SafeSpace Youth Action Board

For Youth, By Youth

Find the 2020-21 application here

SafeSpace Youth Action Board empowers young people to engage with their local communities by promoting mental health awareness, reducing the stigma of getting help, and developing solutions to improve the lives of all young people. These youth driven activities prevents isolation and fosters human connections.

Currently SafeSpace Youth Action Board members collaborate with numerous public, private and charter high schools and middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area working with school administrators and faculty to spearhead mental health initiatives at their schools and communities. In addition, our SafeSpace Youth Action Board cultivates numerous community partnerships, produces mental wellness videos and opportunities to get help through our digital portal.

Meet Our Members

AanyaK2

Aanya K.

Aanya K.

Sacred Heart Preparatory, Grade 12

I joined SYAB because I dealt with mental health issues for a long time and wanted to help others. A lot of students in the Bay Area go through similar experiences and I wanted to make sure that everyone knows where to go if they need help/resources.

Alyssa

Alyssa G.

Alyssa G.

Menlo School, Grade 9

I joined Safespace so I could make my school a safer environment for kids struggling with mental health. I enjoy playing with my dog and going to the beach.

AmeliaP

Amelia P.

Amelia P.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 10

I joined SYAB because ...

AnthonyM

Anthony M.

Anthony M.

Foothill High School, Grade 11

Mental health, emotional wellbeing, and self-care are vital elements that need more resources and attention. Joining SYAB gives me the opportunity to make an impact in this space by empowering young adults, colleagues, and peers. I want to educate and encourage others, helping to create more comfortable spaces and support networks for those around me.

Fun Fact: I became an Eagle Scout in December 2019; my project involved designing and building a touch table at a local community nature center.

Favorite Quote: "There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for." -J.R.R. Tolkien

Arya

Arya M.

Arya M.

The Harker School, Grade 12

"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards." - Søren Kierkegaard

AvaB

Ava B.

Ava B.

Sacred Heart Preparatory, Grade 12

I joined SafeSpace because I want mental health issues to be normalized. I know many people who struggle or have struggled, and more people should feel safe sharing their mental health issues with friends and family. I want to be a support for others and help de-stigmatize my community.

BrodieG

Brodie G.

Brodie G.

Castilleja School, Grade 11

Favorite Quote: “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” - Rocky Balboa, Rocky

Casey

Casey H.

Casey H.

Sacred Heart Preparatory, Grade 10

"If You Don't Fall, How Are You Going To Know What Getting Up Is Like" -Stephen Curry

CateW

Cate W.

Cate W.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 10

Fun Fact: I have studied Latin for the past 6 years of my life and am currently in a post-AP latin course.

ChloeL

Chloe L.

Chloe L.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 11

I joined the SafeSpace Youth Action Board because raising awareness about youth mental health is very important. SafeSpace is unique in that it empowers students to develop projects that offer direct support to our peers. My personal experiences have shown me how valuable having the support of others is and I hope to make this support easily accessible to all youth.

Fun Fact: In my free time, I love to dive, read, and spend time with family and pets!

ClaireC

Claire C.

Claire C.

Castilleja School, Grade 11

I joined SafeSpace to help support other teens with mental health issues and to let them know I understand. They are not alone!

ConorB

Conor B.

Conor B.

Sacred Heart Preparatory, Grade 12

I joined SafeSpace because I really want to make a difference within my own community but also educate others on such an important issue. Mental Health continues to become a larger issue on both a local and national level. I have seen the debilitating effects on some of my friends throughout high school but they lacked the resources to help themselves. SafeSpace gives me an outlet to make a real difference while also getting to meet a bunch of new people from all over the Bay Area!

Fun Fact: In my free time, I really enjoy playing tennis and trying out new restaurants!

Favorite Quote: “The purpose of our lives it to be happy” - Daila Lama

DenaA

Dena A.

Dena A.

