Meet the Steve Fund’s team: Deidra Dain, Senior Advisor for Programs
What do you do for The Steve Fund?
In my role as Senior Advisor for Programs, I serve the Steve Fund in a variety of ways, starting with designing programs and services that deliver useful information and tools backed by research and evidence. I also help identify and develop partnerships with higher education and nonprofit organizations which serve high school and college students of color who are preparing for and entering college, proceeding through college, and transitioning to careers. Many of our nonprofit partners are increasingly cognizant of the value of mental health and emotional wellness in their scholars’ overall health, academic performance, and sense of self, and they want to do all they can to support the students and their family members. Steve Fund experts deliver programs to numerous students, coaches, counselors, staff, and faculty from an array of organizations across the U.S.
I also help facilitate other initiatives at the Steve Fund, such as targeting relevant professional conferences, collaborating on designing presentation content, and monitoring conference evaluations so we can continually improve our deliveries. I greatly appreciate working with the knowledge leaders and other practitioners who present on behalf of the Steve Fund as we create and implement learning opportunities during conferences, organization-specific small and large group session, both in-person and online.
Another area of programming I’m involved in is the development and management of scholarship administration with professional psychological associations whose members represent underserved populations. We support undergraduate and graduate students of color from these associations in their research of mental health issues with the goal of improving outcomes and raising more awareness.
What got you involved with The Steve Fund?
I first became involved with the Steve Fund in October 2015, following a referral by Dr. Annelle Primm. I’ve worked with Dr. Primm for about eight years on a few different behavioral health initiatives. As the Steve Fund was starting up, co-founder Stephanie Bell-Rose and I enjoyed several conversations about the needs of the emerging organization. Given my background in organizational behavior and development, minority behavioral health, and program management, we discovered a lot of common areas of interest and need.
What fuels your passion for this work?
It’s extremely rewarding to be actively involved in contributing to approaches that can improve outcomes for people who have otherwise not had access, or for some reason, have not sought help for mental health issues. Stigma is a huge barrier for so many people, and I feel strongly that we can help to change that paradigm–by supporting research, providing information, engaging in conversations that support the interconnectedness of mental health and physical health, and by encouraging peer groups to form and find strength in their culturally specific ways. Hope underlies all journeys of health and wellness; I am passionate about spreading that message.
What are your future goals with The Steve Fund?
I look forward to serving our team as we further advance the Steve Fund’s mission with more individuals and organizations. We have a lot of work to do! So much depends on communicating with stakeholders about who we are, what we do, and pursuing partnership opportunities with others so we can all leverage our capabilities, and truly transform people, organizations, and communities.