You might be wondering:
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?
Fred is a coffee, café, and book lover who requires natural light in his work space. Originally from NY, he is happy to call Central MA home for the past 23 years...but still let's the NY accent slip out once in a while.
He is proud that his entire career has been with youth-serving nonprofits (sorry adults, he likes kids better!). He considers being a dad his best thing.
Fred took the reins of the Shine Initiative at the start of 2019, and is so pleased to be a part of its important work with youth to destigmatize mental illness and to create a generation where mental health is on equal footing with physical health.
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 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, and Worcester Business Journal's 40 Under Forty. Most importantly, she is a proud mom of three.
Prior to joining Shine in 2017, she worked for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and continues to Chair their Out of the Darkness Walk in Worcester.
Jessika believes that mental health should be a part of our everyday conversations with youth as we shift the culture towards awareness and understanding.
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.
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!
Check out our Mindmatters app to assess your mental health, get support and join the conversation about mind wellness.