The Team

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Lauren Anderson co-founded Our Minds Matter, formally the Josh Anderson Foundation, in 2012 following the death of her youngest brother, Josh, by suicide at the age of seventeen. As Executive Director, Lauren keeps the “lights on” and guides OMM toward its north star of preventing teen suicide. Lauren has 10+ years in executive leadership, nonprofit management, fundraising, and program development, all while forging and growing relationships with a wide range of stakeholders – from teens to partners to funders.

Lauren was named a 2022 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine and her work has been featured in print and broadcast news, including The TODAY Show, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping Magazine, NBC4 Washington and WUSA 9. Furthermore, Lauren was interviewed by Deepak Chopra for his One World news show that features international thought leaders from both the public and private sector. 

Lauren is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she majored in Finance and International Business at the McIntire School of Commerce. Prior to co-founding Our Minds Matter, Lauren worked as an analyst at a boutique investment bank in Atlanta, GA. She currently lives in Washington, DC with her fiancé, son and two rescue pit bulls. 

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A DC native, Morgan (better known as Mo), is a writer, multimedia artist and postpartum doula who studies and imagines ecosystems centered around care. Her work is amplified through curriculum development, workshop facilitation, digital strategy and creative direction. She holds over ten years of experience in education, specializing in creative writing and youth development.

For three years Morgan worked as a facilitator during SMYAL’s Activist Summer Camp, facilitating social justice workshops and supporting youth as they launched GSA (Gay/Straight Alliance) clubs at their schools, before transitioning into education as a teaching artist alum for Split This Rock and the DC Youth Slam Team. She later went on to serve as the Director of Poetry Programming for Words Beats and Life, helping young writers publish (and later on perform) their own manuscripts. She has most recently migrated into public health, with a focus on socio-emotional wellness and family-centered advocacy.

Mo is an internationally-recognized poet and performer, a two-time Harvard Alumni of Color Conference facilitator, TEDx speaker, Loft Literary Center Immersion Fellow, and was awarded by the mayor’s office as one of 2020-2021’s 40 Under 40 Queer Women of Washington. When not building new worlds, Mo can be found snuggled up with her Nintendo Switch and shamelessly binging Survivor.

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Rachel grew up in the Philly suburbs and proudly obtained her BSW and MSW from Temple University. She is passionate about working toward a world where all people can thrive with dignity, and this drives her work.

Rachel joined Our Minds Matter in May 2021 as a Program Coordinator, and is now honored to serve as Program Manager for the Middle School Program and the Teen Centers Pilot Program. She also champions program development & curriculum design to increase OMM’s impact, supports research and evaluation to ensure we are data-driven and evidence-informed, and creates content for our campaigns and social media spotlights. As she oversees middle schools and teen centers, she is eager to continue building an inclusive and engaging program that will benefit younger teens in building key protective factors to prevent suicide.

Rachel lives in DC with her partner and their frenchie, Bruce. She loves being a dog mom, joyful movement such as indoor cycling and boxing, and trying out new pescetarian recipes in the kitchen. You can also find her lost in a good romance book, listening to podcasts on walks, and shamelessly bingeing reality TV in the name of self-care.

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Julia grew up in Syracuse, NY and obtained their Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Ithaca College. During their undergrad years, Julia was selected as a Scholar within the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network, an innovative leadership initiative geared toward leveraging identity, personal strengths, and collective knowledge to positively impact social change and foster inclusive communities on and off campus.

Following their time at IC, Julia’s passion for youth advocacy and mental health promotion led her to a fellowship at Active Minds. She worked collaboratively to grow and increase representation within their national suicide prevention display. Through this, Julia has developed a love for employing programming and events to empower and promote vulnerability and help-seeking behaviors.

Julia lives in Gaithersburg, MD, with her wife and their two kitties – Theo & Flink. She loves bagels, thrift shopping, reading books recommended by BookTok, and going on late-night drives with the windows down.

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Laura Beth obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia Tech. During her undergrad, Laura Beth served as a research assistant in the Center for Applied Behavior Systems (CABS). While in CABS, Laura Beth supported the development and implementation of a school-based training program. Her passion for youth and public service led her to earn a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University in 2016. She has 10+ years of project management, providing customer/client service, and developing customer/client relationships from previous work as an HR Specialist at the Department of Defense, Service & Volunteer Coordinator at Averett University, and Director of Outreach & Philanthropy at Promote Care Prevent Harm. At Our Minds Matter, Laura Beth uses her educational background and professional experience to continually develop and enhance the OMM program, collect and analyze implementation data, and provide ongoing support to OMM students and partners.

