I see that you’re part of Edison Civic Change Collective and Civic Wave. Could you tell me a little about the initiatives and what you hope your audience gets from them?
The Civic Wave and Edison Civic Change Collective are student-created organizations. I am the finance manager and founding member of Civic Wave. As a founding member of Civic Wave, I worked with elective officials to secure access to civic education within New Jersey public schools with legislative bills S854 and S237. I am the co-founder of Edison Civic Change Collective. As an advocate and seminar host, I educate members on the history of movements and activism triggered by local and global issues.
I read your interview on Inspiring Teens Magazine, where you stated that you had gotten bullied in middle school. If comfortable, could you talk us through how you managed and how the situation has impacted you throughout the years?
During middle school, I managed my bully very poorly. I often kept to myself, stoped participated in activities, and remained in my bubble. I often pitied myself until I began to read, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen.
How has the pandemic affected you mentally? What things did you learn about yourself during the course of this pandemic that you didn’t know before?
Mentally I was able to adjust to the pandemic well. I love spending time with my family, and I realized how much time I didn’t spend with my family before the pandemic due to scheduling. I learned the importance of reaching out, checking in, and community with people I know and people I would like to know better.
What self-care practices do you recommend? Furthermore, why is it important to scope out time for yourself each day?
I recommend positive affirmations, and I came across Ray Lewis’s “Affirmations for Greatness” during my time being bullied in middle school. Every morning, I listen to this to gain inspiration and take full advantage of the day.
Are there any other psychological conditions/disorders that mean a lot to you? Why do they hold importance and how can we, as a community, help and provide support to people who go through them?
Suicide prevention truly means a lot to me. It is a difficult topic to discuss, and there are countless reasons why someone may take their life. In my school district, I founded the Student Safety Committee, an organization created to identify effective ways to keep students safe throughout my district. The Student Safety Committee is a microcosm of a family. Every member of the community is valued and appreciated by each other. As president and founder of the Student Safety Committee, I oversee and facilitate meetings. With the creation of peer support groups, we have helped students find effective ways to maneuver within a crowded hallway, designed an action plan for dealing with an active shooter, and facilitated the creation of counselor-led wellness groups.
Why do you think prioritizing mental health is so important, especially for youth and the BIPOC community?
Mental health is vital. Without positive mental health, it is impossible to live a fulfilled and meaningful life. Prioritizing mental health helps everyone in our society discover their purpose, passion, and more. Mental health plays a factor at every stage of life, I ask why not start early and create mental wellness and provide positive contributions to the generation?
Who have been your biggest role-models or resources in times of unsureness, grief, and healing?
My mother is my inspiration. I come from a single-parent home where my mother has done absolutely everything for me. She continues to believe in me. At times I don’t believe in myself. She has taught me to stand up for what you believe in and always work to create a brighter purpose. Over the years, she has shown me what a powerful woman is. One of the greatest lessons I have learned from her is that patience and persistence is the difference in your dreams coming true or not. I am beyond thankful for my mother and the lessons and advice she continues to give me.
What does mental health mean to YOU?
To me, mental health means to discover your ability to enjoy happiness and find lessons of wisdom when faced with hardship.
Is there anything else you would like Revive’s audience to know?
I would like the Revive’s audience to know that “there no format or outline on the journey you are embarking on. Live with the mistakes and constantly move forward.”