The National Youth Council on College Mental Health supports the Mary Christie Institutes efforts to improve institutional support for student mental health, not only through resources on campus, but also through culture and learning approaches. The Council is responsible for providing ideas and advice to Institute leaders, ensuring that student perspectives are incorporated into its publications, communication channels and other programming.
The National Youth Council
Seika Brown, a current student at Cornell University, stands as a distinguished global mental health researcher, forging impactful collaborations with renowned institutions such as UNICEF, The Karolinska Institute, CitiesRISE, and The WHO. Recognized with the Mental Health America’s mPower award in 2021, as well as honors from the Gates Foundation Discovery Center (2020) and the Rare Impact Youth Award from Selena Gomez and Rare Beauty (2023), Seika is a trailblazer in the field. Brown is a contributor to the Karolinska Institute study on the political economy of adolescent mental health with the Lancet Commission and other stakeholders. Beyond accolades, Seika fosters genuine connections, providing free mental health training across over five countries and conducting interviews spanning Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Colombia, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, the UK and more. Her work is a testament to her commitment to destigmatizing mental health and creating cross-cultural understanding on a global scale.
Carson Domey, 19, is a youth mental health advocate from Massachusetts. Growing up with a rare chronic illness, Carson began his legislative advocacy at the Massachusetts State House when he first testified at the age of 12 while seeking to expand access to telehealth services in the Commonwealth. Following the death of a friend to suicide in 2018, he began advocating for cost-effective policy solutions to promote widespread education about mental health in school systems. Carson has successfully worked with legislators in Massachusetts, Texas, and on the federal level to pass legislation to remove barriers to accessing mental healthcare and to expand resources within educational settings. Carson is a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin studying Economics and Government. In his free time, he enjoys flying, spending time with family, and rooting for Boston’s sports teams and the Texas Longhorns.
Grace Donfield is a sophomore at Wesleyan University and mental health advocate for young adults and students. She is a point contributing team member on both the Wesleyan Varsity Swimming and Crew teams, and a Campus Captain for the Hidden Opponent, an organization dedicated to mental health advocacy in athletes. Grace is an elected member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where she aids in the organization of fundraising efforts for various mental health organizations and works to promote general mental health awareness on campus.
Ryan Doucette, 20, is a senior at the Ohio State University studying Public Policy Analysis, Economics, and Education Policy. Following the loss of a friend to suicide, Ryan was compelled to use his voice to advocate for increased mental health support in both a legislative and community capacity. At the Ohio State University, Ryan serves on the Glenn College Mental Health and Wellness Committee, seeking to enable his peers to be conscious of their own health and the best methods to support the well-being of others. Outside of his advocacy efforts, he can be found staying active in the outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and rooting for Boston’s sports teams and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Shriya Garg is an incoming Foundation Fellow and Stamps Scholar at the University of Georgia. Interested in addressing various barriers that she sees for her peers, Shriya has found a passion for advocating for those around her – whether that be her efforts to curb the “Digital Divide” where she was featured in Forbes or her work to implement screening tools in universities to combat the mental health crisis among college students. Currently studying Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Shriya hopes to pursue an MD MBA after her undergraduate years.
Sam is an undergraduate senior at Bates College and co-founder of Kick It for a Cause, Inc., a charity kickball tournament turned nonprofit organization supporting suicide prevention. In addition to Kick It, Sam works as an undergraduate research assistant at the Hamilton Lab (Rutgers University) and the CALM Lab (Bates College) studying the impact of sleep/social media use on adolescent suicide and multicultural mental health, respectively. Within his advocacy, Sam has previously worked with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the American Association of Suicidology Born This Way Foundation, and was named the 2022 recipient of Mental Health America’s mPower Award.
Caroline Hanson, a freshman at the College of the Holy Cross, began her behavioral health advocacy at a young age. As a high school student, she led multiple fundraisers to highlight the importance of suicide prevention. She is the founder and co-chair of Walk With Me; an event that raises funds for mental health training and resources in a school setting. Hanson is passionate about raising awareness of mental health issues after losing her father to suicide at the age of 13. She shared her personal story and delivered introductory remarks of an award winner at the 2022 Massachusetts Association for Mental Health gala. Hanson is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in psychology with plans to further her education with the career goal of providing mental health support to young adults in a therapeutic setting.
Kelsey Elizabeth Matthews is a first-generation college graduate, mental health professional, published author, advocate, and ordained chaplain. Originally from East Haven, Connecticut, she relocated to Las Vegas 18 years old. Kelsey graduated with honors from the College of Southern Nevada Class of 2021, obtaining her Associate of Arts. In 2023, Kelsey graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
As a member of the UNLV Honors College, Kelsey was selected along with 58 other college students nationwide to be awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship in 2022. Additionally, Kelsey was chosen by UNLV’s President as one of just ten Outstanding Graduates for the Class of 2023.
Kelsey has a heart for those impacted by substance abuse, advocating passionately to bring awareness to the drug and opioid crisis that plagues our nation– the very crisis that took her mother’s life in 2016. Kelsey has worked as a Rehabilitative Mental Health Provider for H.O.P.E Counseling Services, and a Community Engagement Specialist for Vegas Stronger and the CARE Coalition.
Now, as a Bachelor of Social Work, Kelsey currently works for the UNLV School of Public Health, serving as the Regional Program Manager for The Defensive Line. TDL is a Texas-based non-profit organization now expanding to Nevada, with a mission of ending the epidemic of youth suicide, especially for young people of color, by transforming the way we communicate and connect about mental health.
Nestory Ngolle is a sophomore pre-medical student at Georgetown University majoring in Biology of Global Health with a minor in Science, Technology, and International Affairs. Following his first year at Georgetown, Nestory began to take a particular interest in mental health on college campuses across the nation and how the diversity of student backgrounds, particularly in the FGLI and international student populations, can yield different experiences for students as they transition to college. He is also interested in the increased focus that we have begun to put on mental health on our campuses, especially following the pandemic. He hopes to find ways to maintain this focus and amplify his peers’ voices across the country, as they work to resolve the challenges facing this generation of students. Originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, Nestory enjoys playing basketball, learning new languages, learning to play the piano, and educating himself about past and rising public and global health issues.