Who is behind ReachOut?
ReachOut is run by the Inspire USA Foundation. The Inspire USA Foundation is a California-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Inspire’s mission is to help millions of young people lead happier lives. To meet the Inspire team and read their bios, you should go to the Inspire Foundation website.
Meet the ReachOut Council
Born and raised in New York City, Amy has a passion for traveling all over the world, but she finds herself rather attached to her home city (if for nothing else than the pizza and bagels). After graduating with a degree in psychology from Boston University in 2009, she decided to experience living in another culture. She lived in a small town in Spain and taught English to middle and high school students for the past year. It was there that she realized she wanted to make a career out of helping and educating young people. She began working as an editor for Inspire USA in 2008, and can’t wait for young people across the country to find their place in the ReachOut! community.
Hey everyone, my name is Brandon. I am 17 years old and am currently a junior in high school. When I am not occupied with my part-time job or on my social networks (Facebook, Twitter, & Tumblr), I find myself active in National Honor Society, Rotary Interact, and Big Brothers Big Sisters all through my school. Outside of school, I volunteer at our local food pantry, am a student election judge, and am a worship leader at my church. I look forward to helping those who are going through things similar to what I did, and to help then realize: I’ve been there. I’ve made it through. And I am now stronger than I ever thought I was before.
My name is Candace but everyone calls me Can! I was born and raised in the beautiful New York City. I am currently a freshman at Nassau Community College. I am majoring in fashion design and hope to someday work with high-end couture designers. I was born biracial and into a large blended family. Immediately, I struggled to find my place in my home and within my family. Growing up in an urban neighborhood in Queens only made me question my existence and place in society. I have experienced my ups and downs in life and have come full circle in personal acceptance. After overcoming all my issues, I am now an active mentor at a local elementary school. I am bubbly, carefree, and love to make people laugh.
My name is Catherine, and I co-founded myYearbook.com with my brother Dave in 2005. I am responsible for some of the most important applications on myYearbook, including Causes and am dedicated to making myYearbook more engaging and helping build new features. Since I graduated from Georgetown as an OPIM and marketing major and psychology minor, I have been at myYearbook's office in New Hope, PA full-time. I like to write and am especially interested in ReachOut’s efforts to create awareness about youth mental health. As an avid runner, I am also passionate about initiatives focused on maintaining good health from stress relief to nutrition!
Hi there! My name's Chloe and I'm originally from New York but currently living in South County, Rhode Island. I'm a freshman psychology major and a Non-Violence and Peace Studies minor at the University of Rhode Island. Although I am studying psychology, I have a real passion for musical theatre and performing and my ultimate dream would be to perform on Broadway one day. In my spare time, I like to read, sing, dance, shop, hang out with my friends, and have a good time. I am so excited to be a part of the Youth Council and happy to have the chance to get involved in helping out others!
My name is Deondra, I am a senior studying Social Work and Nonprofit Organizational Leadership (graduating super soon woot woot!) at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Working with youth is my passion, and I have worked with youth in nonprofits for seven years now. When I find spare time, I enjoy cooking, working out and shopping. In a perfect world, I would spend every awakening moment on the beach. I am very excited to join the ReachOut team and contribute to the innovative ways to meet youth at their levels!
Hi my name is Jessica. I was born and raised in Southern California and currently live in the LA area. I recently graduated from the College of William & Mary in Virginia with a degree in Political Science and History. I am currently employed at an environmental consulting non-profit organization and am extremely dedicated to social causes as well as ecological ones. In my spare time I love to read, cook (or at least try), attempt crossword puzzles, spend time with my siblings, eat copious amounts of peanut butter, watch obscure foreign films and experience new foods, places and cultures. I joined the ReachOut Council because it allows me the opportunity to help teens and young adults. I believe ReachOut.com is a powerful resource for young people, providing a network of understanding and supportive peers who are able to give comfort and relief.
