The Steve Fund is powered by a growing team passionate about improving the support for the mental health and emotional well-being of America’s students of color.
Evan is co-founder and president of The Steve Fund, the nation’s only organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of college students of color. Evan came up with the idea of starting the Fund days after the passing of his brother and best friend, Steve, who died from mental illness in 2014. Steve had received a masters in psychology and was deeply supportive of the well-being of others. The Steve Fund is the legacy of a gifted, loving, and compassionate young man who felt called to help others.
The Fund works with colleges and universities, outstanding non-profits, researchers, students, emerging adults, mental health practitioners and experts, and with groups serving diverse populations to stimulate dialogue and promote effective programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental and emotional health of the nation’s students of color as they enter, matriculate in, and transition from higher education. Its core pillars are knowledge building, programs and partnerships, youth engagement, and tech innovations. The Steve Fund’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Diverse Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Huffington Post and The Harvard Crimson.
Evan graduated from Harvard College in 2009 and lives in New York with his wife and the world’s most adorable dog.
Jason Bell Rose
Co-Chair, Youth Advisory Board
Jason Bell Rose, co-chair, Youth Advisory Board, is the brother of Stephen C. Rose and a freshman at Harvard University. Jason is passionate about advocating for quality mental-health awareness and services within the community of young people of color. Jason focuses on communications for the Fund, bringing forward the voices of students, conference attendees, and participating scholars.
Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble
Senior Scientific Advisor
Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble is the Senior Scientific Advisor to the Steve Fund. She is Director of The AAKOMA (African American Knowledge Optimized for Mindfully-Healthy Adolescents) Project and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University. She is an adolescent and child psychologist and a clinical researcher in the area of mental health disparities. Her research interests include reducing mental health disparities for African American and diverse adolescents; treatment engagement for depression in diverse adolescents; mental health stigma reduction in diverse populations, health equity in suicide prevention, Community Based Participatory Research with a specific focus on Faith Based Health Promotion and Mindfulness in diverse parenting contexts. The AAKOMA Project and Lab employs evidence-based, culturally relevant behavioral interventions to improve psychological/psychiatric treatment engagement by African American adolescents and their families for depressive disorders. Dr. Breland-Noble is currently involved in multiple initiatives with Faith Based and other community partners in Durham, NC, Montgomery County, MD, Loudon County, VA and Washington, DC.
Dr. Annelle Primm
Senior Medical Advisor
Annelle B. Primm, M. D., MPH, is currently serving as Senior Medical Adviser to the Steve Fund, Senior Psychiatrist Adviser to Urban Behavioral Associates, and several other organizations. During her career, Dr. Primm has been a physician executive at the American Psychiatric Association; a medical educator, administrator and clinician at Johns Hopkins Hospital Community Psychiatry Program; an editor of the books, Disparities in Psychiatric Care and Women in Psychiatry: Personal Perspectives; and a lecturer and video producer on the mental health of diverse and underserved populations. Well known for her leadership of community collaborations, Dr. Primm is the Convener and Chair of the All Healers Mental Health Alliance, a national network of mental health professionals, health advocates and faith community leaders that facilitates culturally tailored responses to the mental health needs of people affected by disasters.
Marc Fest provides communications support to the Steve Fund. From 2007 to 2012 Marc was vice president of communications for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the world’s leading foundation for innovation in communications and media. From 2004 to 2006 he served as vice president of communications for the New World Symphony. He is the founder of Atlantic Point, LLC. Based in Miami Beach, Florida, Atlantic Point is a multi-talented team of international communications experts. In his free time, Marc loves spending time with his dog Zeus, a Belgian Malinois who has his own Web site at www.seemydog.com.
Advisor, Youth Advisory Board
Matthew Branch is an Educator and Arts Administrator with a passion for social justice and a strong interest in community building. He is currently serving as Coordinator for Student Activities and Orientation at Brown University, where he advises and advocates for over one hundred student groups and is a key member of the planning committee for undergraduate Orientation. Matt is passionate about supporting the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of students on university campuses and is committed to creating equity for students who hold marginalized identities. Issues of mental health and emotional wellness for young people of color are extremely personal for Matt as a cousin of Steve Rose. He is honored to be able to join the Rose family and The Steve Fund as they promote the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.
Chair, Youth Advisory Board
Alexandra Williams is a senior at Yale University majoring in political science with a concentration in urban studies. She serves as the National Youth Adviser of the Steve Fund and oversees the development and activities of the Youth Advisory Board and directs other youth engagement initiatives. Having worked with the Steve Fund for nearly two years, Alex has witnessed it’s massive growth in capacity and impact under the Rose family leadership and is constantly inspired by the organization’s commitment to supporting the mental and emotional well being of students of color. She is excited to work with the Youth Advisory Board to create meaningful programs that will reshape the institutional landscape of mental health services and support available at colleges, universities, and society at large for young people of color.
Social Media Support
Stephen Berkemeier leads social media outreach for the Steve Fund. He is a Senior at the University of Michigan, majoring in psychology. He is passionate about mental health research, and has been a member of the Gender and Health Research Lab and the University of Michigan school of social work for nearly three years. Stephen has been with the Steve fund for over a year and has helped lead the social media outreach for the fund during this time, as well as assist with numerous other projects. He is excited to continue his work with the Steve Fund, and is striving to contribute to the development of new programs and initiatives for changing the academic climate surrounding students of color.
Sarah Bennett is the Program Associate for the Steve Fund. With a background in Psychology and Social Work, both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Sarah has a deep passion for understanding well-being for people of color from both the psychological and social perspectives.
During her studies, Sarah worked on a number of projects serving diverse populations – African American men and depression; Native Americans well-being within the reservation; South Americans perception of discrimination and its relatedness to substance use; disparities and maltreatment within the United States prison system; and finally she co-founded the only immigrant rights group in the School of Social Work at U of M, which is still in practice today throughout Washtenaw County.
Upon her graduation and before working for the Steve Fund, Sarah worked for Washtenaw County’s Project Outreach Team – a program designed to engage homeless individuals into mental health services. Outside of work, she facilitated a trauma group for immigrant teenagers whose family members had been deported. She also participated in a social work research lab for disparities in physical health services for African American men as well as a psychology research lab for gender differences in the search for meaning in life.
In her free time, you can find Sarah practicing yoga, playing with her favorite girl, Mowgli (her dog), learning new languages, writing poetry, singing, and cooking/eating her favorite Italian dishes.