Episode 157: Young Minds Matter - Real Queens

November 21, 2023 00:41:13
Episode 157: Young Minds Matter - Real Queens
Into the Fold: Issues in Mental Health
Episode 157: Young Minds Matter - Real Queens

Nov 21 2023 | 00:41:13

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Show Notes

For this episode, we offer a look back at Young Minds Matter 2023! We drop in on some of the attendees, as well as our featured guest, Brandie Meister, youth advocate, published author, and vice president of Real Queens Fix Each Other's Crown, an Austin-based organization devoted to improving the mental health of women and girls. it is also the debut of our first guest host, Nakia Sims, a member of the Hogg Foundation Contributors Circle!

 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Into the fold is part of the Texas Podcast Network. The conversations changing the world brought to you by the University of Texas at Austin. The opinions expressed in this podcast represent the views of the hosts and guests and not of the University of Texas at Austin. Hi, welcome to into the Fold, the mental health podcast. I'm your host, Ike Evans, and today we are delighted to bring you episode 157, young Minds Matter Real Queens. As I've previously observed, the problem of young minds is a big enough one to occupy an entire day's worth of attention. And so it was that in November 2023, the Hog Foundation, in partnership with our great friends at Prevention Institute, presented Young Minds Matter 2023, our biannual conference focusing on the mental health and well being of children, youth, and their families. The theme for this year's event was transforming young minds collectively. And let's pause for a second on that phrase, transforming young minds collectively. Each of the constituent words is familiar enough, but put it all together and what does it mean? For this episode, we're going to try to stitch together a sense of what it means to transform young minds collectively, with the stitching provided courtesy of the extraordinary youth voices that this event brought together. As an example, ayla. Zhang is a sophomore student at St. John's High School in Houston. She took part in the opening panel at Young Minds Matter titled Improving Mental Well Being Within School Settings a Conversation with Youth Voices for Change. I caught up with Isla at the event. Here's what she had to say. [00:02:14] Speaker B: All right, so maybe you can just start by telling our listeners who you are and what brings you to Young Minds Matter. [00:02:20] Speaker C: Hi, my name is Isla Dion, and I am currently a sophomore in high school. And today I am here because I was working with Youth Voices for Change, and we did a panel discussion earlier with, I believe, five or four of us students. And then I'm also here because I'm part of Light and Salt Association, and I'm presenting about my internship experience. [00:02:42] Speaker B: Okay, so, yeah, Light and Salt is a grant partner of the Hog Foundation. So I'd love to know more about what it is that what your involvement with them is. They're wonderful. [00:02:52] Speaker C: Yes, they are wonderful. So I first became involved with them because they have this special needs care center and they have a summer program for them that I have volunteered at. I am part of a list Paraland, and we are this volunteering branch who has partnered with Light and Salt for a couple years now. And that was when I first started to work with them. And then for the internship experience, they invited me to do this advocacy internship there, which I'll be talking more about at my session. But I created this outreach project on Asian American mental health, and because of that, they later brought to me this opportunity, actually, for Young Minds Matter. So, yes, I've been working with them for a while, and I truly do enjoy my work with them, too. [00:03:38] Speaker B: Did you ever see yourself being so active in mental health in particular? [00:03:44] Speaker C: I wouldn't say so. I think it just kind of came up throughout my internship experience. I think it's definitely a topic that, when I was younger, I didn't know much about. Of course, same thing with attending a conference like this. I used to be pretty shy, but since I started working at this internship and also different opportunities through school and outside of school, I definitely do believe that that has made me I'm able to reach out to more people now, and I really do enjoy this. And with mental health, I do believe ever since I started doing my project at Light Insult, that is kind of what propelled me to kind of work more into mental health. And I actually am more involved now because of my opportunity at at Light and Salt. I am more involved within the field of mental health at my school as well. [00:04:33] Speaker B: Okay, so I did catch your panel this morning. What did it feel like being up on stage in front of everybody? [00:04:42] Speaker C: Yeah, actually, I thought it was an amazing experience because I get to see so many people here for similar reasons on hoping to listen to us youth. And I think it's such a great feeling because I'm able to share my thoughts and ideas that all of us panelists have been working on for a few months now. And, yeah, I felt very casual in a good way because I'm able to feel comfortable in front of the audience as well, and I'm glad that they were there to listen. [00:05:13] Speaker B: Ayla, ayla, ayla, ayla. Thank you so much. We really do appreciate it. [00:05:18] Speaker C: Yeah, of course. Thank you so much. [00:05:25] Speaker A: Isla won't be the last voice that we