Hello, my name is Lauren and I am 18 years old! I just graduated high school and will attend Chapman University in the fall, where I will major in Film production. I have been making films for a few years and have found a passion in making documentaries about important social issues. I think it is important to shed light on issues so that teen audiences can know that they are not alone and that there are ways to overcome challenges they may face in their life. Because I once struggled with depression, I feel a personal connection with ReachOut’s goal and cant wait to help out as a Youth Council member.
My name is Lauren and I am from Logan, Utah. I am 17 years old, and currently a senior at Logan High School. After graduation I plan to major in Psychology at Brigham Young University. I keep myself busy by participating in my school orchestra, choir and track team. Outside of school, I volunteer with various non-profit organizations. I am a youth leader in my church, and I am always looking for opportunities to help others. I love service, and I am so excited to be a member of the ReachOut Youth Council.
My name is Martin and I was born in Kentucky, but I have lived in North Carolina, California, Hawaii, and now Oregon. I am 22. My passion to help others comes from a hard up-bringing. I was eleven when I became homeless, and I spent nine months on the streets. Those nine months will always be with me. After I got adopted into a very supportive family, I got to know the mental health care system a little bit closer then I would have liked. It’s also worth mentioning that I am in love with technology. Twitter? Covered. Facebook? You know it! Google Wave? Fo’ Sho!
My name is Meredith, and I was born in Kansas City, Missouri. I spent half of my childhood in Sacramento, CA, and then moved back to KC, where I have been immersed in the NFL and NBA because of my parents’ jobs. I graduated from the University of San Diego a year and a half early with a Communication Studies degree, and am back in the KC area taking a break from life and working part-time for a beauty store. I have a twin sister and a younger brother, as well as a “puppy” named Kali. I love to write, act, sing, and go on silly little adventures with my friends. Music is my life. I enjoy scrapbooking, home improvement projects, and am a very creative person in general. I can’t wait to make an impression on the ReachOut community and to be inspired by all of you!
Hello my name is Nicholas! I was born and raised in Chico California. I am currently attending Butte Community College until I save up enough money to pursue my dreams & attend Culinary School or Recording Arts School. I am a very fun & outgoing person. I’ve been through a lot of experiences, and I’ve learned from every single one of them. I’ve learned to look at the positive side of things rather than dwell on the negative. I am a very up front and personal kind of guy. I love music and arts of all sorts! In my free time I love hanging out with friends, writing music/recording music, and going out on the town! I strongly promote self-expression in all forms; I don’t think anyone should have to be a certain way just to fit in. Be yourself and love yourself for who you are. Growing up through the years wasn’t very easy for me & I took a lot of wrong turns along with wrong decisions. Thankfully I’ve had people to support me along the way, which is where I get my passion to help others.
Hey everyone, my name is Rasika. I’m 23 years old, I grew up in Albuquerque, NM, and no matter where I go, I will always be a Southwest girl at heart. I’m a student at UC Berkeley doing my Master’s in Public Health in maternal and child health. My interests are many, and they include mental health promotion in children and young adults, nutrition, and women’s rights. When I’m not out trying to save the world, I love to read (huge Harry Potter fan!), dance, bake, cook, eat amazing food, watch movies, and listen to music. I am also a self-declared shopaholic…but we all have our vices, right? I got involved with ReachOut as a summer internship, and now, here I am as part of the Youth Council–goes to show the organization and people are so amazing that I just can’t stay away! I’m excited to continue working with ReachOut to meet youth needs and to contribute to an organization that truly embodies the motto of ‘for the youth, by the youth.’
I’m Wilfredo. I am a 20 year old Puerto Rican male and am studying Child Development and Social Welfare Policy at University of Connecticut where I plan to get my Bachelors by May 2011. I grew up in Bridgeport, CT experiencing poverty, domestic violence, an absent and substance abusing father, and a mother coping with her own physical/mental health issues. I love my mother dearly, but at 15, it became too much for me so I called the Department of Social Services. I then became a foster youth. What I do in my spare time is live for the experience! I love to travel and fly. I have a light and fun personality (“Laughing is food for the soul,” so they say). I read for knowledge and I am a motivational speaker. I like to make amateur videos, blog, go-karting, Ju-Jut-Su, making music, and writing poetry to name a few.
