Congratulations to the 2022 Recipients of the Jared's Fund Youth Fellowship!
For the 4th year Jared's Fund has been hopeful about the efforts to end the stigma surrounding mental illness by the quality of the projects submitted for review and also by the enthusiasm demonstrated by our young adults at Montclair High School! The recipients of this year's Summer Fellowship along with their planned projects are listed below.
We are so excited to be working with a new group of "Mental Health Warriors" this Summer!
Working together we CAN end the stigma!
Daniela Dreifach’s project for Jared’s Fund Youth Fellowship is to create a “Coping Room” or “Mental Health Resource Center” within Montclair High School (potentially at least 1 in each building) and possibly expand this idea to the middle schools as well. Using hotlines, breathing techniques, physical coping objects, art therapy, and writing therapy, Daniela hopes that these room(s) will become a safe space for students to visit during their day when they need a “time out from the stressors of their day.
Mentor: Mr. Reginald Clark (MHS Assistant Principal)
Daniela (Dani) is a “rising senior”
"I really enjoyed the speakers! I loved the opportunity to make meaningful connections. Specifically, I enjoyed the career-oriented speakers, such as the young lawyer who spoke to us about mental health advocacy.....I was inspired by his stories. I think that I have taken with me the concept of destigmatization via conversation. Something that I have learned through our speaker series and our conversations is that being radically open about your issues is a great way to destigmatize mental health, and that the the destigmatization starts from within." Dani August 2022
Eliana Leow’s project for Jared’s Fund Youth Fellowship is to create a community for young women, ages 12-17, where they can learn and freely discuss mental health, mental health awareness and mental health stigma while expressing themselves through art. Eliana’s project will consist of three 90-minute workshops for 10-15 girls at Montclair Art Museum integrating mental health awareness through art. Eliana will be assisted by her mentor, Dr. Tekeyah Sears, and various other community leaders.
Mentor: Dr Tekeyah Sears
Eliana is a “rising senior”
"I am truly grateful to have been a part of this fellowship. I have learned so much not just from the speakers, but also from my fellows, Jackie, and Beth. This is something that has pushed me to want to make a difference in the lives of those who are struggling with mental health; even more so than before I started the fellowship. I am beyond grateful that I could create a project of my own such as the Blank Canvas Project, that can help others or inspire them to dive deeper into learning about mental health and ending the stigma that surrounds it". Eliana August 2022
Jonah Schmeltz’s project for Jared’s Fund Youth Fellowship is to create a presentation to help raise awareness of mental health issues and how they affect high school athletes. He plans to do this by creating a google slides presentation including information on what Jared’s Fund is and how to raise awareness of mental health struggles in the athletic world. Jonah hopes to include a guest speaker and also use video clips from professional athletes. He will add in a Q&A and use community resources. Jonah’s hope is that the Montclair High School coaches will be able to show this google presentation at the beginning of each season.
Mentor: Julie Rezende
Jonah is a “rising senior”
"I now have a new respect for others, but also myself as someone who has struggled with mental health issues before. Going forward, I may want to study psychology in college based off my experience at Jared's Fund. I want to be more open and vulnerable about my struggles with my mental health so others can understand that it is normal to be struggling, and the more we talk about it, the better our mental health will become. Being part of Jared's Fund is easily one of the best things I have done with my life so far. I have learned so much and I will use this experience in my future, for sure, whatever that may be." Jonah August 2022
Nathan Loewy’s project for Jared’s Fund Youth Fellowship will be to conduct research on ways to improve mental health resources in Buzz Aldrin Middle School. He will be conducting interviews with students and he also hopes to create skits for video presentations which can be shown during a school assembly.
Mentor: Tracy Klingener
Nathan (Nate) just graduated from MHS!
"I loved the Speaker Series! It was genuinely one of my favorite parts of the fellowship. It was so incredible to hear such distinct perspectives on mental health awareness, mental health law, people's own experiences with mental health, and more. I thought that the blend of different speakers was great and it never felt like I was hearing the same thing twice. This summer was extremely fulfilling and satisfying for me. I always felt great after finishing a video, making someone feel good, or listening to a speaker. It really felt like I was making a difference in my community!" Nate August 2022
Desiree Lawrence and Tahmari Lewis plan to focus their Jared’s Fund Youth fellowship project on early childhood mental health. Desiree and Tahmari’s mental health research project is a three-part plan. The first part focuses on meeting with mental health experts and asking them questions designed to be developed into a survey. The second part of their project will be to meet with various organizations such as daycares, schools, camps, etc. in order to have them fill out the survey. The main purpose of the survey is to provide Desiree and Tahmari with an understanding of what the facilities are doing to protect children’s mental health Lastly, the third part will involve creating a publication. The publication will include the recommendations they received from experts, the percentage of facilities working to benefit children's mental health, and online and in-person resources.
Mentor: Linda Hyndman Lewis
Desiree and Tahmari are both “rising seniors”
"I have learned that there are a lot of like minded adults committed to ending the stigma surrounding mental health. There is sometimes a generational disconnect between those when it comes to health and social causes. However, the speaker series showed me that adults are juts as committed to these issues as I am. I also felt like Jared's Funs was great for networking and making connections. I met adults that I felt really believed in me and my project.. This program was amazing and this Summer ranks among the best for me!" Desiree August 2022
"The major take-aways that I have learned in the past few weeks were that mental health conditions should be treated with the same care as physical health conditions. It is major to start teaching about struggles at a young age. This fellowship amplified the importance of mental health and I want to make sure I never downplay someone's or my own mental health. This fellowship has been a huge part of my summer and I will carry the lessons I learned to be the best mental health warrior I can be!"
Tahmari August 2022
Brynn Baldwin will be joining Jared’s Fund this Summer as our Intern! She is a sophomore at Dripping Springs High School in Austin, Texas. Brynn was “one of Jared’s Favorite Cousins”!
"Now that I have completed my internship, I will try to be more aware of others around me and try to help when I can." Brynn August 2022