Sacred Heart Preparatory, Grade 10

I joined SYAB because struggling with mental health is more common than most think, and I want students who feel like they're alone to have a resource to remind them that they are normal and can make it through.

ElinorK

Elinor K.

Elinor K.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 12

I joined SYAB because I care a lot about spreading mental health awareness to youth and removing stigma, as I feel like that is a huge part of our growing up.

Fun Fact: I am allergic to tomatoes and I love photography.

Elle

Elle M.

Elle M.

Woodside High School, Grade 11

I joined SYAB because I saw an opportunity to be active in my community and make a difference in people's lives, and hopefully contribute to the destigmatization of mental health.

Fun fact: I have 5 cats!

EmilyZ

Emily Z.

Emily Z.

Menlo-Atherton High School Alumni

Everyone has mental health and it is something that affects everyone across ages, genders, nationalities, etc., so I feel that it needs to be addressed much more than it is currently. You shouldn't have to be seriously struggling with some mental health issue to think about mental health, you don't have to have depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, an eating disorder, or some sort of addiction to focus on your mental health, yet many people feel that that is the only time to talk about it.

Farah

Farah P.

Farah P.

Sacred Heart Preparatory, Grade 12

I joined Safespace to help end the stigma of mental health issues; As someone who has watched their friends and family struggle and struggle themselves, mental health awareness holds a special place in my heart and has grown into a passion of mine. I just want everyone to know that someone is out there that loves them, supports them, and has the tools to help them.

GeorgiaA

Georgia A.

Georgia A.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 9

Favorite quote: “You will face many defeats in life but never let yourself be defeated.”

Gigi

Gigi P.

Gigi P.

Woodside High School, Grade 11

I joined the SYAB because life should be worth living for everyone. I want to live in a world where mental health is discussed and destigmatized, and where treatment is accessible regardless of socioeconomic class.

Fun fact: I love black licorice, blue cheese, ghost pepper, and many other controversial foods.

Gracie1

Gracie D.

Gracie D.

Sacred Heart Preparatory, Grade 11

Favorite Quote: "I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept." - Angela Davis

IsabelaD

Isabela D.

Isabela D.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 10

I joined SYAB to show others that help is accessible and encouraged.

Favorite Quote: "Worrying is like a rocking chair, your moving but not getting anywhere."

Isabelle

Isabelle M.

Isabelle M.

Menlo-Atherton High School Alumni

Mental Health is so important to me because I believe mental health is equal in importance to physical health. I want society to be able to view mental health illnesses or problems the same way they would on physical sicknesses or issues. I think mental health is something not enough students and teens pay attention to and should be conscious of.

IzzyR

Izzy R.

Izzy R.

Castilleja School, Grade 12

I joined SafeSpace because I wanted to help destigmatize mental illness and work/meet with people my age who have similar goals.

Jane

Jane W.

Jane W.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 11

Fun fact: I was born on February 29th, so I’m technically only four years old!

Joey2

Joey S.

Joey S.

Serra High School, Grade 12

I joined SYAB because I noticied many of the people around me had begun to struggle with their mental health during high school and I wanted to do what I could to help.

Fun fact: I want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in college.

Favorite quote: "How strange it is to be anything at all" - Jeff Mangum

JuliaB

Julia B.

Julia B.

Sacred Heart Preparatory, Grade 10

I joined safe space to help break the stigma and fight for equal access to mental health services after having my own struggles with mental wellbeing.

Fun fact: I love everything to do with the outdoors; hiking, camping, backpacking, you name it!

Favorite quote: “I am my own soulmate.”

JuliaH2

Julia H.

Julia H.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 11

I joined SYAB because mental health issues are extremely common and it is important to me that I help as many people as I can that are dealing with them, as well as spread awareness.

Kai

Kai D.

Kai D.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 12

This year is my fourth year involved with SafeSpace. I joined because we need to start the conversation about mental health in our communities. Mental illness has affected my life and the lives of so many people I care about; it’s time to eradicate the stigma and make help more accessible.

