After 30 years of learning about child development and educational pedagogy, this is what I know for sure; in order to thrive, children need trusted adults to believe in their potential. The impact we have on young minds is profound, and that is a huge responsibility. It can often overwhelm us but when we remember when we work together to create healthy communities and cultures of care, even on our bad days, we can do something small to help a child learn to believe in themselves.
We know that relationships with supportive adults are incredibly protective for young people, regardless of their circumstances and past experiences. We know that young people long to belong. We know that modeling the behaviors we expect is not only an effective approach, it is our obligation. Recent advances in educational neuroscience allow us to know better. This is our chance to do better.
I value the opportunity to make and build relationships. I am passionate about educating and advocating for students and adults and the importance of focusing on their mental health. I am intrigued by behaviors and processes that allow for brainstorming and collaboration.
Suicide prevention is near and dear to my heart. As a person with lived experience, I use my knowledge to help individuals who struggle with life's obstacles and help them realize that these struggles are temporary and can be overcome. Impacting as little as one individual means I have made a difference and, to me, that is an invaluable experience.
With my own lived experiences with childhood trauma, mental illness, and attention deficit disorder along with being a mother of a child with autism, I know first hand that a person is not defined by their diagnosis or their behavior. Mental wellness can be achieved with unconditional positive regard, guidance, openness for continued growth, understanding, and education. We can be the movement for change we want for our children, adults, and future generations.
I am passionate about creating a brighter and more inclusive future for youth and adults. My goal is to serve others, educate myself, and teach others to understand concepts that aid in mental wellness. I hope to support people who are ready to change negative habits and help people understand the importance of relationships; I am committed to creating a community of people who relate, understand, and respect one another. I envision a community where caring for mental health is second nature.
Coming from a country where mental health is considered a myth and suicide is a crime, where children and women have no voice, also having lost a child from suicide, I dedicated my life to advocating for children. I want young people to understand that they have not done anything wrong to experience mental health challenges. I enjoy working with youth and talking to them about mental health and wellness and I strive to give youth the tools to better them so they can live a fulfilling life.
I hope to be able to make an impact and make the community a safer place for the youth so that they may have the opportunity to speak up and have their voices heard. I want the youth to be able to have someone or something to go to when they are in a place where they may be struggling. In the process of wanting to make the community a safer place, the plan is to also connect with the adults in the community so that they may know what to do when a child/adolescent comes to them for guidance.
After struggling with my own health and overall wellness through the years, it is my passion to take what I have learned, experiences I’ve gleaned from, education I’ve gained and help others in their journey toward Wellness. I have enjoyed over twenty years of youth focused work including coaching, teaching, preschool care, teen advising, and youth program development. I also have a background in substance use management services and have worked in the health and wellness industry for 20+ years.