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2019 Jared's Fund Youth Fellows

"Before joining Jared's Fund, mental health awareness felt like an afterthought and secretive at MHS. After joining Jared's Fund, setting up the club, spreading awareness about our garden,and keeping students informed of the resources available for them at MHS, we shifted the atmosphere around mental health awareness to a welcoming and positive environment. People were honest, seeking the help of others and forthright in wanting to help Jared's Fund in any way they could!"

Misty Avinger – 2019 Jared's Fund Fellow

"The focus groups I conducted for my Jared's Fund Fellowship aimed to assess how Montclair Youth interact with social media in terms of their mental health, and to explore how they reacted to the @askmontclair Instagram platform."

Ari Westreich – 2019 Jared's Fund Fellow

"My experience as a Fellow is one I will forever be thankful for. The connections and things I learned I will forever hold onto."

Isabel Bauer-Nathan – 2019 Jared's Fund Fellow

"Being a part of Jared's Fund really feels like you are a part of the family. I am so grateful for this opportunity and honestly can say it was one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had."

Ava Wigdor – 2019 Jared's Fund Intern


Misty Avinger & Marley Pradieu

Our fellowship project goal was to destigmatize mental illness and make it okay and normal to talk about mental health. Also to help people find the resources and support we all need.We will be organizing a garden at Montclair High School as a reminder to the struggles of mental illness. This garden will be a place for students to relax and study. We will also be starting a club at MHS called Jared's Club. 


Ari Westreich

My fellowship goal was to increase the representation of mental health and mental illness on social media breaking down stigmatized notions about living with mental illness, and promoting a sense of solidarity for those who feel alone while scrolling through instagram. Follow Ari's project on instagram @askmontclair and @askwes


Kimoni DePass

My fellowship was at Wynona’s House, which is the Child Advocacy Center of Essex County, NJ. Wynona’s House provides resources and services to children, their families, and their non offending caregivers, who have been victims of childhood abuse, neglect, and maltreatment. I greatly enjoyed my time with this organization and appreciate the impact that they make on the community. One of the more notable projects I worked on was the center’s annual “Back to School BBQ”. This event is held every year because most of the children who receive services from the center, do not have the means or the resources to participate in summer activities. This event in many cases is the highlight of the summer months for the children at the center. It was beyond rewarding to pull off this event for so many deserving students.


Isabel Bauer-Nathan & Samantha Levine

Our goal for this project was to help decrease stigma around mental illness in middle schools and also to create a bond between middle schoolers and high schoolers. We wanted to target the middle school age group which we believe is a crucial age.


Ava Wigdor

My fellowship involved maintaining the social media for Jared's Fund. I was in charge of keeping the Facebook account current and also helped with organizing events and promoting social media events to increase awareness of Jared's Fund.

"Mental health felt like a very taboo topic in the high school and reaching out for help often felt like more of a burden than anything for everyone involved. Resources were very inaccessible for the majority of students, and few students were actually informed of the resources available to them within the school. I think the most important impact that Jared's Fund continues to have at the high school is its ability to bring mental health into the conversation. The Jared's Fund Club gave a safe space for students to discuss mental health on a local level and continue the work that our Jared's Fund fellows implemented including the building of our garden and other projects to make mental health more of a focal point at MHS. These resources and projects sparked conversation amongst students on how mental health truly does impact everyone either directly or indirectly, and allowed students from all backgrounds to experiment with creative projects that can help to destigmatize mental health and better our community as a whole."

Marley Pradieu – 2019 Jared's Fund Fellow

"The opportunities to meet and work with new people in the field of mental health were very exciting and experiences that you don't get every day." 

Kimoni DePass – 2019 Jared's Fund Fellow

"It was fun to brainstorm ideas and figure out how we wanted to tackle stigma. We had a lot of ideas but seeing the final project was empowering."

Samantha Levine – 2019 Jared's Fund Fellow

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