Young, Gifted & Advancing

Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being Among Students of Color  



The Steve Fund’s seventh conference in the Young, Gifted & @Risk series, Young, Gifted & Advancing, will be held at Georgetown University on November 1, 2019. 

Young, Gifted & Advancing will explore the relationship between mental health and well-being, and student achievement and graduation—across stakeholder groups such as students, families, university administrators, faculty, and mental health professionals. Topics to be included are: the micro- and macro-climates in daily student life and how they impact college students of color in their ability to thrive on campus and ultimately graduate.

We will discuss the wide range of psychological, social, institutional, and systemic factors that undergird the campus experience of college students of color and seek to identify the levers to academic success in higher education for college students of color.

Through presentations from scholars, researchers, students, and practitioners, as well as interactive dialogue among attendees, this program will conclude by making recommendations for changing the educational experience and clearly identifying strategies for participants to maximize academic success in higher education.


At the conclusion of this conference, attendees will be able to:

1.  Describe the challenges to mental health and emotional well-being facing college students of color and their impact on academic achievement and advancement to graduation from the perspectives of students, families, university administrators, faculty, mental health professionals and other key stakeholders.

2.  Discuss how the intersectionality of students’ racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability can affect mental health and academic well-being in the college setting and what institutional and peer-related efforts can be implemented to achieve equitable advancement and graduation.

3.  Identify protective factors and promising strategies that can be employed to support the mental health of college students of color and foster their successful navigation of and timely graduation from their higher education experience.

4.  Specify what roles faculty, administrators, student peers, mental health professionals, counselors, student groups, and alumni can play in fostering mental health, well-being, and advancement to graduation among students of color.

November 1, 2019
Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center
​3800 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington, DC 20057​

Admission free | Space limited | Registration required


Sherry Davis Molock, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Dr. Molock teaches undergraduate and doctoral courses in the field of clinical psychology and conducts research on the prevention of suicide and HIV in African American adolescents and young adults. She was recently awarded a pilot grant from the DC Center for AIDS Research (DC-CFAR) to develop a HIV/AIDS testing and mental health intervention for youth in African American churches. Dr. Molock’s work has appeared in a number of professional journals, has served on a number of local and national boards, and currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and on the editorial board of the American Journal of Community Psychology. She also serves as a grant reviewer for NIMH, NIDA, CDC, and SAMHSA. In addition to her work in psychology, Dr. Molock and her husband, Guy Molock, Jr., are the founding pastors of the Beloved Community Church in Accokeek, Maryland. Their ministry focuses on “family healing” that is designed to bring spiritual, physical and emotional healing to the community.

David Rivera, PhD, is an associate professor of counselor education at Queens College, City University of New York. A counseling psychologist by training, his practical work in higher education includes college counseling, academic advising, multicultural affairs, and leadership development. Dr. Rivera’s research focuses on cultural competency development and issues impacting the marginalization and wellbeing of low-income/first-generation college students, people of color, and oppressed sexual orientation and gender identity groups, with a focus on microaggressions. Dr. Rivera is an adviser to The Steve Fund, faculty with the Council for Opportunity in Education, board co-chair of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies, on the executive committee of The Society for the Psychological study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, and on the American Psychological Association’s Committee for Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. Dr. Rivera holds degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Wyoming. He has worked and trained at a variety of institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, the New School University, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Addiction Institute of New York. He has received multiple recognitions for his work from the American Psychological Association, the American College Counseling Association, and the American College Personnel Association.