The Steve Fund
Youth Advisory Board

About The Steve Fund’s Youth Advisory Board 

The purpose of the Youth Advisory Board is to engage high school and college students of color from across the nation in discussion about ongoing issues and needs pertinent to the mental health and emotional well-being of their peers. The YAB member perspectives and recommendations help to influence The Steve Fund’s goals, programming, communications and impact.

The Youth Advisory Board provides an opportunity to:

Increase awareness: Build knowledge and understanding of issues affecting the mental health and wellness of young people of color and understanding to become an advocate and leader in the mental health field; 

Build community: Connect with peers from across the country who are also passionate and committed to mental health and communities of color; 

Strengthen leadership skills: Gain leadership skills and experience through public speaking, writing, and advocacy activities; 

Increase understanding: Learn firsthand about how a national nonprofit organization leverages its relationships and operations to advance equity in mental health. 

GET IN TOUCH

Applications to join the YAB will be open in Spring 2021. If you have any questions, please contact laura@stevefund.org. 

Adolescent Tier

Kaelyn Huang

Kaelyn Huang is a senior scholar at Dublin High School where she finds interest in behavioral sciences and works to end the stigma surrounding mental health. Kaelyn is an insightful and a motivated individual with future aspirations to pursue a career in neurology and act as a voice for individuals in her community. She hopes to not only continue her work as a teenage mental health advocate, but also to discover her own identity through her passions in running marathons and traveling the world.

Joe Bell

E. Joe Bell, III  is a Senior scholar athlete at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, NY.  He sees himself as a bridge builder for community and demonstrates that in his ability to traverse Varsity Athletics like soccer, track & field, and tennis while also engaging in theater, school ministry, leading his Skateboard Club, and playing in his local band.  He is currently working to bring The Steve Fund Workshop on Mental Wellness to his high school.  

MEMBERS

Jonea Ahouissousi

Jonea Ahouissousi graduated from The University of Virginia in 2017 where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Women, Gender, and Sexualities. While at university, Jonea created a program called Success at SEA, designed to help African-American fourth year students transition from the university to the “real world”. Jonea is currently pursuing a dual Masters’s degree at George Mason University in Conflict Resolutions and Social Work where she works in the Social Work Integrative Research Lab as a graduate research assistant under Dr. Eric Waithaka.

Isabel Alvarez

Isabel Alvarez is currently a junior at the University of Connecticut studying Psychology and Human Development and Family Sciences along with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Isabel joined The Steve Fund Advisory Board because of the importance of addressing the stigma behind mental health among minorities -specifically on a college campus. She also hopes to encourage mental health services and resources to be more readily available for minorities on campus.

Dannie Bell

Dannie Bell is travelling with Up With People as she takes a gap year, eventually matriculating into Harvard College’s Class of 2024. A competitive runner and an avid yogi, Dannie is passionate about physical and mental wellness. She believes that an important promoter of both is community.

Alexis Collier

Alexis Collier is an ambitious and tenacious medical student attending the Lewis Katz School of Medicine in pursuit of becoming a premiere child and adolescent psychiatrist. During her previous tenure as a board member, Alexis hosted events focused on self-care, time-management, depression, and self-improvement. She hopes to continue her work of creating safe spaces for young people to explore their goals, thoughts, and grievances in a manner that is productive and consistent with promoting mental wellness. She looks forward to continuing her ambassadorship with The Steve Fund’s Youth Advisory Board.

Nia Dingle

Nia Dingle is currently in her senior year at Guilford College and will be graduating in May 2020. She is a double major in Psychology and African/African American Studies. Having lost her father to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, Nia knows what overcoming adversity and trauma looks like. Nia believes that everyone deserves to have access to care and hopes to be a therapist once completing a Master’s in social work. Her interests are predominantly in mental health as it pertains to children/ adolescent youth, families, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Nia knows that intersectionality is key when talking about one’s mental health. Although, one of Nia’s passions is working to destigmatize mental health as it pertains to the African American community, she also hopes that there will grow to be better awareness of the realities of mental health prevalence overall, so that people won’t suffer in silence. Through Nia’s position on the Steve Fund Youth Advisory Board she hopes to gain more knowledge in her field of interest as well as make positive change in the way others view mental health and educate others on how they can make a difference.

Taytum Dunn

Taytum Dunn is a senior at Xavier University of Louisiana studying Psychology and Speech Pathology. Taytum joined The Steve Fund because it is one of few programs that exist in the U.S. that targets students of color. This population is not only important to her because she is a part of this community, but also because it is the most underrepresented. Taytum continues to serve on the YAB as The Steve Fund gives her a voice to help.

Jasmine Geyen

Jasmine L. Geyen is a junior who attends Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She is majoring in International Studies and French and minoring in Political Science. Jasmine’s goal after graduating from Spelman is to attend graduate/law school. Jasmine is a native of Houston, Tx. She attended and graduated in the International Baccalaureate program at the Awty International School. She also created her own non profit organization called Hugs4Houston, dedicated to help those who are displaced by natural disasters in the Houston area.

Melanie Hall

Melanie Hall is currently a senior at Robert Morris University studying Psychology with a minor in Public Relations. Melanie joined the YAB to provide safe spaces and resources for students of color surrounding their struggles with mental health. Melanie is passionate about ending the stigma about mental health in communities across the world. She hopes to make it easier to have open conversations about mental health.

