Meet the Steve Fund’s team: Stephen Berkemeier, Social Media Consultant
What do you do for The Steve Fund?
I’ve been with the Steve Fund for two years, and during that time I’ve had a number of different titles and responsibilities. Currently, I work as The Steve Fund’s social media consultant. I work with other team members to brainstorm and execute ideas for reaching out to our followers across our various social media accounts.
What got you involved with The Steve Fund?
I first heard of the Steve fund through an email that was forwarded to me by a mentor of mine. At the time I was working with Dr. Daphne Watkins on the early stages of the YBMen project (https://www.ybmenproject.com), and was looking for a job I could start during the summer. A short while after receiving the email, I was talking with Stephanie Bell-Rose (the founder of The Steve Fund) over the phone and learning more about what it was they were looking for. I loved the mission that The Steve Fund is built on and knew immediately that it was a cause that I wanted to be a part of. We hit it off, and shortly afterward I became a part of the team, and have stayed with them ever since.
What fuels your passion for this work?
My passion for our work comes from my lived experiences as a bi-racial individual and my passions for mental health in general. Firstly, my experiences as a bi-racial individual are constantly changing and affecting the lens through which I see the world. To other Latinos, I’m often considered as too white to be Latino, and to non-Latino cultures, I am considered to be fully Latino. In both scenarios, I am expected to identify and behave in whichever culture others have chosen for me. This has led to many distressing experiences, and studying psychology for four years has made me keenly aware of the lack of research and resources available for individuals with experiences like mine. The Steve Fund has provided me with not only an opportunity to raise awareness of this cause but to work personally with some of the brilliant minds that are working vigilantly to rectify it.
What are your future goals with The Steve Fund?
I would love to see The Steve Fund become a focal point for researchers and students who are just as passionate as myself and the wonderful people I work with. People are becoming more and more aware of the importance of their mental health with every passing day, and I want to see The Steve Fund play an integral role in getting students to a place, where they know taking care of their mental and emotional health is every bit as important as taking care of their physical health.