hear from today, but I thought that now would be a good time to get to our main interview and to introduce y'all to our first ever guest host. She is Nikia Sims, Houston area mother, person with lived experience, and a member of the Hog Foundation Contributor circle. She was given the task of interviewing our featured guest for this episode, brandy Meister, a mental health advocate and vice president of Real Queens Fix Each Other's Crowns, an Austin nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the mental well being of women and young girls. She also presented at young minds matter. Without further ado take it away, Nikia. [00:06:16] Speaker D: Hi. My name is Nikia Hilary Sims. I'm here with the Hog Foundation and I am so honored to be here with Brandi meister with real queens fix each other's crown. So, Brandy, would you mind sharing with us, like, what brought you to the conference and maybe expound upon what you hope to gain from the conference? [00:06:37] Speaker E: Absolutely. So Real Queens Fix Each Other's Crowns is a nonprofit focused on the mental health of women and young girls. So what brought us here was we kind of saw that we were talking about young minds matter, and when we're talking about mental health and what that looks like in our young minds developing into adults in society felt like, it was really important for us to come here and talk about what that means and how we can build upon our youth's mental health and giving them the support that they need. [00:07:05] Speaker D: Thank you. And the name of organization just really stands out. Can you maybe share with us how did the name come about? [00:07:13] Speaker E: Yeah, absolutely. So I am the vice president and co founder. I came in a little bit after the nonprofit was actually already started. So it was originally started by our founder Bria Mays and she just decided that women needed support. So she started a Facebook group and named it real Queens Fix each other's Crowns. It became really popular. There was a lot of great content or a lot of great conversation happening and people just really wanting support and women really looking for an encouragement and motivation. So then she decided to turn it into a 501. And when she did that, they started hosting events, doing Tory drives and just kind of OD and ends, kind of events that weren't really focused around anything, but it was really just more towards supporting women just in any aspect that they needed. And then I came on in late 2020 and redefined the mission. We talked about organizing it into a bigger nonprofit and really getting organized. And that's when I became the founder as well. And we started expanding from there and focusing in on women's mental health. Because really when we look at our social well being in a whole and the holistic view is it drills down to your mental health. When you're looking at your finances and you don't feel good. Your mental health is affected if you don't have the food that you need. Your mental health is affected if you don't have toys for your kids for Christmas or holidays. And all of those things either affect your mental health or your mental health affects those things as well. So we really wanted to make sure that we focused in on something that for one, we were passionate about and something that we have also taken in for ourselves and making sure that we can fix the crowns of others. So we just stuck with the name. [00:09:01] Speaker D: Awesome. Thank you for that. And then as I think about that, if you had to think back in your own life of maybe one or two moments where you felt like your crown needed to be fixed, can you maybe walk us back through that? And what were your support systems? And also for our listeners that may be in a crown moment right now and they don't feel like they have the support of someone that might help fix their crown. [00:09:23] Speaker E: Absolutely. I feel like when I was growing up, I was a little bit maybe different because I thought of things differently. I wanted to have more curiosity approach to things. And I feel like other people were very standard in their beliefs and standing on where they were. And so me asking questions kind of disrupted that. And so I fell into depression for a lot of different reasons childhood trauma, lack of support and those things. And when I really think of a time is when I was going through a depressive episode, maybe around like 15, and I just really felt like this isn't fair. This isn't fair for me to search for support. And sure, my dad was very supportive, but having somebody that was more in tune with what I was going through, more attuned to what I was dealing with, and kind of giving me more language about what that looked like, because even in my father's eyes, he was in an older generation that really didn't talk about mental health. So we would talk about our feelings and different thoughts, but we really didn't talk about those different treatment plans. A lot of things were stigmatized. So I just kind of felt like I need to do something different when I get older, when I become that person, I want to do something different. And so I started doing things differently for myself. I started talking about it, asking for support, really seeking that support for myself. I was able to find it, but it wasn't easy. And I think as I got older, I started to see how hard it really is, because when you're depressed, it's already hard to get out of that. So to try to get out of it and then also seek support and not finding it as easily can also be really depressing. And it wasn't like I was consistently doing it. I would