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G Wei Ng, Ph.D. is a licensed counseling psychologist in the state of Maryland and her professional expertise is in the intersection of mental health and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Dr. Ng earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from University of Missouri – Kansas City. She completed an APA-accredited internship and a diversity-focused post-doctoral fellowship at Towson University Counseling Center. 

Prior to joining OMM, Dr. Ng was the Staff Psychologist and the Diversity Coordinator for Towson University Counseling Center where she oversaw a peer education program whose mission is to educate young adults on how the intersection of one’s social identities can influence their mental health, and was widely recognized as a fierce social justice and mental health advocate on-campus and beyond! Dr. Ng is also the owner and founder of G Psychological & Consulting Services, LLC. Her clinical interests include BIPOC and immigrant mental health, intersectionality and identity development, cross-cultural concerns, and decolonizing mental health. On these topics and others, she has served as a manuscript peer-reviewer, panelist, keynote speaker, and workshop presenter in the US and abroad. Throughout her career, Dr. Ng has worked tirelessly to help eradicate the stigma around mental health and help-seeking especially in marginalized communities. 

Dr. Ng lives in Ellicott City, MD with her partner and their son. She loves traveling, spending time in nature, exploring good locally-owned coffee shops and restaurants, and binge watching K-dramas.

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Beth was raised in the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas and comes from a long line of indigenous peoples of this region. Beth attended Texas State University for their Bachelors of Applied Arts in Social Work as a first generation student and was among the first in their family to receive higher education. 

Beth found a passion for advocacy early in their life and began her career working with youth in crisis through Americorps in elementary and middle schools. She spent the following years working with youth and adults in crisis management settings both on the ground and through crisis programming. Beth hopes to continue to foster a sense of empowerment in every individual they come across and spread a message of love and self-advocacy.  

Beth currently lives in Washington, D.C. with their wife and pups Tobin, Beans, Dash and whatever foster animal is sharing the love. In their spare time, Beth enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on, writing, crafting, outdoor adventuring and continuing her research on the school to prison pipeline in Texas public schools.

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Ramona Plummer, a Jamaican-American born in the sunshine state of Florida moved to Maryland at a young age and was raised in Prince George’s County. As a first-generation college graduate, she received her Bachelor of Science degree from the first degree-granting HBCU, Lincoln University of PA, and her Master of Public Health degree from Howard University.

Throughout her career, Ramona has worked for non-profit organizations and served families in Wilmington, DE, Newark, DE, and Southeast DC. She has experience and a strong passion for working with teens directly and enjoys building connections. For her Master’s program capstone project, Ramona decided to focus on adolescents creating, #EndtheBS (Beauty Standards): A Toolkit for Mental and Physical Health Outcomes Associated with Social Media’s Beauty Standards. Ramona is passionate about changing the culture around mental health and working at OMM gives her that opportunity!

During her free time, she enjoys music, traveling, binge-watching TV shows/movies, and hanging with her friends and family!

Sean Roberts,  a native Washintonian, is a passionate  HR/Talent leader and educator with over 11 years of experience serving the education and non-profit sectors in multiple capacities. Sean is an alumni of Morgan State University where he majored in finance and vocal music. 

As an educator, Sean worked with a deep commitment to arts advocacy and educational equity, providing arts programming to elementary and middle school students, with a specific focus on serving in low income communities. Additionally, Sean served the nonprofit sector with organizations like Arts for Learning, using the arts as a scaffolding tool to close gaps for retention-risk students and those with literacy challenges.

For the past few years, Sean has leveraged his experience as an educator, serving DC charter schools in the talent/people space. While he has worked over a wide range of people functions, his primary focus has been in the areas of DEI learning, creating equitable hiring processes, and new teacher & leadership development. Sean joins OMM as a People Operations Manager, overseeing all people and culture functions and is excited to support the OMM staff and partners in their deeply important and impactful work.

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Mikal Yemane was born and raised in Asmara, Eritrea before moving to the States in 2010. She is a 2019 graduate of Falls Church High School and recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Spring 2023, earning a Bachelor’s of Psychology. Her passion for mental health blossomed during an AP Psychology course in high school, leading her to join Jaguar Minds Matter, seeking out opportunities to learn more about mental health and how to use that knowledge to support others in her community.

