony Sartori

Evolving Minds

Pronouns: he/him

In March 2020, Anthony founded Evolving Minds, a mental health nonprofit with the mission to create a culture of care. Anthony has developed innovative workplace mental health programs that center social connection, community, and organizational culture; essential ingredients of a healthy workplace. He has trained over 1,500 program graduates across industries, from nonprofits, to public education, philanthropy, retail, government, and universities. His programs have demonstrated compelling impact, including an over 30% reduction in symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, a 57% reduction in absenteeism (employee call-outs) and an 83% increase in empathy. Anthony is a national professional speaker with Active Minds, one of the country’s leading mental health nonprofits, and with Weave: The Social Fabric Project by the Aspen Institute. Recently, he spoke on a LinkedIn Presents podcast, The Anxious Achiever, and at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s 2024 Shape of the Region Conference. His work has been featured in Mental Health America’s Workplace Mental Health Toolkit. Anthony has been honored by the Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, awarded the Baltimore Weaver Award by the Aspen Institute, received the Rising Terp Alumni Excellence Award by the University of Maryland, and was showcased in the Change the World Exhibit by the Do Good Institute. Anthony holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland and is a graduate of a two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.

LinkedIn: @anthony-sartori

Andy Saul, CWP

Shattering stigma in athletics.

Andy Saul, CWP

The Hidden Opponent

Andy Saul, CWP

Andy Saul, CWP

The Hidden Opponent

Andy, a former football student-athlete from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, holds a degree in Health Promotion and Wellness. His passion for mental health began during his studies and led him to join The Hidden Opponent (THO) as a Campus Captain. Now serving as the Advocacy Director at THO, Andy oversees the Campus Captains program, dedicated to shattering the stigma surrounding mental health in athletics. He is committed to making a positive impact on campuses nationwide.

Instagram: @Andy_Saul19 ; @TheHiddenOpponent
X/Twitter: @Andy_Saul19 ; @TheHiddenOpponent
Facebook: @TheHiddenOpponent
YouTube: @thehiddenopponent1930
Tiktok: @Andy_Saul19

Charlie Schatia

By showing up as my authentic self, and creating a space where people can be heard and have their voices amplified.

Charlie Schatia

C4 Innovations

Charlie Schatia

Charlie Schatia

C4 Innovations

Pronouns: He/Him

Charlie Schatia is a Youth Wellness Coach working with C4 Innovations. He is a recent graduate of Fitchburg State University, and since graduating has discovered a passion for working with both adolescents and young adults. Charlie was drawn to this work because he wanted the opportunity to create a space where adolescents could safely and comfortably navigate their mental health and wellbeing. As a queer man with lived experience with mental health and physical disabilities, Charlie brings his own unique perspective.

 

Dr. Katerina Sergi

Always open, always alert the eyes of my soul

Dr. Katerina Sergi

Social Science Research Center at MSU

Dr. Katerina Sergi

Dr. Katerina Sergi

Social Science Research Center at MSU

Dr. Katerina Sergi is an Assistant Research Professor at the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University. She conducts research for a variety of fields from early childhood education and mental health awareness and prevention services to tobacco surveillance and evaluation. Her past research contributions have ranged from data collection and management, quantitative and qualitative analysis, to manuscript development, and grant writing. Dr. Sergi is an educational psychologist with a research focus on metacognitive development, self-regulated learning, and motivation.

 

Neel Sharma

I've led diverse projects aimed at betterment of the community as President of my High School's Active Minds chapter and now as Treasurer of Tufts University's Active Minds Chapter.

Neel Sharma

Tufts University

Neel Sharma

Neel Sharma

Tufts University

Pronouns: he/him/his

Neel (he/him) is from Weston, MA, and is currently pursuing a degree in Biopsychology at Tufts University. His fervent commitment to Mental Health Advocacy is evident through his focus on championing or underserved populations, particularly disadvantaged youth. Neel’s dedication extends beyond academia; he has actively contributed to mental health support systems as a call-taker for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and as a per-diem Clinical Behavioral Health Technician at Boston Children’s Hospital. In his leisure, Neel finds solace in running, reading, and spending quality time with his beloved pups.

Instagram: @nee1_s

Ian Smith

By connecting our most vulnerable to radically inclusive mental health supports.

Ian Smith

Hopebound

Ian Smith

Ian Smith

Hopebound

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Growing up queer and femme in the South and teaching in and working with historically looted communities for nearly a decade, Ian experienced firsthand that our mental health system is often set up to fail our most vulnerable– BIPOC youth, queer and trans youth, and youth from low-income communities. Ian has 15+ years of education, nonprofit leadership, and consulting experience– focusing on operations, team culture, talent, and strategy– and after leading operations at Hopebound since 2022, Ian was humbled and overjoyed to pick up the mantle of co-Executive Director with his phenom of a colleague Tenijah in May. Hopebound?s mission and vision immediately inspired Ian; having experienced traumatic therapeutic experiences as a preteen, Ian advocates fiercely for inclusive and culturally responsive therapy and dreams of a world where all kids? especially our most marginalized? have the tools to best love and care for themselves. In their free time, they enjoy traveling, cooking, horror films, drag queens and drag scenes, and writing everything from poetry to screenplays to their first novel.

 

Apoorva Srivastava

Singing, meditating, and living life as an expression of happiness.