go and try, it wouldn't really work. And then I kind of stop and see if I could fix it on my own. And so really looking at I didn't have the support that I really wanted, especially from my friends or other women around me, they often said I was being really emotional or being dramatic. And even that was sort of upsetting because when we were looking at how we talk to each other as women, bringing in that kind of word and conversation about dramatic and emotional is when we're connected to our emotions, we're connected right when we're able to see what's happening and we're aware, we want to communicate what's happening. So for them to downplay what I was going through was also very hard. So I felt like I really needed my crown fixed, especially by those women. So again, when I became the adult, I wanted to make sure that we were those people that we didn't have when we were younger. [00:12:12] Speaker D: Phenomenal. Well, I just from reading looking at your IG and can you share just for our listeners, your social media and other ways that they can connect with your organization as well as you? Because I know you're a personal coach and you have a book. If you could share some of those things with our audience, that would be awesome. [00:12:28] Speaker E: Yes. More by Brandy and Brandy is brandie real QueenSt on most social media. You can find me at Brandymeister on basically anything facebook, LinkedIn, all those good networks to use. You spoke about my book. That's something I'm kind of vulnerable about sometimes because it was something that was sprung out of those moments of going through life, of going through different turmoil and situations and chaos. And so what brought about that was a lot of journaling that turned into poems that eventually turned into a book that I published last year. I did get a little bit uncovered with that. I felt very exposed when I published my book. It was exciting at first, and then I felt really exposed to the world because it's really hard to be seen. So I am picking it back up. I am relaunching doing a reading in Austin January 20 and really kind of self discovering what that looks like and why I really put it down and what that felt like for me, because being a creative is an expression and it's an outlet for me, and I want to continue that. And I have plenty of other poems that I would like to publish as well. So I want to get comfortable with that vulnerability and allowing myself to be open. So Open to the Moon was really inspired by everything that has happened in my life and everything that I've gone through. And so putting that into words and sharing that with the world was just very drastic, really, at first. So I am excited to get more into that creative aspect outside of my wellness business. More by Brandy and Bro Queens I would like to still be in that creative space and continue to write. [00:14:27] Speaker A: Hi. It's Ike again. Nikia and Brandy are not finished, but I thought it would be a good time to bring you a couple more participant voices from Young Minds Matter. So here goes. [00:14:46] Speaker B: All right, Shanice, tell our listeners who you are and what brings you to Young Minds Matter today. [00:14:52] Speaker F: Excellent. I'm shanice Blair. I'm the Communities of Care coordinator for the future is us. It's a communities of care grantee from Hog Foundation and Prevention Institute. So I'm here to learn from all of the other people here and also to the Future as US will be presenting, having a panel discussion at 02:00 today about how we've been empowering youth and community voice. [00:15:15] Speaker B: And so tell me more about the panel and what major points that you're going to be trying to get across. [00:15:23] Speaker F: So we are wanting to talk about how people, any person can become a social agent of change. We all have the skills. It's just we need to be empowered so that we know that we have our skills. We know that our voices matter, that what our experiences are matter, and that our experiences are important and that they can shape the community moving forward if we're just given the opportunity to share them. And so that's our big message. And also to talk about how community are the experts. So you have to listen to community members to make community change. [00:15:58] Speaker B: Have you ever found yourself in settings where that was not the case, where community members were not regarded as the experts? Have you been subjected to anything like that in your. [00:16:15] Speaker F: Of our a big one was like the Galveston's own farmers market. It's every Sunday and there's a drag story time like once a month out of the year. And the city some city council members were not happy about it, and they stirred up the city. But a bunch of community members showed up to talk at the city council meeting during open comments about how important the farmers market is, and 40 people showed up to speak on it. And the city still made their decision to no longer allowed a farmers market to be at the city parking lot because a farmer's market is to sell food, nothing else. And so that was really eye opening to me about how community leaders don't always care about community voice, even when community voice shows up and turns up and shares about what they're wanting to talk about. And then also seeing that within the school district itself, we've done things just programs will start or there will be a grant that's going to supposed to happen. We get a grant, and then it's supposed to be this. We're supposed to have community voice. They're going to come in, they're going to give suggestions to school