The Change I Want to Bring to the World
While the impetuses for the world’s greatest problems are systemic, the most impactful change often starts small. At this point in my life, I want to be a changemaker in my microcosm of the world by learning how to support the mental health of my community.
How I’ve Been Involved in Changemaking So Far
There are many contributors to mental health: mental illness, environmental grief, trauma, and other experiences. I approach my mental health education in a well-rounded way so I have the insight to recognize the genetic and environmental factors contributing to one’s psychopathology.
To understand the impacts and stigma of Autism spectrum disorder, I volunteered for three years with an adaptive sports organization. To understand environmental grief, I volunteered with a coral outplanting organization for 2 summers and attended a marine ecology semester school. To understand mental health crises and how I can be an effective advocate, I earned my EMT certification and have been working for an EMS agency for two years. Additionally, I have worked as a residential advisor for two years to support the mental health of students at my college.
Outside of work and school, where I am studying psychology, I try to be present with others and to engage in thoughtful conversations. These small moments of engaging with others and reflecting on their stories in class, work, volunteering, or in daily interactions contributes most to my changemaking journey.
What Drew Me to This Fellowship
When I feel impassioned to understand an issue, I start by considering the perspectives of all parties involved. What captivates me most right now is the conceptualization of values, specifically how values contribute to political division and halt collaborative change.
I live my life like a journalist, maximizing every opportunity to talk with strangers and filling one journal after another with compelling stories. I want to be a changemaker for these individuals who generously share their stories with me on park benches, in airports, and as my swing dancing partners at concert venues. Together, they validate my philosophy that to effect change, I must learn how individual attitudes develop and how they change rather than judging differences.
The psychological approach that motivates my learning lifestyle reflects the Inner Mastery|Outer Impact approach. I believe this fellowship can help grow my internal mastery of how to initiate change that is effective because of how it accounts for individual differences.