Hey everyone! My name is Zach, and I’m originally from Wichita Falls, Texas but I’ve lived in Plano, Texas for the past 11 years. I’m currently a second year Economics major at The University of Texas at Austin. I love sports, more specifically basketball, and spend most of my spare time watching or playing it. I also love music, of all genres, and I don’t go anywhere without my ipod. When I was 7 years old I was diagnosed with depression, and I’ve been dealing with it ever since. But I’ve learned so much from it, and now I want to use my experiences to help others who are struggling. I’m very laid back, and I don’t like to dwell on the little things. I like to have a lot of friends, and I’m open and honest with people I trust. Hopefully I can contribute to making this great organization even better!
Thanks also to our former Contributing Editors and Youth Council Members
Hi my name is David! I was born and raised in San Francisco. I am currently transitioning from my junior year into my senior year in high school. With the little time I have left in high school, I try to make every second count by balancing academics, sports, clubs, and two jobs. I am sixteen years old and with these responsibilities, I have learned to appreciate the smaller things in life. I enjoy playing basketball, running, writing, and trying my best to get others to smile. I know that my life is way different from other teenager’s lives, but I know that, on some common ground, everyone shares some commonalities whether it is towards school, family, friends, relationships, and sports. I try to make decisions that will benefit me for the future and as cliché as it sounds, nothing is every promised or guaranteed. I learned that with each passing day, there is something new to be learned and the biggest lesson I have learned after the death of people that were very close to me is that you should never take anything for granted. I try my best to strive for a better future and with my drive and motivation to succeed I am confident that there are no heights too great for me to climb.
Hi my name is Dennis. I’m 22 years old and from the Chicago area. Just recently, I graduated from the University of Illinois at Ubana-Champaign (GO ILLINI!) with a degree in history and political science. In my spare time, I love reading, writing, studying new cultures, cooking (and eating of course), watching old Clint Eastwood westerns, and just spending quality time in the company of others. I am also a huge sports fanatic, and I pretty much play and watch everything from basketball to rugby. I really like the opportunity that ReachOut offers in helping people find the encouragement, support, and comfort they need. With sincerity, empathy, and my goofy sense of humor, I hope to contribute great things to ReachOut!
Hey my name is Desiree. I’m twenty years old. I’m from New York. I’m pretty outgoing. I love to hang out with my friends and I love to run. I also work part time, go to school and want to be a social worker. I been though a lot of tough things in life but I learned with lots of help from different resources that everything that starts out bad doesn’t have to end bad. I been in foster care for two years and it has been the best two years ever. My favorite quote that helps me get through the day is “Learn from yesterday, live for today & hope e for tomorrow.” I believe that is just what you have to do – that is what I do.
Hi Everyone! My name is Mackenzie. I am twenty two years old and currently living and working in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I studied Psychology and Sociology at Alma College and am now employed with a non-profit organization. In my free time I like to go see live music, try new foods, and meet new people. I love traveling and being immersed in different cultures. I have worked for ReachOut for about half a year now and am thrilled to contribute to such a hip, relevant, and friendly movement!
I’m Maynor. I was born and raised in Los Angeles. My mother was an immigrant from Central America and raised me on her own. I got involved in gangs, drugs, and crime at the age of twelve. I have been in and out of jail for more than ten years. I am now enrolled in college, working, and building a better life for me and my son. Life has its difficulties but I continue to strive forward and learn from my mistakes. I do not allow the restrictions that society has imposed on me because of my past to bring me down. I have got a lot of love and support from friends and family and like to express the same support to anyone in need. Helping people helps me in my struggles as well as talking it out, or writing about it.
My name is Rachel. I am a native of St. Louis, Missouri (Go Cardinals!) and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 2007. I enjoy cooking, reading, and starting spontaneous dance parties. I currently live and work in Washington, D.C. - a city with a far worse baseball team, but a far better public transportation system. I have worked as a contributing editor with Inspire USA for more than a year, and really wish that ReachOut existed when I needed to help a friend who was going through a tough time. That what I love about ReachOut, it can help you know what to say or how to support a friend going through tough times too.