board members about what the community wants, and then it's just never mind. We're not going to ask community members. We don't want them to know about these equity audit results that the school district did because we want to keep that internal. We don't want community members to know. We don't want the school board to know. It doesn't matter. And so that's really invigorated me to just talk to people like awareness about community things, so then their critical consciousness is raised. They know what's going on in their community, and then hopefully that inspires them to tell more people about it, and then hopefully community leaders will hear finally and take note about it. [00:18:07] Speaker B: All right, Shanice, thank you very much. [00:18:10] Speaker F: Thank you for talking with me. [00:18:15] Speaker B: Why don't you just start by just telling us your name and where it is that you're from? [00:18:21] Speaker G: So my name is Samuel Tay, and I'm a senior at the Willins High School. I'm from the Woodlands. It's like 40 minutes from here. [00:18:29] Speaker A: Okay. [00:18:30] Speaker B: And what brings you to young minds matter today? [00:18:34] Speaker G: Well, I'm at Young Minds matter because I'm actually with Youth Voices for Change, a program over the summer where I work to make a Bill of Demands and create a panel discussion topic of things that we youth feel like should be changed both governmental wise and state wise and local wise in the government for school policies. So I came to youth my matters for that. But I'm also staying because I realize that there's a lot of opportunities here, a lot of good youth programs here that I can also learn about and connect to, to hopefully help other youth in the future and continue. My work with youth overall because I have other things, such as this nonprofit organization I helped Co found Hunter Lily Flower Initiative and all these other mental health initiatives. [00:19:16] Speaker B: Okay, so you mentioned a Bill of Demands. That's interesting. How did that come about and what is in it? [00:19:24] Speaker G: So the Bill of Demands came about as something that we just wanted to do to present basically what we think are good policy changes for the local and the state government. And it's actually in a poster in one of the rooms for Youth My Matter conference. And I'm pretty sure one of the people from Youth Voices for Change will actually be presenting it later. And in terms of what's on it, it's mostly things such as introducing a licensed mental health counselor into the school system, a licensed mental health counselor that would help people, help students have a person to talk to. It can be completely anonymous. I actually did a survey in my school for it with over 100 people and it was a 90% agreeance that having a licensed mental health counselor would be beneficial for the mental health of a lot of students. So implementing things like that, implementing more social groups and more support groups for students, integrating other sort of policies regarding potentially changing the time of school because kids actually produce melatonin, routines produce melatonin starting around 1045. So waking up early is actually less productive for learning and for our sleep cycles. So things like that as well. More details about it are going to be in the presentation. [00:20:37] Speaker B: Okay. So I did get to catch your panel this morning. What did it feel like being up there on stage? [00:20:44] Speaker G: Being on stage, it was kind of stressful, kind of scary, but I prepared for it, so I felt ready for it. And being able to present my ideas to a group of adults who actually listened, who actually cared about what we said, it was pretty heartwarming to say least. You feel accepted, you feel happy that there's people out there who will listen to what you say. You feel, I guess, content with what you've done. You feel like you're making a difference, right? [00:21:09] Speaker B: Samuel well, thank you so much. We really do appreciate it. [00:21:12] Speaker G: Yeah, thank you for having me. [00:21:14] Speaker A: The voices you just heard belong to Shanice Blair of the Future is us, one of the grant partners funded through the Hogg Foundation's Communities of Care initiative, and Samuel Tay, a student at The Woodlands High School and another member of Youth Voices for Change, the organization featured in the opening panel at Young Minds Matter. And now we return to the rich dialogue between Nikia and Brandy. Enjoy, right? [00:21:48] Speaker D: Well, we appreciate you through your work as well as through your book, The Vulnerability, and maybe to some of our young and maybe even to the gamut of ages, even if you're in your eighty s and you're inspired and want to write that part that you mentioned, the vulnerability. So maybe having a season for some of our listeners where it's time to write, it's time to publish. We're looking forward to your relaunch as well as what I love about your organization is just the collaboration and kind of reading about how you've collaborated one of your events, which the hiking event. Could you maybe share what inspired that and kind of that partnership with the Trail event that you had. [00:22:30] Speaker E: Yeah, so partnership for me is very important because again, I talk about community, fixing each other's crowns, I believe bringing in other women that look like you and also just other women in period, we just connect together and we're able to have that business together. So tough. Cutie is a great brand. She does a lot of outdoor wear socks that are amazing. I'll just say that