In pursuit of her passion, Mikal has worked extensively with young children and teens of different backgrounds, including mental health and sensory issues, and holds experience as a Behavior Technician for children with autism and their families with resources. She has also volunteered and mentored middle and high schoolers for the Youth Life Foundation of Richmond, and has worked closely with Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS). As an Our Minds Matter alum, she is excited to continue the work of erasing stigma around mental health, building community, and identifying resources to support herself and others.

Mikal lives in Fairfax, Virginia with her twin sister. She enjoys reading, listening to podcasts and music, going on walks, spending time in nature, finding ways to grow and develop, and spending quality time with family/friends and loved ones.

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Nijha (rhymes with “Elijah”) is a Jamaican American writer-journalist and mental health advocate born and raised on Long Island, New York. Since high school, she has developed a love for writing and storytelling, prompting her to hone her interviewing and editing skills — earning a BA in Journalism (with minors in Italian and Psychology) at Ithaca College, deepening their interest in mental health and the human condition. Their personal experience with mental health struggles as a student has made them passionate about teen and young adult mental health and suicide awareness/prevention.

Nijha hopes to combine her interests in personal and professional writing with mental health advocacy — whether through graduate work or journalism. Some of her areas of interest include clinical psychology, lifespan development and suicidology. She believes that sharing personal stories can be a uniting force, and is passionate about encouraging others to do the same.

In her free time, Nijha enjoys listening to music, journaling/writing, pen-palling, running, language learning, vision boarding on Pinterest, and long phone calls with friends 🙂

Part-time or contracted team members

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Sanice is a North Carolina Native who proudly graduated from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte in 2014 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication Studies. She is an Operations Coordinator with a background that has spanned from the nonprofit sector to healthcare and financial industries. Sanice leverages her professional experience in operations and project management to provide daily operational support while collaborating with fellow team members to outline frameworks for strengthening internal systems and policies.

Sanice is a North Carolina native who in her free time enjoys completing epoxy resin projects, writing poetry, binging true crime shows and being outdoors whether that’s hiking or playing with her adopted beagle mix pup Rookie. 

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Jordan Booker received his PhD in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Tech and he is currently faculty in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri. Jordan’s research centers on different forms of social development–the importance of emotions, personality, and identity in how young people and adults function day-to-day. His recent projects have addressed the lasting importance of parenting for adolescent and adult behaviors, how connections with family and new friends help with the major transition to college, and the ways college students’ life stories about the COVID pandemic help us anticipate their ongoing resilience. At Our Minds Matter, Jordan is helping with Our Minds Matters’ efforts to understand how students are making sense of their time in OMM clubs and how involvement with OMM may promote student functioning at school, at home, and with their classmates.

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Olivia Forrester is a photographer, writer, artist, and mental health advocate. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Olivia began working with Our Minds Matter when it was still the Josh Anderson Foundation in 2015 as a speaker and teen consultant. Olivia founded an Our Minds Matter chapter at the National Cathedral School before graduating in 2018. Olivia then went on to attend Vanderbilt University, from where she graduated with her BA in Studio Art in 2022. After taking some time to travel post-grad, Olivia is back in DC focused on her art and work at Our Minds Matter.

In their artistic practice, Olivia focuses on the visual representation of mental illness in relation to individual identity and worldview. Primarily a photographer and multimedia artist, Olivia’s works combine elements of photography, painting, and text. In her writing and photography, Olivia explores the evolution of self over time, specifically in relation to personal identity, worldview, family, the body, and mental illness. By addressing themes of mental illness in their work, Olivia hopes to chip away at the stigma surrounding it and encourage a dialogue.

During her free time, Olivia enjoys walking with her dog, reading novels and memoirs, listening to podcasts, cooking new recipes, traveling, and doing upcycling crafts.

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Kaitlin Miller has a Bachelors in Spanish from Hamilton College and a Masters in Public Administration from Cornell University. She has over 15 years of experience streamlining and strengthening internal systems for businesses, nonprofit, and government organizations. She has served as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Operations for numerous organizations and spent 5 years managing the largest federal housing program for homeless veterans under the Obama administration. In addition to her operations experience, Kaitlin brings to OMM a deep commitment to supporting middle and high school youth, building upon her experience as a foster parent for 4 years and as a YMCA teen camp counselor for 3 summers while in college.

Kaitlin lives with her husband, daughter, and golden retriever in upstate New York.