We are so pleased to welcome our 2020 summer interns! Our interns come from a range of fields with different expertise, but they are all committed to the same mission: protecting the mental health of young people through their work with JED this summer and in their own campus communities when they return to school. Meet our 2020 interns:
Joy Ashford, JED Campus/Higher Ed Intern, is a sophomore at Harvard University studying social studies with a minor in Chinese. She is passionate about taking care of her friends, the power of listening to others, and the necessity of comprehensive, empathetic mental health support. As a writer, journalist, and advocate, Joy hopes to encourage those who are struggling to reach out for help through the stories and resources that she shares. After school, Joy writes about music, dance, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and politics for her school newspaper and works as a peer counselor. In her free time, you’ll probably find her binge-watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Bojack Horseman, endlessly searching for alternatives to Hayley Kiyoko, and overusing the phrase “everyone should go to therapy.”
Margot Cronin-Furman, S2i Intern, is a Master’s in Public Administration student at NYU Wagner specializing in Health Policy and Management. Prior to her MPA, Margot completed a MSW at Boston University and then spent the next ~10 years as a hospital social worker in Boston and NYC. She hopes to bring her clinical social work experience to the policy arena and explore new ways to improve mental health systems. In her spare time, Margot enjoys hiking, yoga, and trying to convince her spouse to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy with her (again).
Maya Friedson, Marketing and Communications (Social Media) Intern, is a rising sophomore at Tufts University, double majoring in psychology and civic studies. In 2014, Maya lost her father to suicide—his death is the reason she became involved in this work. Maya hopes to dedicate her life to mental health advocacy by working in the not-for-profit sector of mental healthcare. She wants to change the way people engage with mental health issues, creating dialogue and normalizing conversation. Maya learned about JED in high school after starting her high school’s mental health club. In college, Maya volunteers as a peer health educator, engaging with local high school students around issues of physical, emotional, and sexual health.
Frances Maysonet, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Intern, will be entering her senior year at the City College of New York in the fall, with a double major in Psychology and Jewish Studies. She has been passionate about mental health and psychology since high school, and wants to pursue a career in mental health counseling. Frances is a member of the S Jay Levy Fellowship at the City College of New York, and it was through that program that she learned about JED and all that it has to offer. It is really important to Frances to work towards reducing stigma around mental health, especially among communities of color where it isn’t always encouraged to talk about our struggles or to seek help. She hopes to eventually become a licensed mental health counselor.
Olivia Nee, Development Intern, will be a junior at Wesleyan University in the fall, with a double major in psychology and romance studies. She has always been passionate about mental health and plans to become a psychologist, therapist, or school counselor in the future. Mental health and speaking about it openly have always been important to Olivia, especially in communities or environments where discussing those issues and asking for help or guidance were not always an option.
Maya Sacasa, Communications Intern, is a rising senior at NYU where she studies psychology and comparative literature. She grew up in New York City and has experience working with youth from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds through outreach programs in NYC. Maya is passionate about emotional health within the LGBTQ+ and POC communities and is excited to work with JED this summer. Her interest in mental health stems from her experience with friends and family members who have suffered due to the stigma surrounding mental health. Maya is especially passionate about the impact of race and sexual identity on children’s development and emotional wellness. In the future, Maya hopes to work with children through counseling and advocacy programs that aim to destigmatize mental health and create more accepting spaces for all youth to reach their full potential.