they're my favorite socks to hike in. They have the great cushioning and breathability. But anyway, Tough Cutie is a black owned woman business. We met through when we did, I believe it was last year. The years are flying by so fast, right? So 2022, we did a relaunch for our mission and she found me on LinkedIn randomly, came to our Real Queens event. We stayed connected. I saw what she was doing. I loved it because a lot of times odly, as black people, we don't want to go outside or think hiking is something that is not for us. And she definitely wants to change that mindset of our black community and our women in that community as well. So she's launching a lot of great products to be sure that we can get into this space. So naturally enough, having a hiking event that promoted her products as well. We always want to collaborate with practitioners in the space that are also doing the work and giving them a space to promote what they're doing, bring our community into their community and kind of exchange information and build a bigger, broader community for Queens to expand and have all of the resources they need. [00:24:09] Speaker D: Wonderful. And that kind of brings to mind, as I was reading when you had your new board members, you talked about new heights for your organization and as we're talking right now, kind of on the cusp of maybe 2024 and looking ahead to maybe even like your book to the moon. [00:24:28] Speaker E: 2024. [00:24:28] Speaker D: 2029. What are some things that you kind of envision as far as New heights for the organization? Maybe this time next year or even five years from now. [00:24:39] Speaker E: I think for all of us, five years from now would look like having a wellness space that we can bring communities in. A lot of times now we're changing venues, we have to rent out a space to do some of our events. Even when we want to do some support groups and things, it's kind of hard to find the space, especially if we're already limited on funding and things like that, which is also a thing that we would like to get. So when we're looking at funding, when we're looking at our events, when we're looking at our community having a space that is central, that they can come to, they can get the support they need, they can get the mental health treatments they need, whether that be therapy, the community healing events and having that space for all of us to come together and do that. What it looks like in 2024 is we're adding some programming so we usually have quarterly workshops that look like various things, like you said, the Trail Therapy. We also did Roots of Wellness, self Care, Self Love. We did a Sound bath this year, focused around health, hair, alternative Ways of healing outside of Therapy, taking Care of Yourself. So we're going to bring back some of those workshops. But we also want to add some other programming for our youth which look like more Real Talk programs. So our Real Talk is a guide for women's, young girls, mental health, so young adults, young women. We currently have a partnership with HT to do Houston Tilson for the ones in Austin, and what we do is a ten week program for the young women to learn about their mental health and influences around their mental health and how to get healing strategies around that. We would like to expand that program to other colleges, expand the program with Houston tosin and then also we want to do possibly a Mindfulness Wellness retreat in May for Mental Health Awareness Month. So that's something we're looking forward to as we grow and get funding and our board helps support that for us. We're able to bring in those more initiatives that support our wellness initiatives. [00:26:44] Speaker D: And that alludes to an important part too, because you talked about the importance of the impact of mental health and the connection between finances and I think individually, for people that are running and a part of nonprofits, how important? Like compensation and having finances and having the time to travel and hike, as we both enjoy hiking, to our listeners, I want them to kind of make sure that they're aware of that. Like you mentioned, Mate and having the funding for that. Have you found? And I've been on some grant review panels and I'm always pushing for collaboration when there are larger organizations, mid sized organizations, what would you just want to say to our listeners when it comes to specifically for your organization as it relates to funding? Maybe collaboration through funding. Like I said, I advocate for that to be a requirement or for there to be extra points when there's collaboration. What would you just like to share with our listeners as it relates to funding? [00:27:48] Speaker E: Yeah, I think there's a stigma around nonprofit and funding. So often people, when we're looking at funding, especially organizations, they, for one, want to see if you've already done it. So that means you have to come out of pocket for yourself. You do it for free, all the planning behind events, and then they look at funding, the specific project, that just goes into only funding the project as it is. And that doesn't include compensation. So all of the 20 plus hours it takes a week to run certain programs, certain operational things in the background, engaging with community partnerships and engaging in vendor relationships so we can get that nonprofit discount or whatever that looks like. Again, compensation being a part of grants or sponsorships or donations, they often see, and I understand that when you're looking at it and you see it as I'm giving you money just to pay yourself, there's