LenaK

Lena K.

Lena K.

Menlo-Atherton High School Alumni, Web Designer, Photographer

I joined SYAB my junior year of high school, looking for a community of people that shared my similar passion for mental health. SafeSpace is beyond what I could have ever imagined I’d be a part of! I continue to work with SafeSpace into my college career, because they are such a family to me. Now, I have the privilege of combining my own creative and technical skills to help expand our voice to an even greater community.

Visit lenakalotihos.com for more.

Libby1

Libby N.

Libby N.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 10

I joined SYAB because I saw my friends struggling and feeling ashamed of their suffering, and I realized that this was something I could do to help them.

Fun fact: I am an avid rower.

Favorite quote: "Does such a thing as 'the fatal flaw'," that showy, dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn't. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs"

Libia

Libia B.

Libia B.

San Mateo High School, Grade 11

I joined SYAB to help my friends and community in tough times and to help teenagers who are struggling with their mental health to get the resources and help that they need.

Fun fact: I love to sew, play soccer, and make jewelry!

Favorite quote: “There are bright places even in dark times” -Virginia Wolf

Lila

Lila M.

Lila M.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 11

I joined SYAB because I wanted to learn more about how to deal with mental health, and wanted to become a leader advocating against the stigma for mental health. Mental health issues is something that is very prevalent in society today, and I joined in order to meet new people who also want to create positive change regarding mental health!

Fun fact: I like to play the piano, hang with friends, eat healthy foods, and exercise!

Favorite quote: “Compassion is the greatest form of love that humans have to offer."

Lucinda

Lucinda S.

Lucinda S.

Menlo School, Grade 9

Fun fact: My quarantine hobby is gardening! I've spent a lot more time outside in general, and I encourage everyone who can to spend time outside. It's really helped my mental health.

Maggie

Maggie P.

Maggie P.

Sacred Heart Preparatory, Grade 10

I joined SafeSpace because I care a lot about mental health, and helping others. I love learning more about it and talking with others who also struggle with mental health.

Fun fact: I love to watch sports, play, and cheer my favorite teams.

Favorite quote: “You change the world by being yourself."

Manisha

Manisha K.

Manisha K.

Woodside Priory School, Grade 11

Mental health has always been a big part of my life and has shaped me into the person I am today. From a young age, my parents, as doctors, have taught me techniques to deal with mental health. Yet, as advanced as the Bay Area is, many teens don't have the same awareness about mental health as the select few and I do, simply because schools and parents don't prioritize eliminating the stigma around the subject by normalizing mental health issues and informing young people. Ultimately, I joined SYAB to help spread positive awareness about mental wellness.

I love learning about biology and medicine. I spend my free time working in the lab, taking portrait photography, and watching Wes Anderson movies.

Favorite quote: "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony,” - Mahatma Gandhi.

MikaylaW

Mikayla W.

Mikayla W.

Aragon High School, Grade 12

I joined SYAB to connect more with my community and the people around me who have similar interests. Having my own mental health struggles, I knew I needed to do something to help others who might be going through the same situations that I had. I wanted to be a part of something that made a difference and something that changed the negative way that society views mental health itself, so when I found out about SafeSpace, the organization really stood out to me.

SafeSpace has such an amazing community. All the people that I am surrounded with at SYAB motivate me to be a better person and do good for society. I have enjoyed each and every meeting that we have had, and I love the connection that all the members share. Having a board led by youth only is so incredibly rare to find, yet SYAB does such an amazing job.

Favorite quote: “Make the most of the best and the least of the worst” -Robert Louis Stevenson

MiraD

Mira D.

Mira D.

Menlo School, Grade 11

I joined SYAB because I have struggled with my own mental health, and I wanted to learn how to help myself and others going through similar things. I think that reducing stigma is the first step to solving any problem, so I really aligned with SafeSpace's mission statement.