Ryan Houston-Dial

Ryan Houston-Dial

Ryan Houston-Dial is a senior undergraduate at the University of Texas at San Antonio student studying Psychology while minoring in Anthropology.  He has interests in a career in clinical counseling and social work research. He is an assistant opinion editor at The Paisano: UTSA’s Student Publication. Ryan likes to spend his time writing, watching sports and trying new foods. Through his love of writing, Ryan is motivated to communicate the importance of mental health to minority groups.

Seher Raza

Seher Raza is a graduate of the University of Virginia in 2017 with a degree in Psychology. At the University of Virginia, she completed her own research and undergraduate thesis on mindfulness, which is currently in review for publication. Also, at the University of Virginia Seher created her own program called Write Direction, which aimed to help students of color academically and mentally using counseling and expressive writing. Since graduating she continued exploring her love for mental health and education and worked as a psychiatric technician at a Mental Health Institute psychiatric hospital, social worker, and teacher. Currently, Seher practices social work at Burke Health and Rehab Center working with the geriatric population and exploring end-of-life care. During the Covid-19 crisis, Seher won Employee of the Year and continues to work front-line while also pursuing her LPC and School Counseling license at George Mason.

Jierah Reid

Jierah Reid is a sophomore at Southern Connecticut State University majoring in Healthcare Studies and minoring in Psychology. Jierah’s drive to educate individuals throughout our society on mental health and emotional wellbeing is what drew her towards becoming a member of The Steve Fund YAB. She is dedicated to reshaping the stigma connected to mental illness, specifically targeting those who may feel hesitant to seek help (primarily people of color). Her passion will help promote the importance of mental health throughout her campus and the community.

Mashel Fatema Saifuddin

Mashel Fatema Saifuddin is a graduate student at the University of California San Francisco who is working towards a PhD in Cell Biology/Neuroscience. Through her personal mental health journey, she has realized the importance of everyday social support and the need to fight mental health stigma. She hopes to foster an online environment where students can internationally participate in teaching each other about their cultures and the way they overcome their mental health battles.

Jay Wang
Board Chair

Jay Wang is currently on sabbatical from academia but is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (BSA, Biology) and the University of North Texas Health Science Center (M.S., Medical Sciences). Jay has served on The Steve Fund YAB since 2017 and has enjoyed every second of it! Through the YAB, he hopes to continue building a foundation and space for SOCs juggling their various identities and ensuring that they have the proper mental health tools to progress and reach whatever goals they may have later in life. In particular, Jay has a strong desire to reach out to LGBTQ+ youth, immigrant and first-generation students, and language brokers.

Chevaughn Wellington

Chevaughn Wellington

Chevaughn Wellington is a 4th year medical student planning to pursue a career in Psychiatry. Her enthusiasm for mental health developed due to her clinical experiences in medical school, the effects of complex trauma on her community, and her personal experience with anxiety. She is grateful that The Steve Fund prioritizes the mental health of BIPOC students and she looks forward to continue serving in the YAB.

Danyelle Williams

Danyelle Williams

Danyelle Williams is currently in her last year of her master’s degree in Social Work through Stephen F. Austin University. Danyelle joined The Steve Fund to help bring awareness of mental health opportunities to students of color on the community college level. She believes in the importance of mental health and hopes to reduce the stigma that often surrounds it, especially with people of color. Through The Steve Fund she hopes to create avenues and a safe space to those she serves in her professional career.

ALUMNI MEMBERS

Shantalea Johns

Shantalea Johns is a doctoral candidate at Wayne State University College of Education with a concentration in educational leadership and policy studies. Shantalea is a fully licensed master-level social worker with both the clinical and macro specialty. She is also a mental health prevention educator and a certified child and adolescent trauma professional. As a Steve Fund YAB alumni member, she hopes to continue her work in reducing mental health disparities for African American adolescents and reducing social isolation for diverse college students living with mental health or developmental disorders.

Ryan Sinclair

Ryan Sinclair is currently serving in the role of Residence Hall Director at SUNY Cobleskill and hails from New York City. Ryan graduated from SUNY Cobleskill with a Bachelor’s in Wildlife Management and is on the path to a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling. Ryan enjoys doing yoga, being outdoors, watching nature documentaries, advocating for those who cannot do so themselves and spending time with those who matter most.

PREVIOUS CLASSES

2018-2019 Cohort

Alejandra Perez, Lone Star College Cy-Fair
Annie Walker, Wright State University
Idris Mitchell, Yale University
Jay Wang, University of North Texas Health Science Center
Lydia Horan, Yale University
Maya Terry, Washington University
Melina Acosta, The University of Texas at Austin
Melissa Sandoval, The College of New Jersey
Selena Huapilla-Perez, Michigan State University
Shantalea Johns, Wayne State University
Susana Zelaya Rivera, Ursinus College
Taytum Dunn, Xavier School of Louisiana 

2017-2018 Cohort

Alice Lindo, UC Santa Cruz
Alyssa Ince, Yale University
Brittany Washington, Georgia University
Dazialee Goodwin, Saint Louis University
Gustavo Molinar, Ohio State University
Idris Mitchell, Yale University
Jada Hill, Pennsylvania State University
Jay Wang, University of North Texas Health Science Center
Jazmin Pruitt, Georgetown University
Kenna Chick, Georgetown University
Kyle Cayemittes, Baruch College
Maya Terry, Washington University
Melina Acosta, The University of Texas at Austin
Simeon Skylvester, Pennsylvania State University
Vania Richardson, California State University

OUR STORIES & SHARED RESOURCES

Stay tuned for more information. If you have any questions, please contact yab@stevefund.org