Takierra Simpson is a student at Bronx Community College, majoring in Nursing. She was born in Brooklyn but raised in the boogie down Bronx. Her humanitarian spirit has aligned her with amazing opportunities to volunteer and participate in services that aid in assisting the less fortunate and protecting women’s rights. She’s passionate about serving others and being a rainbow in someone’s cloud! BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS; reading has improved her life and it continues to improve her intellectual skills. Joining MHAP is a huge accomplishment for her because its mission agrees with my passion to assist low-income communities with resources that aid in their emotional and mental well-being. Being the voice for the voiceless and reminding them of their potential so they establish their own values! A woman who stands on women supporting women. Aspiring to advocate for children, teens, and adults; all ages matter and she loves assisting people through their journey of recovery and self-discovery.
Amir Timmons is a 17-year-old high school student wrapping up his last year at Manhattan Early College School for Advertising. He lives in the heart of Harlem with his parents, one brother, and one dog. He loves all things, pop culture, advocacy, and adventure-wise. Amir is a leader and someone who cares for many things. He is great at communicating but also loves just talking to people. At MHAP, he hopes to learn more about himself as an upcoming advocate and also hopes to gain some insight on how to approach people when talking about mental health. Despite the stigmatism, Amir wants people to know that mental health is the best type of health as being in a good headspace is the best thing you could ever do. As an African American, Amir thinks mental health is not talked about a lot in his community so he hopes to bring awareness and let people know it's just as important. He hopes that in the near future he’ll be able to do that!
Mariaelena Bajana is an undergraduate at Guttman Community College, majoring in Human Services. Her desire to help others comes from being raised by her grandmother. And although she may come across as passive-aggressive, Marialeena is only passionate. Through MHAP she hopes to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
Fatima Ezahra lfagrouche is a sophomore at James Madison high school. She is 15 years old and was originally born in Morocco but now lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is very passionate about teen mental health and advocates for them in order to let their voices be heard in our society today. Fatima is a very very friendly, nice, kind, reliable, and understanding person who enjoys late-night walks and basketball.
Archisha (Archie) Murthy is a sophomore at New York University (NYU) majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child and Adolescent Mental Studies. She developed an interest in the field of mental health after taking a psychology course in high school and saw the struggles of poor mental health in her family. Archie joined MHAP in hopes to raise awareness in her community about the importance of mental health and to help remove the stigma surrounding the topic of mental health. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, cooking, exploring the city, and hanging out with her friends.
Daniel Luna is currently a second-year college student at the New York Institute of Technology, with aspirations to graduate with a BS in Civil Engineering. Despite not being his academic focus, Daniel takes pride in learning about mental health, and how it affects the lives of many no matter who they are. Born and raised in Brooklyn to an immigrant family, he is well aware of the stigma surrounding mental health topics and hopes to spark conversation on it within his community. Outside of MHAP he enjoys reading and hanging out with friends.
Darcie Garcia is a senior at Manhattan Early College for Advertising. She’s very passionate about mental health and wishes to become a psychologist in the future. She decided to join MHAP to get an insight into what the field would look like and hopes to destigmatize mental health. Darcie enjoys reading, her main goal is to read at least one book per week. Her favorite book is a romantic novel called “Blanca Olmedo”, this was the book that sparked her love for literature.
Kristy Hall is currently a Junior at Brooklyn College majoring in Children and Youth Studies. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Kristy joined YAC’s internship program to gain a better understanding of mental health. She hopes to become a mental health advocate and help empower our youth. Kristy believes our youth are our future leaders. During her free time, she enjoys studying, spending time with her family, and helping out people in her community. Most importantly, she enjoys spending time with her four-year-old daughter, Katelyn.
SwanSwan Myint is a junior at The New School dual majoring in Illustration and Psychology. She is passionate in exploring the intersection of social work and art, making comics and zines to bring awareness to inequality in her community. She's passionate about storytelling and always trying to find new ways to express it artistically, whether in AR, 3D modeling, or digital illustration. She hopes to help destigmatize mental health through a combination of her passion for art and interest in psychology. In her free time, she likes to play video games, read, watch horror movies, and collect figurines
Elizabeth Gomez Ceballos is currently a senior at Bayside high school. Their hobbies include playing the ukulele, embroidering, and reading. The reason Elizabeth joined MHAP is that they know with their mental health journey they will be able to help others maintain good mental health and advocate against mental health stigma.
Anna is such a strong, selfless, intelligent, and compassionate person. She is a special person with great morals, and there’s no way anyone can forget her. She loves helping others in any way she can, and she is a reminder to others that life is a precious gift that holds so much truth and meaning. She is ambitious and knows exactly where she is headed in life. She wants to leave a mark on the world, give back to others, and she also wants to be the change that she wishes to see in this world. She wants to encourage everyone to love who they are, where they come from, and the person they’re evolving into. Anna wants to manifest in the growth of herself, live life to the fullest, and uplift society in every way possible.
Muntah Mamun is a senior at the Brooklyn Latin School. She was born in Bangladesh and grew up in the Bronx with two younger brothers. Muntaha has always been passionate about social justice and mental health advocacy. She was even part of the Youth Advocacy Summer Institution, where she was exposed to several important social issues and ways to tackle such issues. Furthermore, she is really excited to be part of the MHAP team to develop the necessary skill-sets to become a better advocate for mental health. Through MHAP, Muntaha aims to destigmatize mental health especially in marginalized communities, and provide a safe space for those who are struggling with their mental health.