a lot of organizations that have misused that. And because those few organizations have misused those funds, they often only want to provide funding for the specific project or give in kind donations. And don't get me wrong, in kind donations are also very wonderful, and we're very gracious for that. But it doesn't help when we're looking at funding as a whole and looking at how do we use these Inkind donations to give to the community, how do we initiate these projects when we need people behind that? And I really commend our leadership team, myself, Bria and Tracy, being the co founders, we have put our own money, our own blood and sweat and tears and heart into this organization where we've spent our own money to host events and do these things. And so when we look at grants and often even sponsorships, they're like, have you already done this? Show me that it works, and then I'll give you the money so it looks like us going out and doing it ourselves, putting in all the hours on top of working full time, and then putting in our own money so we can launch the thing, so that way we can show you it works. So that's often how funding works with nonprofits, and it's often a catch 22. Okay, you got 10,000. But all of it goes to the project, and only 20% of it goes to paying myself or a teammate to run the project, and then often asking volunteers to come out of their time to come and run the project for a few hours a week. A few hours a day? And that's also very complicated in its own self, asking people to do free labor, especially in the black and brown community, we're often asked always to do free labor, always coming into the space doing something for free. And it's very hard to get compensated because we don't always know about grants, we don't always have the time to fill out sponsorship forms. We don't know who we know who knows somebody else that can get their money or get them a foot in the door. So we have more hurdles, more barriers to get past to even get that funding so we can compensate ourselves, our team and pay for the projects within good faith. [00:30:57] Speaker D: Thank you for touching upon that. Yes, social capital is such a huge thing. And one of the things like the programs with AmeriCorps, I know just as an African American who got a chance to fall in love with camping, living in Australia for a few months, so good. [00:31:12] Speaker H: So I'm going to lead this into. [00:31:14] Speaker D: My untraditional part of the interview. I'm going to reintroduce you, have you introduce yourself, and we're going to move it into hiking and camping. So if you could take a group of queens anywhere across the globe, be it for hiking or just for any other type of retreat and fun, where would it be and why? [00:31:40] Speaker E: Oh, that's a good one. I feel like I'm a sucker for beaches, but then I also love mountains, so I'm kind of getting stuck between the two. And this weird weather is leading me into the Dominican. I went to the Dominican a few years ago. The beaches are amazing, the food is great, the people are great. Really close to the sun, so lots of great sun, especially in the wintertime. I think I would love to go there in crystal blue waters. I mean, the fish are so like you can see them in the water. It's so beautiful. I think if we had a retreat or camping or some sort of outdoor thing there, that would be so amazing. I would love to do that. I think we even went to a cave excursion one time and that was really cool. It was like a little lagoon inside the cave and went swimming in the water. I would love to bring people into another country to experience something that we don't often experience here in America. [00:32:43] Speaker D: That's amazing. Well, we just created a vision board for our listeners and all of, you know, we think outside the quadrilateral parallelogram, we think outside of the box. So you never know who is listening, who we're one degree of separation from from AmeriCorps to the Nolo program where people can take travel funds and use those funds instead of school to travel. And so just what we're hoping for you and I'm hoping for you, just know, being a fan from afar and having the honor and pleasure to hear you at the conference today and the mindfulness and the meditation and just learning so many gems from you. I'm hoping that the funding and whatever is in your vision, in your head written that all of those things will happen. And the next time that we're talking with you, with the Hog Foundation, it will be a reflection on all of those things that have happened. [00:33:33] Speaker E: Thank you. [00:33:34] Speaker D: You're very welcome. Shayshe me showing off a little of my Mandarin. And is there anything else that you would like to share personally, professionally, or anything else you would like to share with us today? [00:33:47] Speaker E: I would just say always take care of yourself, drink water, sleep, do your self care, making sure you're taking time for yourself as well. We do have free therapy right now, currently through BetterHelp on our [email protected]. My business More by Brandy is a mindfulness and wellness company that does a lot of training and workshops with leaders or employees in the workplace to really make sure that we're taking care of our employee wellness, being better leaders in that space as well. Of course, my creative adventures will still continue, and you can find a lot of that information on Brandymeister.com. I'll be relaunching that so it'll host a lot of the things that I'm doing as well. And just to continue to support your local nonprofits, anything that you're really passionate