Apoorva Srivastava

SKY Campus Happiness

Apoorva Srivastava

Apoorva Srivastava

SKY Campus Happiness

Apoorva is health policy and public health professional specializing in chronic diseases and social determinants of health. Passionate about restoring whole health for individuals and society at large through public programming and policy, her pro bono work as a breathwork and meditation facilitator with SKY Campus Happiness helps her teach the most potent breathwork and meditation – SKY – to eliminate stress at a cellular level, leaving people in their natural joyful and happy states. SKY alleviates many of the mental health problems we are facing and empowers individuals to become agents of positive transformation in their communities and the world at large. She also coaches campus students interested in becoming breathwork and meditation facilitators.

 

Arthy Suresh

I empower individuals to harness the mind-body connection in managing stress and trauma, guiding them towards holistic healing and resilience.

Arthy Suresh

Yale School of Medicine

Arthy Suresh

Arthy Suresh

Yale School of Medicine

Pronouns: She/her

After the 2018 Parkland shooting at her high school, Arthy was attuned to the mental suffering on her campus and co-founded a Mind-Body Ambassador program at her school in collaboration with The Center for Mind Body Medicine. She worked with her county school board to integrate the Mind-Body Ambassador program into more high schools and middle schools in South Florida. Arthy Suresh is currently a postgraduate research associate at the Yale School of Medicine. At the collegiate level, she leads the peer health education program at her school and continues to work with nonprofits that help increase accessibility to mental health services.

Instagram: @arthysuresh

Katie Thomas

By advocating for quality, comprehensive services for the youngest and most vulnerable members of our communities.

Katie Thomas

William James College

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas

William James College

Pronouns: she/her

Katie is a licensed mental health counselor in Massachusetts. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Katie has been researching how young children respond to telehealth and teleplay therapy. She has been providing trainings to mental health members and community members on understanding the intersection of young children, technology, and therapy.

Instagram: @katiethechildclinician

Marnino Toussaint

I am committed to fostering awareness and promoting positive mental health practices within my community. I strive to create safe spaces for open dialogue about mental health.

Marnino Toussaint

Peer Health Exchange

Marnino Toussaint

Marnino Toussaint

Peer Health Exchange

Pronouns: He/Him

Marnino is Bi-lingual (English + Haitian Creole) solutions-driven professional with 7+ years of experience in program coordination/facilitation serving underrepresented populations. His desire to foster creative programming while also center youth well-being is exemplified in his work Managing PHE?s Youth Design Group.

 

Hari Vedantam

By continuing to invest my passions in promoting mental health advocacy across my current research initiatives.

Hari Vedantam

Saurya Media

Hari Vedantam

Hari Vedantam

Saurya Media

Pronouns: she/she/hers

Hari is a Pediatric Research Coordinator at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in health intervention research. During her time at Kennesaw State University, she led the school’s mental health initiatives, and worked as a peer support counselor. In these roles, she noticed how harmful culturally insensitive therapy practices were for adolescents. To create safer environments for students, she implemented mandated training and workshops for future support counselors. Through her work, she hopes to create a space for culturally inclusive practices in therapy and in research.

Ashley Way

By providing culturally competent mental health care for individuals that identify as holding marginalized identities and by practicing cultural humility as I respectfully learn what makes my clients exceptional.

Ashley Way

Hopebound

Ashley Way

Ashley Way

Hopebound

Pronouns: she/her

My name is Ashley Way, and I hold a master’s degree in clinical counseling psychology from Clayton State University. I assist clients with identifying and modifying maladaptive and destructive thought patterns that negatively influence their emotions and behaviors. I also teach my clients acceptance and change-oriented coping skills. It is my aim to provide clients with affirming care while helping them achieve balance and wellness in their lives.

Rowan Willis-Gorman

I strive to ensure that youth voice exists authentically at all tables, and that all youth have a right to chose what type of services and supports they engage with.

Rowan Willis-Gorman

C4 Innovations

Rowan Willis-Gorman

Rowan Willis-Gorman

C4 Innovations

Pronouns: She/They

Rowan Willis-Gorman (She/They) is an experienced systems transformation advocate, with special interests in young adult peers, the LGBTQ community and ensuring that everyone receives appropriate and individualized care when they are experiencing suicidal ideation. In her work, Rowan connects and mentors, young adults with lived experience in behavioral health service settings to peer support and leadership opportunities on community, state, and national levels. She recently joined C4 Innovations as a member of The Center for Youth Well-Being team. There they work to ensure that voices of lived experience are at the forefront of the work being done, and are supporting the efforts of numerous youth focused projects. She strives to create an environment in which young adults are partners in change for policy that affect service systems. Before joining the C4 team Rowan worked at On Our Own of Maryland where she ran three statewide grants, directed the What Helps What Harms youth-driven system quality feedback project, and helped run the legislative arm of the organization. Rowan was a member of Maryland’s first Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, is on Maryland’s State Council of Child Abuse and Neglect and are the 2024 Paula Hamburger Child Advocacy Awardee.

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Jiggy Yoon

Where hustle & grind meets healing & grieving. Showing our world's future leaders how to put their mental health at the forefront of excellence.

Jiggy Yoon

JY & Co

Jiggy Yoon

Jiggy Yoon

JY & Co

Pronouns: she/her

Na Eun “Jiggy” Yoon is a college mental health motivational speaker teaching college students and young professionals how to put mental health at the forefront of excellence, so that they can optimize their performance and continue building their legacy — during and after college.

Instagram: @jiggy_yoon
X/Twitter: @jiggy_yoon
TikTok: @jiggy_yoon