This past Sunday, we closed out the school year at the Our Minds Matter Spring fundraising event, where we celebrated the resiliency and accomplishments of OMM students and clubs. The OMM Thrive Brunch included an inside look at OMM’s growth and impact, special break-out sessions where attendees could engage with student leaders, and the announcement of the Ommy and Club Award Recipients. Keep reading to discover who won the awards!!
Couldn’t attend? Well, lucky you because we recorded the special occasion. You can access the recordings of the events below.
Every member of the OMM club network plays a huge role in the movement to change the narrative around mental health and work toward the day when no teen dies by suicide. Now, it is time to recognize the fearless leaders of this movement.
Congratulations to the 2021 Ommy Recipients!
Club Sponsor of the Year: Ryan Dickerson, Woodson Minds Matter
“He brings a level of enthusiasm, commitment, and knowledge that cannot be matched. He takes time out of his busy schedule to dedicate to the club and has great ideas on how to bring our school community together to focus on the goals and initiatives of WMM. Mr. Dickerson’s ability to connect with our students and show they are all important to our school community, and us, is truly a gift!”
Student Leader of the Year: Rida Merani, Brookwood Minds Matter
“She’s so incredibly determined to make our school a better place through this club and end the stigma around mental health. She’s personally done a lot for me in the club and always makes it a point to let everyone in the club know that it’s okay if we can’t always do something to the best of our abilities at the moment.”
Student Leader of the Year: Kendall Lindsay, Apopka Minds Matter
“Kendall founded the club for our school in a desperate time of need for it. My school district has had three suicides of students in the past few years and COVID has hit our students really hard psychologically and health-wise. Kendall stepped up and decided to spread the message at our school that the stigma behind mental health needs to end and did so by dedicating her senior year to leading Apopka Minds Matter.”
Senior of the Year: Carly Sutton, Moorpark Minds Matter
“Carly co-led the group for two years, during which time they’ve done many fun activities. She brought in therapy dogs during finals week in which over 100 students participated. During the pandemic-induced shutdown of the school building, Carly and the leadership team personally delivered care packages to each club member.”
Club Member of the Year: Kevin Chua, Acceptance & Awareness
“Kevin prioritizes his own mental health, is dedicated to the club and has demonstrated resilience in an extremely challenging year.”
In addition to our incredible leaders, we are so grateful for all of our clubs’ hard work and perseverance this school year. Now we want to turn the spotlight on a few clubs that shined so brightly this past year.
Congratulations to our 2021 Club Award Winners!
Rookie of the Year: Watkins Mill Minds Matter
There are countless reasons why Watkins Mill is so deserving of this recognition but we will try to name a few! They started their club in the middle of a pandemic, held 30 clubs meetings, got over 70 of their classmates involved in their first year as a club, offered support to other clubs by sharing their ideas and initiatives at student leadership training, and created an inclusive club environment by translating their outreach materials and meetings into Spanish.
Above and Beyond: Avon Grove Minds Matter
I think we can all agree that frontline workers have gone above and beyond to take care of us this past year. This is why our Above & Beyond club awards goes to Avon Grove Minds Matter. They set up a dropbox for small packages at the front of their high school for people to contribute drawings, notes, or letters to show their appreciation. Club leaders (while maintaining social distance and wearing masks of course) were able to collect 400 submissions of gratitude to distribute to their community’s front-line workers!
Equity & Inclusivity: Westfield Minds Matter
Westfield Minds Matter has consistently worked to change school culture around mental health for ALL students. OMM is so grateful for Westfield’s efforts to ensure its peers have access to needed resources for their mental health. To name a few of their initiatives and accomplishments: held space to acknowledge the impact of racial injustices on students’ mental health, advocated for more inclusive school policies for their LGBTQ+ classmates, collaborated with other clubs and organizations in the school to adopt more equitable practices.
Team Player: Edison Minds Matter
Edison Minds Matter started their club back in 2018 and have consistently shown up to support not only their school’s club but the OMM network as a whole. They have consistently held club meetings, got 140 of their classmates involved with the club, offered support to other Our Minds Matter clubs by inviting them to observe club meetings, presented their tips & tricks at student leadership trainings, proactively recruited new student leaders for their club as many of them are graduating, and collaborated with other clubs at their school on their shared mission of building a better school climate.
The Pilot of the Year: Frost Minds Matter
Our final award of the year goes to Frost Minds Matter for being the Pilot of the Year. For the past year, we’ve had the opportunity to pilot Our Minds Matter in middle schools. Frost Minds Matter has held WEEKLY club meetings for their students, created creative leadership positions such as an online meeting DJ, wrote and received a $500 grant from Wegmans for their club, held some of the most innovative club meetings with various themes like virtual dance parties, and organized a Middle School Buddies event which involved three other middle schools coming together to connect and practice different coping skills and healthy habits.
Congratulations & thank you to all for an incredible year! Here’s to making the next one even better.