Abigail Simon is a senior at Bayside High School. She is very passionate about mental health and plans to major in psychology in college. She joined MHAP with the hopes of learning more about the stigmas regarding mental health and helping to eradicate them. She is known to be shy, but friendly, loving, and caring. In her free time, Abigail loves to read, sing, and binge-watch Netflix shows.
Toddossa Coleman is currently a graduate student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She was born and raised in the Bronx. Toddossa enjoys working with youth and advocating for mental wellness. She loves to travel and read books during her free time.
Giuliana Davis is an Education Studies Undergraduate at New York University. She is excited to be working with MHAP in NYC schools, advocating for Mental Health. Giuliana is passionate about equal opportunities in education and wishes to teach Social Studies in secondary school after graduation.
Jennifer Hernandez is a Freshman at Hunter College who is majoring in Political Science with a Minor in Philosophy. She was born and raised in NYC. She is passionate about spreading positivity and advocacy towards criminal justice reform. She was part of the Youth Advocacy Corps summer program, YASI. During her time at YASI she learned more about Mental Health and how misinformed people are on the topic. Her experience at YASI was really impactful, that she decided to join, Mental Health Awareness Project in hopes to inform and shine light on the importance of self care and Mental Health resources. During her free time she can be found watching a comedy, listening to music and spending time with her loved ones.
Nafi Billah is a freshmen in college at City Tech. Nafi is known for his dashing looks and his outgoing personality, he is very well worth meeting. His passion for Mental Health can be told through the past and present programs that he is involved in such as MHPA, YASI and BCF. Nafi’s passion is expressed through outreaches and his interactions with the people around him such as youth organization groups and family. His strengths come in communication and his weakness is understanding but it is a work in development.
Monia Begum is an undergraduate pre med student at Brooklyn College. She joined the Mental Health Awareness Project (MHAP) with the hope that she can continue to bring awareness to mental health, a subject not given enough attention. She would like to contribute to the continuous efforts of educating her community about the rights they have in regards to mental health. Her favorite hobbies are way too many to count but she enjoys reading, watching Netflix, writing, planning (she’s a planner girl), and playing volleyball, amongst many more.
Henry is a student at Queens College CUNY majoring in Sociology and minoring in Computer Science. His academic interests are in data science, social psychology, and public policy research, specifically in healthcare. He is deeply analytical and takes a comprehensive approach to mental health advocacy that covers the clinical, psychosocial, and economic facets of mental health. Henry loves connecting with youth, inspiring others to self-reflect and think critically, and breaking down stigma with MHAP. In his free time, he enjoys golf and basketball, listening to music, and staying up to date on recent politics.
Anjali Temal is a high school senior at the Brooklyn Latin School. She grew up in Queens with three younger siblings. Anjali advocates for mental health awareness, kindness, and body acceptance. In her school, Anjali works with others to draw attention to areas of study that aren’t covered in a typical history curriculum, such as Environmental History and the history of Mental Health in America. Anjali joined MHAP so that she could encourage others to take care of their mental health while also working to break down the stigma. In her free time, Anjali likes to read, spend time with family, and take care of her plants.
Caitlyn Strawder is a sophomore at Borough of Manhattan Community College for Public Health with plans to continue her education in social work. Caitlyn became interested in mental health at a young age as she saw how it affected her own family. As a young adult, Caitlyn learned how to ensure her own mental wellness through simple self-care and therapy. When Caitlyn is not advocating for mental health, she can be found cooking, in a yoga class, or spending time with her kitten.
Shanice Bent is a John Jay College of Criminal Justices Graduate. She Majored in Criminology With a Minor in Human Services. She enjoys mentoring youth who are from low-income neighborhoods. She developed this passion when she helped high school seniors matriculate to college. Shanice provided students with college resources and assistance with submitting their FAFSA documents. She also directed students to local and internal offices located on their campus. Now she is apart of MHAP Peer Advocates. She advocates to normalize and increase conversations around mental health. Shanice wants to ensure that people know that mental health is in all humans. Our mental health depends on positive and negative experiences. Shanice believes that having effective coping skills helps to improve our mental health and develop trustworthy relationships.
Yany Paulino is Brooklyn born and raised. She is currently a senior at Brooklyn College, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Children and Youth Studies. Yanybel’s career goal is to become a School Psychologist and work with children and adolescents in poor and low-income communities. She has always been passionate about helping those who are in need and knew she was meant to make a difference in the lives of children and adolescents. Additionally, she aims to attend graduate school for School Psychology. The Mental Health Awareness Project (MHAP) has given Yanybel the opportunity to learn in depth about mental health awareness and educate individuals on the importance of it. When she is not in school, work or interning, she spends her time cooking, listening to music, praying, and spending time with loved ones.
Saddiq Abdul is a senior at Baruch College and a member of the YASI 2015 founding corps. While in YASI 2015, Saddiq conceived of the idea for the Mental Health Awareness Project (MHAP), and he is currently working with Youth Advocacy Corps on implementing it. Saddiq grew up in East New York, and, while in high school, he interned with East New York Farms and Brooklyn Defenders. He is determined to improve conditions in East New York for himself and others, and he has been working to become an organizer and mobilize others, through social media and local campaigns, to reduce the stigma around mental health. Saddiq is on his local Community Board (#5) and was just appointed to be the head of the Communications Committee.
Hetheru Shango is a resident of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. She recently obtained her Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Children Studies. In her near future she hopes to obtain her Masters in Mental Health Counseling and pursue a career ensuring the well-being of youth.