about $1020, whatever you can give can really help lead that initiative forward, because they're probably coming out of pocket and doing this out of a labor of love for the community because they have a passion for it. So make sure you support your local nonprofits. [00:34:51] Speaker D: Thank you again, the phenomenal, incomparable, amazing Brandy Meister, and we will be following her on all social media platforms, and we will just continue to provide the support, not just in words and through the other ways, which are great, but the financial component is equally important. And so just thank you again, and we're just continuing looking forward to the amazing things that you will continue to do. [00:35:16] Speaker E: Thank you so much for this opportunity to express what we're going through, what we're doing, and hope to talk to you soon. [00:35:22] Speaker D: Looking forward to it. Thank you. [00:35:24] Speaker E: Thank you. [00:35:25] Speaker D: Pound it out. [00:35:30] Speaker A: Thank you to Nikia Sims for the wonderful job that she did interviewing Brandy. And if you want to know more about their organization, Real Queens Fix each Other's Crowns, you can visit their [email protected]. Before we take it home, I thought I'd drop in on one last pair of Young Minds Matter participants. Dr. Hina Azam is director of outreach and marketing for the Ibn Sina Foundation based in Houston. They are a part of the Asian Americans Attaining Awareness collaborative. Another collaborative formed through the Hog Foundation's Communities of Care initiative. And joining her is Rakshita, a volunteer for the event. And so let's listen in on what they had to say so far. [00:36:27] Speaker B: Audience, just tell us who you are and what brings you to young Minds Matter today. [00:36:32] Speaker I: Hi, my name is Hinazam and I am the Outreach Director for Outreach and Marketing at Ibn Sina Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that provides medical, dental, diagnostics, specialty and mental wellness to low income, uninsured and underinsured populations. [00:36:50] Speaker E: Yes. [00:36:51] Speaker F: Hi. [00:36:51] Speaker H: I'm Rakshita. I'm a graduate student from UT Health, majoring in Epidemiology. I'm volunteering for YMM today. I'm here to learn more about all the organizations and for some. [00:37:04] Speaker B: Just what are just some of your main takeaways from the event? Tell us a little bit about your experience, things that you learned. [00:37:13] Speaker I: I think it was a great conference. What we learned is the issues that are going on in the community, especially with the younger and young population and how to we have been part of this collaborative and through this collaborative we were able to address many concerns, especially in the youth. We have been able to expand our services based on the need of the community. So we have expanded our mental wellness services to having four psychiatrists as well as six counselors who are addressing these issues, especially with what we are finding out about suicide rate that has gone up in the younger population. So I think it's a great initiative. We got to learn a lot through the discussions. We found a lot of resources that we can connect the patient with those community resources. And also we've seen that we're not alone in this and it's a great strength to see that there are so many people who are willing to work and come together and address this issue as a whole. [00:38:26] Speaker H: It's a great platform. This is my first time attending this conference and definitely I will be back and I did learn a lot apart from volunteering the organizations and what are their offerings to the community. And it's always nice to give back something to the community and help out what we can to do with. So it's a great platform for everything to learn more about the organizations and what are the programs because lot of people don't know more about these programs and organizations which are there to help people. So it's a good platform so that I can go back and educate my friends regarding this and networking and all those things. [00:39:04] Speaker B: Well, thank you very much. [00:39:07] Speaker I: Thank you. [00:39:08] Speaker A: So where are we now? Every voice that we have heard from so far is a living embodiment of transforming young minds collectively, both the doing of it and the results of it. The transforming part comes in the emphasis not just on alleviating distress or fixing poor mental health outcomes, but on empowerment, making one's way through the world and in the process forging new pathways that others can follow. The collective part comes in the fact that we are not just talking about individual transformation, we are talking about youth well being as both a product of and a driver of concerted group action. So what we're left with is just a lovely working hypothesis, one that we can do a lot with, and that is to really be there for young people, entails a readiness to work together toward their empowerment and then letting the empowered voices of young people inform what we do. We hope that you enjoyed this episode. You can find related resources for this episode in the episode description, please leave us a review and subscribe to us on itunes, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts production assistance by Anna Harris, Kate Rooney and Daryl Wiggins. Thanks as always to the Hog Foundation for its support. Music courtesy of Odyssey. Taking us out now is Anna's good vibes by my good friend Anna Harris. Thanks for joining us.

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