Announcing FloraMind’s first Mental Health Youth Advisory Council

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We’re ecstatic to introduce FloraMind’s first-ever Mental Health Youth Advisory Council (YAC)!

To see the full article with pictures of all members, please visit the Medium Link here.

The purpose of the council is to ensure that we are building hand-in-hand with the community we are serving. We strongly believe in youth and think their perspective is crucial to cause real change. For us to have a true impact on shifting the conversation on mental health, we absolutely need them!

During their tenure with us, they will help us better understand youth mental health and education through their lived experience. On top of that, they will be conducting intensive market research and work with us in co-building and designing the best products to help youth flourish across NYC and beyond.

The council has high school, college students, and recent graduates. They hail from 4 universities and 4 high schools across New York City.

It’s with great pleasure that we’re sharing with you all our group of bright, passionate, young leaders.

Meet our extended team: the 2019 Mental Health Youth Advisory Council!

Demola Ogunnaike

I’m a high school senior at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve interacted with several people in the past through All Star Code, Americans Promoting Study Abroad, leadership positions in my school’s chess team, National Honor Society Ujima Chapter, Chinese culture club and through mentorship and volunteer/ paid tutoring endeavors. I look forward to working with the FloraMind council to make an impact and improving the mental health of the people around me! Fun Fact: I really like playing chess. Challenge me to a chess game, my username is demola2001.

Ashley Meyer

I am a current senior in the Honors Psychology Program at New York University. I am currently conducting research that explores a potential cost-effective, accessible treatment for improving mood, which may have implications for a more accessible form of treatment for clinical depression! In a world of exclusive and expensive mental health care, this is my main line of research interest! I also work at Village, a startup that is disrupting the care space for families and friends of those dealing with substance use. In the past, I traveled to Sri Lanka to complete a clinical psychology volunteer program, which has provided me valuable global mental health experience that I’ve brought back with me to New York! One fun fact about me is that when I was in 4th and 5th grade, my family and I traveled to Las Vegas for my dad’s business trip where we lived in the Luxor Hotel on the Strip for about a year total! I am super excited to bring what I have learned to FloraMind and to network (and hopefully collaborate) with fellow FloraMind members. Mental health is so important to me on so many levels, and it all begins with educating the younger population — what FloraMind is all about!

Ghazanfar Shahbaz

I am currently a senior at Medgar Ever College Preparatory School. I work at sports and arts and school foundation in my school and one fun fact about me is that I love running. I am excited to join FloraMind’s council because this opportunity finally provides me with a chance to influence and impact people in a positive way.

Guadalupe Colotl

Hi, I’m Guadalupe! I am currently a senior at Leon M. Goldstein High School. Before FloraMind I have participated in various organizations such as the Youth Leadership Academy, Futures & Options and the Brooklyn South Student Advisory Council. I am excited to be joining the team and being part of this important and empowering work!

Jasmine Ramirez

Hello! My name is Jasmine Ramirez and something interesting about me is that I know how to juggle. As a student at Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences, I’ve seen my peers neglect the importance of mental health. Because of this, I’m super excited to join FloraMind as the council allows me to advocate for mental health awareness. In addition to the council, I’m a two time participant in the Puerto Rican / Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute and co-president of my school’s Hispanic Club.

Marcel Malena

I’m a spring 2018 graduate of the City College of New York (CCNY) and am now a research fellow at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine. I have past experience as a science tutor and peer mentor at CCNY, but an interesting fact about me is that I am someone who lost 80 pounds in 2 years and drinks a gallon of water a day. I am excited to be a part of something as authentic and beautiful as FloraMind because I hope to give someone the guidance and motivation to bring out the best in them.

Mohammed Bhuiyan

I am a student at New York University majoring in Biology on the pre med track. I was a Biomedical intern at America Red Cross. My fun fact was the first time I was volunteering as an EMT, I was helping someone who got shot. I am excited to make a difference and bring awareness to mental health. I also want to learn ways I can practice good mental health practices.

Sandra Estudillo Hernandez

Currently, I am enrolled as a Freshman studying Political Science & Business at The City College of New York. I have previously worked at a not-for-profit called Girls For Gender Equity where we advocated, analyzed and debated issues affecting CIS and Trans WoC (Women of Color). Throughout that opportunity, I was able to grow in ways that I can’t quite put into words. I am the oldest of 5 kids in my family and am also a first-generation child! With FloraMind’s council, I hope to help push an agenda that prioritizes mental healthcare and acknowledges that it is a need in everyone’s life. Holding a space for topics like these is a must, and I wish there were more outlets like such, but onwards: change we must create!

Tania Garcia

I currently attend MHBX as a senior. I have been part of a program that is now known as Next Generation Politics where students discuss civics. A fun fact about me is that I am very talkative and I love chocolate! I am excited to join FloraMind’s council because I want to take part of helping the mental health of the youth.

Salina Liu

I am a freshman studying Mechanical Engineering at City College. I have attended a Zahn Center Summer Program called Boss Girls, which taught me how to create my own start-up. Fun fact: I am a really big fan of a KPOP group called EXO, so if you are into Kpop, I am the person you can talk to about it. I am excited to join the council because I want to meet new people and spread more awareness about mental health and wellness to young people.

Obrian Rosario

I am a junior in NYC who attends Brooklyn Technical High School. I am currently working with organizations such as Aspira of New York and IntegrateNYC and a fun fact about myself is that I have lobbied to both city and state level elected officials. I’m excited to join FloraMind’s council in order to learn more about mental health and become an instrument in growing mental awareness.

Angie Yousry

I was born and rasied in New york, with Egyptian roots. I am a Pharmacy student at St. John’s University and Pharmacy intern at a independent pharmacy. I love trying out new foods, exploring new places and consider my self a life enthusiast! Fun fact about me is I have a cat but I’m allergic to cats. Can’t wait to raise awareness on the importance of mental health with such passionate individuals :).

We’re excited to see what we will build together with the YAC. Stay tuned for updates in the near future.

If you’re interested in being involved with the YAC, or have any questions, please email me at