The Jed Foundation’s 17th Annual Student Voice of Mental Health Awards Honor Rick Yang and Areli Rosales

Both students are leading advocacy initiatives to build support systems and encourage help-seeking among youth in their school communities.

[April 1, 2024, New York City] — The Jed Foundation (JED) announced today that students Rick Yang and Areli Rosales are the recipients of the 2024 Student Voice of Mental Health Awards (SVMHA). Each year, JED honors one high school student and one college student doing outstanding work to create communities of care in their schools. Award recipients are raising mental health awareness by leading initiatives, encouraging their peers to reach out for help, and building support systems for youth mental health and suicide prevention. 

 Rick Yang Headshot

Rick Yang (he/him/his) is a senior at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York, and describes himself as a “mental health champion” who experienced feelings of isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual learning. He identifies as Chinese-American and has experienced the cultural struggles associated with help-seeking for mental health issues, prompting him to begin his advocacy work. The 17-year-old is the co-founder and CEO of “Frontiers of Fulfillment,” a nonprofit that operates in more than 30 states and impacts thousands of people through advocacy and lobbying workshops that ensure youth voices are heard in local, state, and federal mental health policymaking. In his school community, Rick organized and implemented “SchoolSight: A Comprehensive Mental Health Vision” an initiative that seeks to implement evidence-based mental well-being interventions throughout Westchester County. Rick will be attending Harvard University in the fall.  

Areli Rosales (she/her/hers) is a first-generation college sophomore at the University of Texas at San Antonio studying psychology on a path toward master’s and doctoral degrees. Areli was raised in a Hispanic household by her immigrant mother and three sisters along the United States-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, while her father was imprisoned, and mental health was rarely discussed. A sexual assault and suicide attempt survivor, she found strength in her struggles and founded “KeepInMind,” a nonprofit committed to raising mental health awareness. Areli has expanded KeepInMind across her college campus via support groups and weekly workshops. The 20-year-old is a devoted mental health peer advocate, podcast host, writer, and short film producer. Her on- and off-campus advocacy efforts include raising awareness about sexual violence, promoting emotional well-being, and providing resources and education to teens, parents, and educators in the development of a national mental health and wellness curriculum. 

“Congratulations to Rick and Areli on this well-deserved award. Having the insight and motivation to channel your personal experiences into your impressive local and national youth mental health advocacy work is remarkable, and will undoubtedly impact many lives,” says John MacPhee, CEO of The Jed Foundation, “As JED marks its 25th year, we are pleased to honor your achievements and recognize you both as 2024 Student Voice of Mental Health Award recipients.” 

A committee selected the awardees based on their video essays and personal statements. Winners each receive a $3,000 scholarship, 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 Awards have honored 19 students from various backgrounds who have gone on to make incredible strides in normalizing the conversation around youth mental health and suicide prevention.

Both winners will be honored at JED’s annual gala on June 3 at Cipriani Wall Street.

The Jed Foundation (JED)
is a leading 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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Justin Barbo

Director of Public Relations

The Jed Foundation (JED)



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