Fun fact: I love ketchup; I used to eat ketchup with watermelon

Favorite quote: "You got into Harvard Law?" "What? Like it's hard?" - Elle Woods from the movie, Legally Blonde.

Novak

Novak C.

Novak C.

Crystal Springs Uplands School, Grade 12

I joined Safespace because I was really struggling with my own mental health and wanted to know I wasn't alone. By being a part of Safespace, I learned to empower myself and be proud of my journey, and I gained a community of motivated kids with their own unique experiences, coming together to make real progress in teen mental health awareness!

ReeseG

Reese G.

Reese G.

Menlo School, Grade 11

I joined Safespace because I want to help destigmatize conversations surrounding mental health.

Fun fact: I have two sisters who are also involved in SafeSpace!

ReeseW

Reese W.

Reese W.

Menlo School, Grade 10

I joined SYAB because I think mental health is something that impacts everyone to a certain extent, but too many people are lack knowledge of how to manage it.

Favorite quote: “you are entirely up to you”.

Reza

Reza N.

Reza N.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 11

I joined SafeSpace during a dark time in my life, and at the time, I didn't know that there was help out there. Every day felt like it was getting harder, and I continued to suffer by myself. It took a lot of time and hard work to get to where I am today, and yeah, it was really tough but it was so worth it. Now, I share my story to help spread awareness about mental health. I share my story to help kids like myself reach out for help. I share my story to remind myself that I will have bad days too, but I'm strong enough to overcome them. Everyone has a story to tell. What's yours?

RileyC

Riley C.

Riley C.

Castilleja, Grade 11

I joined Safespace because I understand the stigma that can often exist around mental illness. Safespace enables me to work with other individuals who are passionate about opening the conversation about mental health.

Fun fact: I absolutely love spending time with kids, I attribute it to the fact that I consider myself to have a mental maturity level of about 7 years old.

Favorite quote: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" -Eleanor Roosevelt

Rosa

Rosa C.

Rosa C.

School, Grade

I joined SYAB because ...

RyanN

Ryan N.

Ryan N.

Woodside Priory School, Grade 12

I joined SYAB in order to help advocate for mental health around my community, as well as educate myself about mental health. I have seen many close friends my age suffer from various mental health conditions, driving me to bring change within my community through SafeSpace.

Fun fact: I love to play tennis in my free time!

Favorite quote: "I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think." - Rumi

SaanviJ

Saanvi J.

Saanvi J.

Burlingame High School, Grade 11

I have seen the stigma of mental health in my community and in my peers around me and the effect that has on people. I decided to join Safespace to help bring awareness to mental health issues because the more they are talked about the more people will feel like they can get the help they need.

Sahana1

Sahana S.

Sahana S.

Woodside Priory School, Grade 12

After experiencing generalized anxiety myself and seeing some of my close friends struggle with depression and suicidality, I wanted to join an organization of like-minded individuals who wanted to humanize mental illness and rewrite the narrative too. I found this community in SafeSpace.After experiencing generalized anxiety myself and seeing some of my close friends struggle with depression and suicidality, I wanted to join an organization of like-minded individuals who wanted to humanize mental illness and rewrite the narrative too. I found this community in SafeSpace.

Fun Fact: I love to thrift, photograph my friends, and bake (without following the recipe perfectly!). My favorite item I have thrifted is a pair of vintage Guess zebra print pants.

Favorite Quote: "Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." ~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Samer

Samer B.

Samer B.

Hillsdale High School, Grade 12

I joined SYAB because I wanted to break the stigma around mental health at my school and in the larger community. I struggled with my own mental health and I overcame it. I also have a passion for helping other people, and I am able to do that through SafeSpace.

Fun Fact: I love Starbucks and I am a proud Palestinian!

Favorite quote: "Just because no one else can heal or do your inner work for you doesn't mean you can, should, or need to do it alone." -Lisa Olivera

Samina

Samina K.

