Both students’ efforts have fostered equity and inclusion among their peers and caring adults on campus, while promoting emotional health awareness across campuses and beyond.
[April 3, 2023, New York City] — The Jed Foundation (JED) announced today students Audrey Wang and Jose Caballero are the recipients of the 2023 Student Voice of Mental Health Award (SVMHA), an annual award that recognizes students for their outstanding work to raise awareness for mental health issues, reduce prejudice around mental illness, encourage help-seeking among their peers, and ultimately create a school community where mental health is valued and part of the conversation.
Audrey is a junior at Mission San José High School in Fremont, California. A dedicated mental health advocate, she has worked to create inclusive spaces for mental health on social media platforms and has created a website, Affective Cookies, to foster a safe space, offer resources, and provide young people around the world with a sense of belonging. Audrey is also a coder whose program, Theia, won the Swift Student Challenge Submission at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in 2022. She serves as a youth advisor to various organizations, including Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Common Sense, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Technology and Adolescent Mental Wellness Program. Audrey is also dedicated to teaching hundreds of elementary school students in her native Taiwan about self-care, self-esteem, and wellness.
Jose, who hails from Nicaragua, is a freshman at Florida International University in Miami, where he studies psychology. He is passionate about writing and mental health advocacy. Jose’s blog, Get in Touch, empowers voices and inspires change by focusing on mental health lived experiences and perspectives. While attending Miami High School, he founded the Miami-Herald Award-winning nonprofit In Touch, which facilitates fellow students sharing conversations around depictions of mental illness and help-seeking in their varied cultures. Jose is also part of Mental Health America’s Young Mental Health Leaders Council (YMHLC) and Southeast Florida’s American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) chapter. Jose is currently conducting academic research on body satisfaction and its impact on mental health, and he plans to pursue a PhD in social psychology.
“Congratulations to Audrey and Jose on this well-deserved honor,” said Rebecca Benghiat, JED President and COO. “We’re delighted to recognize the endeavors of these amazing young people in prioritizing conversations around mental health and suicide prevention across campus communities and digital spaces. There is no doubt that their impact will continue to positively reach many others, and we’re honored to be a part of their journey as leaders, advocates, and allies in the mental health sphere.”
A committee selected the awardees based on their essays and portfolios. Winners receive a $3,000 scholarship to be used for educational purposes, a trip to New York City to attend JED’s annual gala, and ongoing opportunities to represent and work with JED.
Created in 2008, the Student Voice of Mental Health Award has honored 17 students from various backgrounds who have gone on to important achievements in the destigmatization and normalization of youth mental health and suicide prevention.
Both winners will be honored at JED’s annual gala on June 7 at Cipriani Wall Street.
About The Jed Foundation | www.jedfoundation.org
JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.
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Director, Public Relations, The Jed Foundation