Skip to main content

You might be wondering:
what makes us Shine?

Well, our dazzling personalities, for starters.
More about that later!

Our goal is to be as approachable, supportive, engaged and accepting as possible. We strive for personal connections, collaborations and above all else, to show that youth voices truly matter in the effort to make mental health a mainstream public health issue.

How do we do this? Well, at Shine we like to talk…about a lot more than just the weather (although, that’s very important when making your daily footwear decisions). Most people will have open conversations about their physical health and how their bodies are feeling but seem to get a bit squirrely when it comes to matters of their mental health. That’s where Shine keeps talking! We know how important it is to keep the conversation going and to Make Time for Your Mind.

Every. Single. Day. We take the ups with the downs and everything in between—it all matters!

When we are in our offices, we talk about mental health. When we are at schools or in the community, we talk about mental health. When we are home with our families, we talk about mental health. We know this can feel uncomfortable for some people, so we like to listen a lot too. By making these conversations a part of our regular life we normalize them and hopefully encourage everyone else to keep talking. Shine always welcomes more people to talk with!

Remember those dazzling personalities we were talking about before?

Charisse Murphy - Shine Initiative

Charisse Murphy

Executive Director

Charisse is a mother of four and “Mimi” to one! She has 20 years of experience working with youth and their families in the nonprofit sector and has a genuine interest for improving the community one youth at a time. She discovered a need for youth programming in her community and decided to create a gender-specific program for young girls called EmPOWER ME!

In addition to being a part of Leadership Worcester's Class of 2020, Charisse was also a collegiate athlete and still enjoys playing basketball when her knees allow. She considers March Madness one of the best times of the year!
Charisse's motto is "Just ask..."

Jessika Zequeira

Director of Marketing & Community Engagement

Jessika is a not-so-secret lover of shoes, espresso, and all things that sparkle. She is an accomplished mental health advocate and educator, most recently being chosen for Leadership Worcester Class of 2020, Worcester Business Journal's 40 Under Forty, and a Country Bank's "Woo Star." She currently sits on the Mayor's Mental Health Task Force in Worcester as well as the MA Suicide Postvention Task Force.
Most importantly, she is a proud wife and mom of three.
Prior to joining Shine in 2017, she worked for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and was Chair of their Out of the Darkness Walk in Worcester for 10 years.

Jessika believes that mental health should be a part of our everyday conversations with youth as we shift the culture towards awareness and understanding.

Ike McBride

Program Director

Ike is a native of Worcester, MA and likes to consider himself 1st generation urban renewal because he was born into one of the Nation’s oldest housing projects. He is a product of Worcester Public Schools but chose to pursue college out of state. Upon his return to Worcester, he began working with youth, from a Summer camp counselor, school-aged childcare professional, secure treatment facility staff, DSS open door program staff until eventually landing with the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester. He spent over 20 years with the club and considers himself blessed to be a part of the lives of some of this city’s best and brightest athletes, entertainers, professionals and leaders. During the COVID period, Ike worked with an organization called EforAll (Entrepreneurship for All) which was also a great experience to help people from underserved communities realize their dreams of business ownership. All of those experiences have led Ike to where he is today. He has garnered several awards and accolades for his service to youth in this city. Ike is fortunate and blessed to be the father of 3 awesome young people, have a supportive partner and career that he is proud of, and still building.

Marissa Young

Program Associate

Marissa is a loving dog mom (who is pretty convinced her dog is the cutest) and enjoys spending her free time going for long walks with her family, at the gym or sitting on the couch with a good book. Marissa also spends her weekends traveling all over New England as a wedding photographer.

Marissa graduated with her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and is very passionate about mental health. As someone who has battled with anxiety, her goal is to support others in similar situations, as well as teach family & friends what they can do to help their loved ones.

Julia Freitas

Program Associate

Julia is a bilingual coffee lover and foodie whos love of trying new cultural dishes and international travel come from her own Brazilian roots. She is “Titi” to her nephew and enjoys spending her free time with friends and family, going on long walks, and binge watching Netflix.

Julia graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health and is passionate about engaging with youth. As someone who has battled anxiety and depression, she advocates for individuals to feel their emotions because there is no shame in not feeling ok at all times. Through her own journey, she has learned to teach family and friends what they can do to support someone in need of extra care.

Each of us has well-earned degrees in lived experience. For our employment/education stats, please feel free to visit our LinkedIn profiles, and/or to connect with us there!
App store

Check out our Mindmatters app to assess your mental health, get support and join the conversation about mind wellness.