Samina K.

Castilleja School, Grade 12

Fun Fact: I am an east coaster at heart! I grew up in New York City and Boston and hope to go back there someday... I just love the seasons!

Sana

Sana A.

Sana A.

Basis Independent Silicon Valley, Grade 11

Mental health is an issue almost every teen deals with on a daily basis. I care a lot about this problem as I have witnessed so many of my peers suffering from mental health, and I've seen firsthand the toll it can take on someone's life when it gets severe enough. I joined SYAB because I truly believe that because mental health is an issue everyone deals with in their lifetime, everyone should be able to have access to the help they need. This can only be done if people see past the stigma and realize that mental health support should be universally given. Being a part of SYAB allows me to work with a group of teenagers who are just as passionate and driven as me to address the social stigma around mental health as well as provide mental health resources to Bay Area teens in need.

Fun Fact: I love studying astrology, making jewelry, and reading in my free time.

Favorite quote: “You look at me and cry; everything hurts. I hold you and whisper: but everything can heal.” ― Rupi Kaur

SarahL

Sarah L.

Sarah L.

Menlo-Atherton High School Alumni

Mental health is important to me because it is a key component of a person's overall well-being. Everyone needs to pay attention to their mental health, yet no one talks about it; I want to help start the conversation around mental health.

Sarah P

Sarah P.

Sarah P.

Lydian Academy Alumni

Mental health is important to me because I have personally dealt with mental health issues in the past. I have seen how mental health can impact not only my life but the lives of those around me.

Savannah

Savannah F.

Savannah F.

Design Tech High School, Grade 12

I joined SYAB back in freshmen year because I saw the need for more conversations to be had about something so relevant to us all, mental health. I knew I wanted to be a mental health advocate for myself, my peers, and everyone that struggles with it. The topic of mental health has become so stigmatized and being an SYAB member is a part of how I’m helping to de-stigmatize. Remember that It is okay to not be okay.

Fun Fact: I love photography and the simple moments in life. A few things that make me happy are going to the beach, being with friends, yummy food, and being out in nature. The top thing on my bucket list is to travel the world.

Favorite Quote: "There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." - the Dalai Lama

SayaE

Saya E.

Saya E.

Menlo-Atherton High School, Grade 11

Favorite quote: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”- Arthur Ashe

Somerset

Somerset G.

Somerset G.

Cañada Middle College, Grade 11

Favorite quote: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" from Mary Oliver's poem, The Summer Day.

SophiaH

Sophia H.

Sophia H.

Hillsdale High School, Grade 11

I joined SYAB because I wanted to be apart of a community with shared values, goals, and experiences.

Favorite quote: "I want to live in a world where people become famous because of their work for peace and justice and care. I want the famous to be inspiring; their lives an example of what every human being has it in them to do act from love!"

TessaG

Tessa G.

Tessa G.

Menlo School, Grade 12

I joined Safespace after personally struggling with anxiety and depression and realizing just how prevalent mental health issues are in our community. I felt compelled to erase stigma surrounding mental health and was inspired by the work that my peers were doing at Safespace!

Fun Fact: I have a Bernadoodle named Xola. I love the winter and rainy weather.

WillM

Will M.

Will M.

Menlo School, Grade 11

I joined Safespace in order to help generally destigmatize mental health as well as help other guys that may be struggling.

Fun Fact: In my free time, I enjoy playing sports and spending time with my dog.

XamaraC

Xamara C.

Xamara C.

Woodside High School, Grade 9

I decided to join SYAB because mental health is something everyone deals with and it's important to consider your feelings. I've seen friends deal with mental health and I want to try to help in any way I can.

Fun Fact: My favorite animal is a butterfly because they go through different stages of life, and similarly we do too.

Favorite Quote: "Mental health is important for everyone. So know that if you're facing a mental health challenge, you are not alone!"